The Glory of Man

Album: Double Nickels on the Dime (1984)
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Songfacts®:

  • Minutemen bassist, Mike Watt, wrote this song. The lyrics, though complex and abstract, reveal Watt's apparent desire to travel back in time "using cynicism, the time monitor, the space measurer."

    Watt told L.A. Record that this song was inspired by the Irish author, Jim Joyce and his 1922 novel, Ulysses: "That was the big thing in my mind right then. It had a big impact on me. It made me wonder so much about the world. Those days, when I wrote songs from that book, it was a big celebration! The glory of man! Now it's more like, the glory hole of man!"
  • Watt still performs this song live with his multiple post-Minutemen side-projects, including fIREHOSE and The Missingmen.
  • This song, one of Minutemen's longest, combines elements of funk and punk. Double Nickels on the Dime, Minutemen's third studio album, is renowned for its expansive sound palette. It is widely regarded as one of the most influential albums of the 1980s. In our interview with Watt, he reflected on the record with great pride: "Double Nickels... is probably the best record I've ever played on. I didn't realize it while we were making it. The way we were thinking was hills and valleys. People that are around for a while, the journey's full of valleys. That was definitely a hill, we thought. That was a peak of ours. And now looking back even more so."

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