Crowd of Full Pockets

Movie and Music Analysis from One Lacking Any Credentials to Provide It

“Loving You’s a Dirty Job (But Somebody’s Gotta Do It)” by Bonnie Tyler and Todd Rundgren

It’s been a few years at this point since Steinman’s last duet. Each of the Bat out of Hell follow-ups of course had one, but since then, the closest we’ve had is “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” which does have a prominent opposite-sex counterpoint vocal but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone call a duet. But here we are on the second Steinman/Tyler album finally returning to this format.

The band is largely the same as “Ravishing,” with the only real differences being that the three “additional background vocals” credits are gone and long-term important newcomer Eddie Martinez is credited for a great guitar solo. Of course, Rundgren is also a lead vocalist here instead of just in the background.

The song opens with a synthesizer/piano hook that kind of feels like it should be a classically-arranged horns/choir/piano bit but has been modernized into ’80s pop sounds. Then the piano-synth combo cuts out and is replaced by drums, bass, and guitar while soft backing vocals (again from Rundgren/Troyer/Dodd) intone, “There were times we had it all/There were times we lost it all.” Bonnie Tyler’s voice and a piano following the melody join in. We stay with that sound through one chorus that only differentiates itself by adding a synthesizer playing that first hook again, then Rundgren takes over lead on top of the same base but backing vocals now repeat the hook. Other than that excellent guitar solo, the song really doesn’t do anything else.

Lyrically, the song is about the trials and tribulations of relationships. It’s not a sugary-sweet love song–they are referencing having fought, lied, believed, failed, dreamt, and faced reality together. There aren’t specifics to it, but this is again a couple looking back at themselves after time together. They no longer feel the “You’re perfect!” feelings that teenagers and new lovers have–they both know each other’s foibles as well as their own. It’s a grown-up love song, but it’s still a pretty simple one. There are some great lines, because it’s Steinman, but it’s not one of his strongest works.

Todd Rundgren may not have a very distinctive voice, but I have always found it very pleasant and it sounds good here. The points when he and Tyler trade off and then sing together work wonderfully, as they sort of balance each other out. Tyler also delivers one of her stronger performances here, the raspiness a bit more controlled than at some points and showing more dynamics than some of her vocals do.

It’s a pleasant enough song but it’s kind of lacking. I honestly remember really loving this song when I first heard it, but I think my love of Eddie Martinez’s soloing was probably the main reason. It’s actually sort of like “Lost Boys and Golden Girls” on Bad for Good–the pieces are fine but it just feels like it never fully cooks.






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