The Two-Minute Man, Episode 6: The Boss Is The Loser (Almost) Edition


Hey, Ho! Let's Go!

We continue to alternate good and bad weeks in Two-Minute Man land. After last week's clunker it's a very strong pre-Christmas batch, with only the presence of surfer dude Jack Johnson keeping The Boss out of the bottom spot on our 94.7/The Globe playlist.

1. "Blitzkrieg Bop" - The Ramones
I've long advocated making this song our new national anthem. "The Star-Spangled Banner" is lame and I'm simply sick of hearing some amateur sing it at every game I attend. The Ramones were American originals, the lyrics couldn't be more simple and the song is already a sporting-event staple. Consider the comments section the start of our petition.

2. "Manic Depression" - Jimi Hendrix
Just a perfect song. And Jimi's guitar playing isn't even the main reason why. Mitch Mitchell completely steals the show here with his dynamic, three-quarter-time drumming. One of the few Hendrix songs that inspires more air drumming than air guitaring.

3. "Handle With Care" - Traveling Wilburys
As you'll see on my Best Reissues/Compilation list next week, I'm a huge fan of the Wilburys. Harrison, Dylan, Petty, Orbison, er, Jeff Lynne - how can you wrong? This song would have been one of the better pop standouts on George Harrison's excellent "Cloud Nine," except now Roy Orbison croons a pre-chorus and Dylan and Petty try to out-gravel on the chorus. Brilliant.

4. "Come on Eileen" - Dexy's Midnight Runners
When this song comes on the radio, you turn it up and you rock out every time the chorus hits. Don't try to deny it. Maybe it's the '80s version of "Tubthumping" but it's a perfect pop single.

5. "New Sensation" - INXS
I'm already on record as stating that "Kick" was my favorite album in the world when I was 7 years old and this one was always my favorite. The parallel structure of the lyrics is always a reliable gimmick and Michael Hutchence always had charisma to spare.

6.Mr. Brightside - The Killers
Confession time: I like this song. I kinda really like this song. There's no other song by this band that I can stomach, especially that "I've got soul but I'm not a soldier" dreck, but they really nail this one. The vocal melody on the chorus, just fantastic.

7. Big Time - Peter Gabriel
It's hard to separate most of Gabriel's work from the videos that went with his songs. So hearing this one on the radio without seeing the Claymation/time-lapse weirdness just isn't the same. Fun tune, though. And this album was one of those crazy, monster smashes where five of the nine songs (this one, "Sledgehammer," "In Your Eyes," "Red Rain" and "Don't Give Up") were relatively big hits.

8. "So Alive" - Love and Rockets
The T. Rex comparisons are inescapable, but I'd rather hear a Love and Rockets song that sounds like T. Rex than a Love and Rockets song that sounds like Love and Rockets, y'know?

9. "Tunnel of Love" - Bruce Springsteen
I'm not saying I like the Killers or Dexy's Midnight Runners more than Boss, but I certainly like "Mr. Brightside" and "Come on Eileen" more than this song. It sounds like the Pet Shop Boys are his backing band on this song. That's not a collaboration I've ever wanted to hear.

10. "If I Had Eyes" - Jack Johnson
The new single from this Hawaiian surf-rock dude is as good-natured and mellow as you'd expect. It's the most wholly inoffensive thing you could ever conjure up. Yacht Rock for the 21st century. The freshman girls rushing tri-delt will love it.

By David Malitz |  December 21, 2007; 2:05 PM ET Two-Minute Man
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Comments

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I like Mr. Brightside too; it's got a lot of oomph behind its surface cheese, sort of like the mashup of Kelly Clarkson and the Pixies that came out a year or so ago.

Posted by: 23112 | December 21, 2007 2:54 PM

Re: Blitzkrieg Bop. The lyrics couldn't be more simple, but they COULD be more intelligible. The last thing we need is another excuse for my Dad to make lame "There's-a-bathroom-on-the-right"-style jokes.

Posted by: Ronnie | December 21, 2007 3:17 PM

I'll admit to a bit of a soft spot for that Killers song to. It's about the only one on that album that isn't some odd club dance song.

What's so wrong with Tunnel of Love? It's not like the lyrics are particularly different from anything else Bruce has ever written. So the synths are lound. I've always thought it was an interesting sonic experiment and that it turned out alright. It was the 80's afterall...

Posted by: EricS | December 21, 2007 4:19 PM

Yeah, I can't really handle "typical" '80s production, I think mentioned that in an Iggy Pop comment in the first edition of this series. I especially can't stand it when its applied to acts that should know better -- like Bruce (and Iggy). His voice/lyrics and that synth sound are just a bad match to my ears.

That said, there was some tough competition this week. It probably would have come in #4 or #5 if I heard it last week.

Posted by: David | December 21, 2007 4:23 PM

Lol, Ronnie, I like your dad's style. My dad asked me the other week if I had ever heard of "this Ramones band" because he saw some of their memorabilia on Antiques Roadshow. True story.

Where do we stand on the Jenny Lewis/Gibbstax/Bright Eyes cover of Handle With Care?

Posted by: shf | December 21, 2007 4:42 PM

I truly enjoy these episodes -- the premise is clever and your descriptions always make me laugh! keep it up.

Posted by: julie | December 26, 2007 2:16 PM

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