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A Quiet Normal Life - The Best of Warren Zevon

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Editors’ Notes

Warren Zevon’s catalog of tunes is deep and wise. While each of his separate studio and live albums are worth collecting, A Quiet Normal Life does a nice job of quickly summarizing his long tortured career. Zevon wrote stories to sleep on and many turned into irresistible nightmares. “Excitable Boy” is pretty much a description of Zevon himself, a man who tested the limits of all those around him, while “Lawyers, Guns and Money” is perfectly paranoid in its dissipation into drugs and violence (though it should be noted this is the studio version and radio edit and not the definitive live version available on Stand In the Fire). “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner” is a terror. “Werewolves of London” is, of course, the Zevon anthem best known to listeners everywhere. However, there are great treats hiding in plain view: the rancorous “Play It All Night Long,” the free and easy Los Angeles studio flow of “Accidentally Like a Martyr” and “Looking for the Next Best Thing,” where Zevon’s considerable talents solider from the dark ground to a blaze of sun all with the feeling of being done effortlessly.

Customer Reviews


this is really good music. two thumbs up to warren.

Neither One

Zevon's life was anything but either, but this serves as an introduction to his work. It draws heavily from the Excitable Boy album, and includes three of my favorite songs, Accidentally Like a Martyr, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead and Ain't That Pretty At All. It does, however, miss almost all of his later career. Think of this as mainstream Warren.

Sentimental Hygiene??

Where is the album Sentimental Hygiene? These are great Zevon standards but after this in 1987 he released the aforementioned album with the title track and a better Boom Boom Mancini version. The whole album is awesome.


Born: January 24, 1947 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Few of rock & roll's great misanthropes were as talented, as charming, or as committed to their cynicism as Warren Zevon. A singer and songwriter whose music often dealt with outlaws, mercenaries, sociopaths, and villains of all stripes, Zevon's lyrics displayed a keen and ready wit despite their often uncomfortable narrative circumstances, and while he could write of love and gentler emotions, he did so with the firm conviction that such stories rarely end happily. Though he frequently worked with...
Full Bio