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Excitable Boy

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Album Review

Warren Zevon's self-titled 1976 album announced he was one of the most striking talents to emerge from the Los Angeles soft rock singer/songwriter community, and Linda Ronstadt (a shrewd judge of talent if a sometimes questionable interpreter) recorded three of its songs on two of her biggest-selling albums, which doubtlessly earned Zevon bigger royalty checks than the album itself ever did. But if Warren Zevon was an impressive calling card, the follow-up, Excitable Boy, was an actual hit, scoring one major hit single, "Werewolves of London," and a trio of turntable hits ("Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner," "Lawyers, Guns and Money," and the title track). But while Excitable Boy won Zevon the larger audience his music certainly deserved, the truth is it was a markedly inferior album; while it had all the bile of Warren Zevon, and significantly raised Zevon's dark-humor factor, it was often obvious where his previous album had been subtle, and while all 11 tracks on Warren Zevon were strong and compelling, two of the nine tunes on Excitable Boy — "Johnny Strike Up the Band" and "Nighttime in the Switching Yard" — sound like they're just taking up space. Musically, most of Excitable Boy is stuck in a polished but unexceptional FM pop groove, and only "Veracruz" hints at the artful intelligence of Warren Zevon's finest moments. It's hard to say if Zevon was feeling uninspired or just dumbing himself down when he made Excitable Boy, but while it made him famous, it lacks the smarts and substance of his best work.

Customer Reviews

A genuinely original man

An amazing effort from one of the most imaginative and emotionally twisted songwriters in pop music history.

All time Great !!!`

Are you kidding me ?Warren Zevon,R.I.P. Great songwriter and perforner.Never saw hin live, and i regret it. My brother did R.I.P., he new the good stuff.
Like a bunch of Zevon's stuff, this being right there in the midle of it all. God bless the departed, for they all had qualities in there own way !
Excitedable boy and J. strikes up the band, classic album ! Enjoy every sandwich ( one of his last sentiments ). Just check it out already.

Biography

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
Excitable Boy, Warren Zevon
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