Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

Album: Bat Out Of Hell (1977)
Charted: 32 11
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Songfacts®:

  • "Two out of three ain't bad" is a trite cliché often used for comic effect. ("How was your date?" "He was tall, handsome, and incredibly boring." "Well, two out of three ain't bad.)

    Jim Steinman, who was Meat Loaf's songwriter, turned the saying into a song about the elusive nature of love. The song begins with Meat Loaf getting kicked to the curb by his girl, presumably because he won't tell her he loves her. He makes the case that even though he will never love her, he's good enough, since after all he does want her and need her, and happy endings are only for fairy tales.

    We then learn that his commitment issues step from a previous relationship - one with the only woman he will ever love. She once left him with the same explanation: I want you, I need you, but I'll never love you.
  • Jim Steinman wrote this song after his friend, the actress Mimi Kennedy, suggested that he write a ballad along the lines of the Elvis Presley song "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You." She was implying that he should write something straightforward and simple, but Steinman doesn't work that way. He used the phrase, but added a degree of Shakespearean drama that was typical of his work.
  • In America, this was the second single released from the Bat Out Of Hell album. The first single, "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth," didn't chart, but by the time "Two Out of Three" was issued in March 1978, the album was picking up steam and the song rose up the charts, peaking at #11 on July 8.

    The single was edited down to 3:58 from the 5:23 album version.
  • Todd Rundgren produced the Bat Out Of Hell album. On this song, he used the other three members of his band Utopia: Kasim Sulton on bass, Willie Wilcox on drums, and Roger Powell on synthesizer. Rundgren played guitar and also sang backup on this one.
  • This song got a big boost when Meat Loaf performed it on Saturday Night Live on March 25, 1978.

Comments: 5

  • Slacker from SofaI want to argue that its the same girl he sings about.
    And is he really being thrown to the curve, were do you read that?

    He cant love her. His tears turned into icicles. She treated him cold.
    He still needs her, and want her. but his heart turned cold.
    He used to love some time ago, but was told 2 out of 3 aint bad.
    Its the same girl. She came back.

    Something similar is done in "I would do anything for love but I wont do that".
    Its hinted what he's refering to in the song If you listen.
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenSteinman was such a great writer/arranger/performer that he created songs I loved for two artists that I had previously depised: "Total Eclipse of the Heart" for Bonnie Tyler and "Making Love Out of Nothing at All" for Air Supply.
  • Will from Claremont CaliforniaThis song has some of the greatest song writing of all time...

    You'll never find your gold on a sandy beach
    You'll never drill for oil on a city street
    I know you're looking for a ruby in a mountain of rocks
    But there ain't no Coup de Ville hiding at the bottom
    Of a Cracker Jack box
  • Shawn from Green Bay WiJim Steinman is arguably the greatest songwriter of all time. LOVE his lyrics! Thanks to him, Meatloaf has a bunch of lyrically fantastic songs.
  • Tc from UkNeed you = 1
    Want you = 1
    Love You = 0
    2/3 'aint bad! Take it!
    Great song by the genius that is Jim Steinman.
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