Archive for Warren Zevon

Great Rock Albums of 1980: Warren Zevon- Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School

Posted in 1978, 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, video games with tags , , , , , on August 30, 2013 by 80smetalman

Warren_Zevon_-_Bad_Luck_Streak_in_Dancing_School

I plead guilty to the fact that when you hear an album from a particular artist, you expect their next album to be pretty much exactly the same and you are a bit disappointed when it’s not. However, I know I’m not the only one. This was the case when I heard this 1980 release from Warren Zevon. His 1978 album “Excitable Boy” had me rolling on the floor in stiches with songs like “Excitable Boy” and “Lawyers, Guns and Money.” Even the hit single “Werewolves of London” deeply amused me. However, I can’t say the same with “Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School.” None of the songs had me laughing the same way and maybe that was a good thing. I now appreciate how good of a musician Warren Zevon actually is.

Okay, so the album wasn’t as hilarious as its predecessor. The most amusing songs on the album are “Jeannie Needs a Shooter” (co written with Bruce Springsteen) and “Gorilla, You’re a Desperado” and then there’s the song “Play It All Night Long” which satirizes the famous Lynyrd Skynyrd tune “Sweet Home Alabama.” The rest of the album just contains some decent songs which are still enjoyable to listen to. It leaves me to conclude that Warren Zevon never got the recognition he deserved for his talents as a singer, musician and song writer. Furthermore, he puts a good band behind him and there are contributions on the album from Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Glen Frey, Don Henley, Don Felder and Joe Walsh to name a few.

Track Listing:

1. Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School

2. A Certain Girl

3. Jungle Work

4. Empty Handed Heart

5. Interlude No.1

6. Play It All Night Long

7. Jeannie Needs a Shooter

8. Interlude No. 2.

9. Bill Lee

10. Gorilla, You’re a Desperado

11.Bed of Coals

12. Wild Age

warren

Warren Zevon- vocals, piano, bass, guitar, organ, synthesiser, keyboards, harmonica

Jorge Calderon- guitar, vocals

David Lindley- guitar, violin, steel guitar

Rick Marotta- drums, percussion, bells, vocals

If you fancy a listen to a decent light hearted rock album, than this one is a sure thing. There are some amusing moments on it with some good songs to get into. I know, I’ll be checking out more of Warren Zevon’s work in the future.

Next post: Heart- Bebe Le Strange

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1978: Warren Zevon- Excitable Boy

Posted in 1978, Humour, Music with tags , , , , , on January 28, 2012 by 80smetalman

Back in the days of 1978, my idea of humour in music was Frank Zappa and songs that I listened to on the Dr Demento show on a Sunday evening. I listened to songs from the latter because I was amused by the funny lyrics and not because I thought the song rocked. In my mind, Frank Zappa was the only person whom I thought could rock and and be humourous at the same time. Then in June of that year, a friend of mine played the title track of Warren Zevon, “Excitable Boy” and my views then changed.

Warren Zevon brought a fresh new sound to rock with this album and showed that you can have funny lyrics and a rock sound. I wonder if the likes of Steel Panther were influenced here but there is no evidence to suggest this. Back to the topic, the single “Werewolves of London” paved the way to commercial success as hit reached number 21 in the charts allowing me and others to sample the other delights the album has to offer. Most of his songs were parodies, such as “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” which takes a rip out of Cold War paranoia. This album provides a good laugh as well as a good listen.

Track Listing:

1. Johnny Strikes Up the Band

2. Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner

3. Excitable Boy

4. Werewolves of London

5. Accidentally Like a Martyr

6. Nighttime in the Switching Yard

7. Veracruz

8. Tenderness on the Block

9. Lawyers, Guns and Money

Warren Zevon- organ, synthesiser, piano, guitar, bass and vocals

Jorge Calderon- harmony vocals, Spanish vocals on Veracruz

Danny Kootch Kortchmar- guitar

Russ Kunkel- drums

The album also included many guest artists such as Jackson Browne and Mick Fleetwood. “Excitable Boy” has always been one of my favourite humourous musical album, probably second to Weird Al Yankovick who I’ll be visiting much further down the line. Later in 1978, Dr Demento began playing songs from this album on his show, which just shows how good it is.

Next post: Todd Rundgren- Hermit of Mink Hollow

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Froogle and Barnes & Noble