Monday, March 26, 2007

Classic Pick:-->Warren Zevon - Excitable Boy (1978)

"I heard Woodrow Wilson's guns.
I heard Maria crying.
Late last night I heard the news
That Veracruz was dying."
Warren Zevon

Anyone who dismisses the late Warren Zevon as merely a novelty artist, is probably only familiar with his lone hit single, “Werewolves of London.” However, those who are hip to the scene, are aware that the excessively satiric songwriter is capable of far more than just shrugged-off rockers. For the uninitiated, Zevon’s third album, “Excitable Boy” is an excellent introduction to this underrated songwriters work.

On the magical opening track, “Johnny Strikes Up the Band”, good vibes just ooze out of the speakers. But then, the ever unpredictable Zevon does a three sixty, and takes us into much darker territory with the cult favorite “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner”, a haunting rocker about Roland, who is betrayed and murdered by the CIA, and his headless body’s quest to seek revenge against his killer. It's like a three minute and forty four second novel.

“He bit the usherette’s leg in the dark” from the title track and “Little old lady got mutilated late last night from “Werewolves of London” display Zevon’s notorious dark humor.

While it’s anybody’s guess as to what the song “Accidentally Like A Martyr” means, his observation “never thought I’d have to pay so dearly for what was already mine” cuts to the bone, and you’ll find yourself singing along to the refrains of “We made mad love/ Shadow love/ Random love/ and abandoned love.”

Zevon wraps it up with the killer cut, “Lawyers, Guns, and Money”, an anthem for anyone who has ever found themselves in a jam and needed help. This album is full of great songs, and why our local radio stations ignore him I will never understand.

Warren Zevon sadly died at his home in Los Angeles, California, on September 7, 2003 from mesothelioma (a form of lung cancer).

Also check out "Bag Of Songs" who has a nice offering of early live material from the "Z" Man.
(1st appear. Vantage/Newman U.)


Warren Zevon-->"Veracruz" off Excitable Boy (1978) (Own This CD)


-tom said...

Nice review !

Beth said...

Brilliant post. Frustrating that so few realized what a brilliant songwriter and performer he was. I saw him live many times; hope you did, too. Have you read Crystal's bio?

Now I need to check out the rest of your blog ...