Warren Zevon - Warren Zevon (1976) (2CD Collector's Edit 2008)

Warren Zevon - Warren Zevon (1976) (2CD Collector's Edit 2008)

Warren Zevon was a ten-year music industry veteran who had written songs for the Turtles, backed up Phil Everly, done years of session work and been befriended by Jackson Browne by the time he cut his self-titled album in 1976 (which wasn't his debut, though the less said about 1969's misbegotten Wanted Dead or Alive the better). Even though Warren Zevon was on good terms with L.A.'s Mellow Mafia, he sure didn't think (or write) like any of his pals in the Eagles or Fleetwood Mac; Zevon's music was full of blood, bile, and mean-spirited irony, and the glossy surfaces of Jackson Browne's production failed to disguise the bitter heart of the songs on Warren Zevon. The album opened with a jaunty celebration of a pair of Old West thieves and gunfighters ("Frank and Jesse James"), and went on to tell remarkable, slightly unnerving tales of ambitious pimps ("The French Inhaler"), lonesome junkies ("Carmelita"), wired, hard-living lunatics ("I'll Sleep When I'm Dead"), and truly dastardly womanizers ("Poor Poor Pitiful Me"), and even Zevon's celebrations of life in Los Angeles, long a staple of the soft rock genre, had both a menace and an epic sweep his contemporaries could never match ("Join Me in L.A." and "Desperados Under the Eaves"). But for all their darkness, Zevon's songs also possessed a steely intelligence, a winning wit, and an unusually sophisticated melodic sense, and he certainly made the most of the high-priced help who backed him on the album. Warren Zevon may not have been the songwriter's debut, but it was the album that confirmed he was a major talent, and it remains a black-hearted pop delight. [Rhino Records released a remastered and expanded version of Warren Zevon in late 2008, with the original album accompanied by a bonus disc of demos, alternate takes, and live performances. The early demos confirm that Zevon's creative vision was clearly in place long before he had the budget to make a "real" album, and the 1974 recording of "Carmelita" boasts an extra verse that didn't make it to its "official" recording. Otherwise, the alternate material is often rougher and less precise than what made the final cut, which sometimes works in its favor and occasionally does not, though even the weakest of the archival performances are intriguing -- especially when he invites a lady friend to "geeze some Octomol" during " Join Me in L.A." -- and Zevon is in fine voice. The remastered version of the original album sounds excellent -- clear enough that you can hear the workings of the piano's pedals on "Frank and Jesse James" -- and the new liner notes by Bob Mehr are smart and revealing. Warren Zevon still ranks with the artist's best and most lasting work, and this new edition treats it like the landmark it truly is.]... M. Deming

320 @
210 MB


CD 1

01 Frank and Jesse James 4:33
02 Mama Couldn't Be Persuaded 2:53
03 Backs Turned Looking Down the Path 2:27
04 Hasten Down the Wind 2:58
05 Poor, Poor Pitiful Me 3:04
06 The French Inhaler 3:44
07 Mohammed's Radio 3:40
08 I'll Sleep When I'm Dead 2:56
09 Carmelita 3:32
10 Join Me in L.A. 3:13
11 Desperados Under the Eaves 4:45

CD 2 (Bonus)

01 Frank and Jesse James Solo Piano Demo 4:38
02 The French Inhaler Solo Piano Demo 3:23
03 Hasten Down the Wind Band Demo 2:49
04 Carmelita 1974 Demo 3:58
05 Mohammed's Radio Solo Piano Demo 2:52
06 Backs Turned Looking Down the Path Take 1 2:33
07 Join Me in L.A. Take 2 4:22
08 Poor Poor Pitiful Me Alternate Version 3:23
09 Frank and Jesse James Alternate Version 4:41
10 Mohammed's Radio Take 2 4:01
11 The French Inhaler Take 1 3:48
12 Carmelita Alternate Version 3:38
13 Desperados Under the Eaves Take 2 4:13
14 Mama Couldn't Be Persuaded Live 2:01
15 I'll Sleep When I'm Dead Alternate Version 3:06


Anonymous said...

Great post! Wish it included the password.

samantha said...