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Warren Zevon - Warren Zevon

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Warren Zevon

Warren Zevon

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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.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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Warren Zevon

Warren Zevon

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1
Frank and Jesse James
00:04:37

Jackson Browne, Producer - Waddy Wachtel, Guitar - Warren Zevon, Composer, Lyricist, Piano, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Phil Everly, Harmony Vocals - BOB GLAUB, Bass Guitar - David Lindley, Banjo - Larry Zack, Drums

© 1976 Elektra Records ℗ 1976 Elektra Entertainment for United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

2
Mama Couldn't Be Pursuaded
00:02:57

Jackson Browne, Producer, Harmony Vocals - J. D. SOUTHER, Harmony Vocals - Waddy Wachtel, Guitar - Warren Zevon, Composer, Lyricist, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist - BOB GLAUB, Bass Guitar - David Lindley, Banjo - Larry Zack, Drums

© 1976 Elektra Records ℗ 1976 Elektra Entertainment for United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

3
Backs Turned Looking Down the Path
00:02:31

Jackson Browne, Producer, Slide Guitar, Harmony Vocals - Lindsey Buckingham, Guitar - Warren Zevon, Composer, Lyricist, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist - Gary Mallaber, Drums - Marty David, Bass Guitar

© 1976 Elektra Records ℗ 1976 Elektra Entertainment for United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

4
Hasten Down the Wind
00:03:00

Jackson Browne, Producer - Waddy Wachtel, Guitar - Warren Zevon, Piano, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Phil Everly, Harmony Vocals - BOB GLAUB, Bass Guitar - David Lindley, Banjo - Larry Zack, Drums

© 1976 Elektra Records ℗ 1976 Elektra Entertainment for United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

5
Poor Poor Pitiful Me
00:03:06

Jackson Browne, Producer - Lindsey Buckingham, Harmony Vocals - Jai Winding, Piano - Waddy Wachtel, Guitar - Warren Zevon, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - BOB GLAUB, Bass Guitar - David Lindley, Banjo - Bobby Keys, Saxophone - Larry Zack, Drums

© 1976 Elektra Records ℗ 1976 Elektra Entertainment for United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

6
The French Inhaler
00:03:45

Jackson Browne, Producer - Waddy Wachtel, Guitar - Warren Zevon, Composer, Lyricist, Piano, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Glenn Frey, Harmony Vocals - DON HENLEY, Harmony Vocals - BOB GLAUB, Bass Guitar - David Lindley, Banjo - Larry Zack, Drums

© 1976 Elektra Records ℗ 1976 Elektra Entertainment for United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

7
Mohammed's Radio
00:03:43

Jackson Browne, Producer - Stevie Nicks, Harmony Vocals - Waddy Wachtel, Guitar - BONNIE RAITT, Harmony Vocals - Warren Zevon, Composer, Lyricist, Piano, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - BOB GLAUB, Bass Guitar - David Lindley, Slide Guitar - Bobby Keys, Saxophone - Larry Zack, Drums

© 1976 Elektra Records ℗ 1976 Elektra Entertainment for United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

8
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
00:03:00

Jackson Browne, Producer - Jorge Calderón, Harmony Vocals - Waddy Wachtel, Guitar - Warren Zevon, Composer, Lyricist, Piano, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - David Lindley, Banjo - Roy MArinell, Bass Guitar - Gary Mallaber, Drums

© 1976 Elektra Records ℗ 1976 Elektra Entertainment for United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

9
Carmelita
00:03:35

Jackson Browne, Producer - Waddy Wachtel, Guitar - Warren Zevon, Composer, Lyricist, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist - Glenn Frey, Acoustic Guitar - BOB GLAUB, Bass Guitar - David Lindley, Banjo - Larry Zack, Drums

© 1976 Elektra Records ℗ 1976 Asylum/Elektra Records for United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

10
Join Me in L.A.
00:03:19

Jackson Browne, Producer, Piano - Jai Winding, Organ - Ned Doheny, Guitar - BONNIE RAITT, Harmony Vocals - Warren Zevon, Composer, Lyricist, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Rosemary Butler, Harmony Vocals - BOB GLAUB, Bass Guitar - Bobby Keys, Saxophone - Larry Zack, Drums

© 1976 Elektra Records ℗ 1976 Elektra Entertainment for United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

11
Desperados Under the Eaves
00:04:48

Jackson Browne, Producer, Harmony Vocals - Waddy Wachtel, Guitar - Carl Wilson, Arranger, Harmony Vocals - Warren Zevon, Composer, Lyricist, Piano, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - BOB GLAUB, Bass Guitar - Larry Zack, Drums

© 1976 Elektra Records ℗ 1976 Elektra Entertainment for United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

Album Description

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.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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