Real Men (Joe Jackson/Tori Amos) - U2 Feedback

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Old 12-18-2001, 01:07 AM   #1
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Real Men (Joe Jackson/Tori Amos)

Alright, so I'm just listening along to Tori's new album of covers and this song hits me like a ton of bricks! What a great song!

Can anyone tell me more about it? Anyone want to discuss it? I'm eager to know the context within which it was written by Jackson, and how Tori's version has altered its meaning, if at all.

Where's foray?
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Old 12-18-2001, 01:41 AM   #2
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I recorded her performance of that song on Craig Kilborn (I like Conan O'Brien much better). I thought it was very powerful.

All I have is "Boys for Pele," but I'm going to check out some of her other stuff soon.
I really love "Caught a Lite Sneeze."

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Old 12-18-2001, 01:06 PM   #3
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It took you this long

I don't know the context of Jackson's version, but reading from Tori's alone, I'd say she's criticizing the song's stereotyped view of gays. Bear in mind that her selection of songs for this album were gotten by asking her male friends which rock anthems were the most influential in their lives. Just having a female sing the lyrics changes the meaning.

Take your mind back - I don't know when
Sometime when it always seemed
To be just us and them
Girls that wore pink
And boys that wore blue
Boys that always grew up better men
Than me and you
What's a man now - what's a man mean
Is he rough or is he rugged
Is he cultural and clean
Now it's all change - it's got to change more
'Cause we think it's getting better
But nobody's really sure
And so it goes - go round again
But now and then we wonder who the real men are
See the nice boys - dancing in pairs
Golden earring golden tan
Blow-wave in the hair
Sure they're all straight - straight as a line
All the gays are macho
Can't you see their leather shine
You don't want to sound dumb - don't want to offend
So don't call me a faggot
Not unless you are a friend
Then if you're tall and handsome and strong
You can wear the uniform and I could play along
And so it goes - go round again
But now and then we wonder who the real men are
Time to get scared - time to change plan
Don't know how to treat a lady
Don't know how to be a man
Time to admit - what you call defeat
'Cause there's women running past you now
And you just drag your feet
Man makes a gun - man goes to war
Man can kill and man can drink
And man can take a whore
Kill all the blacks - kill all the reds
And if there's war between the sexes
Then there'll be no people left
And so it goes - go round again
But now and then we wonder who the real men are


Also note how she appears in the album sleeve under 'Real Men'. We know Tori's a woman, but who is this person? A woman trying to be a man or a man who looks feminine or a woman trying to look like a man who looks feminine? Hehe


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Old 12-22-2001, 02:59 AM   #4
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Sorry for taking so long to respond to this. I've had company over and not much time to spend on the computer.

Anyway, I think the photo of Tori for Real Men is the most intriguing of all the photos. In that picture, she looks least like Tori Amos. And the caption says, "All these things are true." I am not too familiar with Joe Jackson's version of the song, but I figured it was written from the perspective of a gay man who is coming to terms with his sexuality. The way Tori sings it, and judging by her caption, I thought she agreed with and was sympathetic to the viewpoint of the song, only more so. She's less confused and more assertive when it comes to the content of the lyrics.

Just my thoughts. I'll have to listen to it some more. I wish I knew what people thought of the song when it originally came out.
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