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I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: Anthology
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
This definitive 42-song retrospective features Warren Zevon's most dangerous songs, including "Werewolves of London" and "Lawyers, Guns and Money" as well as the previously unreleased "You Don't Know What Love Is" and "If ... more »
This definitive 42-song retrospective features Warren Zevon's most dangerous songs, including "Werewolves of London" and "Lawyers, Guns and Money" as well as the previously unreleased "You Don't Know What Love Is" and "If You Won't Leave Me I'll Find Someone Who Will."
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Title: I'LL SLEEP WHEN I'M DEAD
Street Release Date: 09/17/1996
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A Great, if incomplete starting place
Tom Andrews | West Chicago, IL United States | 11/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This two disc set from Rhino records is a very well done, and comprehensive collection of Warren Zevon's material. It only covers from 1976 to 1995, but still, it highlights the wide scope of what he could do. I say incomplete as his last three recordings are not represented, but digesting this anthology should give ample reason to pick those said albums up. If there is any reason to wonder what all the fuss is about, listen to songs such as Frank and Jesse James, Hasten Down The Wind, Accidently Like A Martyr, Desperadoes Under The Eaves, Mutineer, the rocking cover of Raspberry Beret which has a tendency to linger as does the title song, Boom Boom Mancini, The Indifference of Heaven, and so forth. Of course there is the well known Werewolves of London, and the lesser known but awesome Excitable Boy and the soldier epic Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner (eat your heart out Gordon Lightfoot). The rarities and soundtrack items are a pretty good bonus, and fill in some gaps previously unavailable. The benefit also with this package is the fact that all lyrics are included, as well as a listing of who played on each track, some neat photos and that Warren himself commented on each track in the collection. Cool stuff and highly recommended."
The Incomparable Warren Zevon: Music's Gruff, Sardonic, Mora
mirasreviews | McLean, VA USA | 09/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not familiar with Warren Zevon's studio albums, so I can't say if "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead " has omitted anything essential, but what's here is terrific. This anthology includes 44 songs originally released 1976-1996, representing 12 studio albums plus 4 previously unreleased tracks -3 songs from soundtracks and a previously unreleased version of "Frozen Notes". Zevon's last 3 albums are not represented, as they were recorded later. There are twice as many songs in "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" than in 2002's "Genius: The Best of Warren Zevon", although that album includes 3 tracks that this one doesn't. Bruce Springsteen called Warren Zevon a "moralist in cynic's clothing". Jackson Browne described him as "the first and foremost proponent of song noir". That's a catchy, although vague, way of putting it, but Zevon does approach his themes with a sardonic, fatalistic eye, always personal and introverted, that distinguishes his work. Zevon's lyrics tend toward narrative, are frank and thoughtful, usually unsentimental, though somehow intensely empathetic, with a touch of dark humor and a sharp edge. This anthology of Zevon's great songs and gravelly voice is simply a pleasure.
Disc 1 features 22 songs (1 hour, 15 minutes) from the "Asylum Era", originally recorded 1976-1982. It begins with the folk song "Frank and Jesse James" and moves onto love songs, hard rock, and lighthearted fun. Hits include "Werewolves of London", "Poor Poor Pitiful Me", and "Lawyers, Guns, and Money". "Accidentally Like a Martyr" is a particularly melancholic and moving love song. "The Envoy" and "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" are overtly political but, as always, express their ideas through characters. "Mohammed's Radio" and "Jeanne Needs a Shooter" are live versions.
Disc 2 covers "The Virgin/Giant Era" with another 22 songs (1 hour, 17 minutes) that might be even more eclectic than Disc 1, originally recorded 1987-1996. "You Don't Know What Love Is" and "Searching for a Heart" are both love songs from the "Love At Large" movie soundtrack, but the former is a gravelly, sensual jazz standard, and the latter is gentle and optimistic. Zevon's popular cover of Prince's "Raspberry Beret" gives the song a rough edge, but it's surprisingly more memorable than the original. "Run Straight Down" and "Seminole Bingo" are political. "Mr. Bad Example" is a comical celebration of sociopathic greed to a polka tune. Three previously unreleased songs from television soundtracks are the brief "If You Don't Leave Me I'll Find Someone Who Will" from "Route 66", "Real or Not" from "Tek Wars", and "Roll With the Punches" from "Tales from the Crypt". "Reconsider Me" is the single, not album, version. "The French Inhaler" and "The Indifference of Heaven" are live versions.
The CDs are in separate jewel cases inside a cardboard slipcase, along with a companion booklet. The booklet has 5 sections: "Quotes" about Warren Zevon by friends and fellow musicians. "Notes" say a little about the story behind each song. "Lyrics" provide lyrics and writing credits for all the songs. "Track Information" lists the musicians for each track. "Album Information" supplies catalog numbers, producers, and technical personnel for the albums and soundtracks. There is also a letter from friend and author Hunter S. Thompson, now deceased."
What a Guy
Brad Shorr | Geneva, IL USA | 01/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Warren Zevon is an incredible song writer, and this CD is as good an anthology of his work as you could ask for--I think much more comprehensive and representative than "Genius". In particular, I like the inclusion of the "Learning to Flinch" version of "The French Inhaler", which is superior to the studio version, and a couple tracks from "Stand in the Fire." (I wish they would have included more from that album, like "Werewolves" and "Lawyers, Guns, and Money", not only because they're great renditions, but because SITF is incomprehensibly unavailable in CD.) Anyway, Zevon's produced so much great material it's hard to know where to draw the line. This CD is solid start to finish."