Saturday, June 18, 2005

"Fooled Again (I Don't Like It)"

Once again, a song from the other perspective. There's no end of songs about your cheatin' man, the double-dealing no-goodnik from the other side of town who's been stringing a girl along, while all the time he has a girl at home. This time, Tom Petty's been on the receiving end: "Strange voice on the telephone/Telling me I'd better leave you 'lone/Why don't somebody say what's going on/Uh-oh I think I've been through this before/Looks like I'm the fool again/I don't like it." From a guy's point of view, though, this is about anger. When a woman sings about this, it's all about heartbreak and disappointment. Tom's voice is all broken and busted here - he's bitter, and his hoarse cry of "I don't like it" can only have come after some serious howling at the moon.
Let's not get into a debate here - this sort of thing cuts both ways, but Tom's in a real state here. His line "It's good to see you think so much of me" cuts very, very deep.
Once again, at the outset of his career, Tom and the Heartbreakers were such a stripped-down, spare sounding band, but the addition of a wash of strings in the background steers this song straight out onto the Ventura Highway, driving very very fast indeed despite the song's medium pace, as if the song has to run away from someone for their own sanity.

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