Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
No Description Available No Track Information Available Media Type: CD Artist: ZEVON,WARREN Title: WARREN ZEVON Street Release Date: 05/19/1992
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No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Title: WARREN ZEVON
Street Release Date: 05/19/1992
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The Excitable Boy Comes Out Swinging
benshlomo | Los Angeles, CA USA | 09/21/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I just got the bad news - Warren Zevon has inoperable lung cancer.This seems like a good time to reconsider his output over the years, particularly this opening shot. He had recorded before, but in later years mentioned that earliest effort as having been withdrawn at his request because of "a sudden attack of taste". Let us therefore, as per the man's request, begin here.Just what was the Excitable Boy up to in 1976? For openers, of course, he wasn't the Excitable Boy yet - that came with his next album, which exploded onto the radio with "Werewolves of London" and made him a star. In 1976 he was, to all appearances, just another singer-songwriter discovered by Jackson Browne and contracted to Asylum Records. Dig a little deeper, though, and you learn he really wasn't anything of the sort.He was into imagery from film noir and old westerns. He liked black humor and firearms. He wrote songs that could just as easily have been novels or movies, given a few more details, and they were a lot tougher-minded than anything the rest of the Asylum roster came up with. He had a stoner's long hair, but he dressed in suits and ties onstage, and although we didn't learn about it until later his drug of choice was alcohol. He had played piano for the latter-day Everly Brothers, and he blended his rock with country and classical themes.On his first Asylum album he combined all those elements into eleven songs from all over the map, and then he ordered them in such a way that they told a story. That's what makes the title of this album so intriguing - there's nothing new about a musician naming his first album after himself, but in this case the songs follow the life of a young man from a rootless background, presumably named "Warren Zevon" (not the real Warren Zevon, of course), as he tries to find a home.This fictional "Warren Zevon" has a mother from the South, probably Missouri ("Frank and Jesse James"). She marries a traveling gambler against her parents' advice ("Mama Couldn't Be Persuaded") and eventually settles with her young son in California. The boy, having grown up on the road, seeks security in his first serious relationship ("Backs Turned Looking Down the Path"), but learns to his dismay that he has chosen a girl who refuses to be tied down ("Hasten Down the Wind"). He throws himself into a series of casual affairs, but finds them painful and demeaning. Although he tries to laugh off his dismay ("Poor Poor Pitiful Me"), he comes to realize that he's only making himself feel worse ("The French Inhaler"). He moves to a smaller town, apparently on one side or the other of the Mexican border, hoping to find sense of belonging. Unfortunately, the local poverty and oppression make any sort of friendship impossible there except through the distant sounds of music ("Mohammed's Radio"). Disillusioned, he falls back into his old hell-raising habits ("I'll Sleep When I'm Dead") and gets hooked on heroin. He moves back to Los Angeles with a new girlfriend ("Carmelita"), but the drug becomes more important to him than she ("Join Me in L.A."). When she leaves him, he finally finds the strength to kick, but this leaves him alone in a cheap motel, staring at the sea and wondering what sort of future he can possibly build ("Desperados Under the Eaves").I have no idea whether or not the real Warren Zevon intended this as a concept album (probably not) but it works that way, particularly because of his unmistakable voice - that deep, powerful but strangely insecure instrument that wept through his ballads and clowned through his jokes until he learned about head tones a few years after this. In addition to his singing, of course, is his undeniable talent for songwriting and for the piano. Hints of mariachi, heavy metal, pre-Civil War pop and baroque instrumentals float all over this disc, culminating in, of all things, a sea chantey in the final fadeout.Zevon's talent is so widespread, in fact, that it occasionally runs away with him here. A few of these songs drift a little, with no clear structure - for pop tunes, they are impossible to hum. This is a minor quibble, though, especially considering what happened to Zevon after "Werewolves of London" hit and he had to fight the tendency to give us a whole series of novelty tunes. Remarkably, he resisted the urge - he dried out, concentrated on his serious work, and even (most miraculously) kept his sense of humor. That's what makes this news of his illness so sad - it's just not fair that a man who's conquered so much of himself should now have to fight his own body.On the evidence of his first mature record, though, he'll be okay. Win or lose, "Warren Zevon" is the work of a man who likes a good fight. I wish him luck, and if he should God forbid lose this battle, St. Peter had better put on the gloves and raise his guard.Benshlomo says, The real fighters are never defeated."
Equalled, perhaps, but never outdone
John Stodder | livin' just enough | 01/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Warren Zevon's first album is his most brilliant and musically tasty. There is nothing like that ending, the "air conditioner hum" heard by the Desperados Under the Eaves. The simple imagery of "Frank and Jesse James." The lived-in "French Inhaler." Plus the proto-versions of the later Linda Ronstadt hits "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" and "Hasten Down the Wind." He got famous with his next one, "Excitable Boy," but if you like Zevon, this is the one you need."
Blossoming Under the Eaves
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 09/18/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When Warren Zevon got the chance to make his first real album, he was more than prepared. He had a couple misfires ("Wanted Dead Or Alive" and the Lyme and Cybelle sessions) that you can easily pass up, but like John Mellencamp, he learned from the experience and came back strong. Although the associations with Jackson Browne and Linda Ronstadt drew in many first (including me), "Warren Zevon" had less to do with the whole Southern California scene and more to do with great western novels and hard-boiled film noir detective stories. "Frank And Jessie James" put that notion to the fore immediately, as the heroes' exploits are chronicled in a very literary manner. (It is also a precursor to the more outlandish "Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner.") There was less of the dreamy romanticism of Jackson or the Eagles and a much tougher edge to a ballad like "Carmalita" and her wretched loser of a heroin addict boyfriend, and a heck of a lot more genuine pain to "Hasten Down The Wind." Even sweeteners like the Beach Boys chiming in at the end of "Desperados Under The Eaves" couldn't take away from the rapier wit of the writing.Warren's ironic sense of humor surfaces most clearly on "Poor Poor Pitiful Me." Complete with Lindsay Buckingham's exuberant background vocal and a hall of fame lyric that rhymed "gender" with a "Waring blender." Lest we not forget the racy final verse - the one Linda left off the hit version - and Warren's admonishment at the song's end to "never mind!" rather than describe the experience. There were enough endearing moments of such contradictory genius that I remember being floored when I first bought this album in the seventies, and being in high anticipation of his next."