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Excitable Boy

122 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Excitable Boy + The Wind + Genius: Best of Warren Zevon
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Zevon's 1977 smash on CD or vinyl! Lawyers, Guns and Money; Werewolves of London, and more!

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With this 1978 LP, Warren Zevon stepped forward as something of the dark prince of California. Like fellow Southern California outcast Randy Newman, Zevon achieved some fame, albeit not what his talent would have earned him had he written songs more like his mellower pal Jackson Browne and a little less like Jack the Ripper in a convertible. Fascinated with bloodthirsty antiheroes, Zevon wrote with the flair of a desperately bright pulp writer and summoned images of mutilated mercenaries ("Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner"), pampered bad boys ("Lawyers, Guns and Money"), helpless sickos (the title track), and, of course, feral Chinese-food fiends ("Werewolves of London"). Excitable Boy's 1976 predecessor (Warren Zevon) may be a more consistent album, but this is the one that put Zevon in the public consciousness as someone to keep an eye on--for protection as well as promise. --Steven Stolder

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

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002GW7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,264 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Tim Brough VINE VOICE on March 31, 2007
Format: Audio CD
More than anyone else in the whole El Lay songwriter movement of the late seventies, Warren Zevon had absolutely no problem with getting a good laugh at the expense of the insularity of it all. And on his second proper album, he took the whole scene and turned it properly on its backside. "Excitable Boy" threw in a mix of werewolves, mercenaries, drug abusers and paranoid spoiled brats, yet while frequently offering exceptional tenderness and insight. It was easy to see why Jackson Browne was his mentor and Linda Ronstadt his patron angel.

A song as reckless as the album's title track could come from nothing less than genius. The chirpy sweet background vocals and sugary melody buoy the dark tale of a murderous high school student who kills on the night of his junior prom. "Hotel California" this most certainly wasn't. At the same time, "Accidentally Like a Martyr," with its stately piano line, encompasses the horror of a sunken love affair in barely three and a half minutes. These juxtapositions carry all the way through "Excitable Boy," with only one misstep in the CD's nine songs (the forced funk of "Nighttime In The Switching Yard").

Warren Zevon made several other great albums, but "Excitable Boy" was the moment that his youthful exuberance and a mind uncluttered by too many foreign substances produced a stunner. As a document of the California Sound that Elektra/Asylum records was known for in the seventies, this is indispensable.

The remaster is stunning. The piano to "Accidentally Like A Martyr" just leaps out of the mix (where before it seemed kind of flat). The same can be said for "Nighttime In The Switching Yard." What originally sounded compressed now sounds so much livelier. The bonus tracks are only so-so, with the alternate take of "Werewolves" being somewhat interesting and "I Need A Truck' humorous but unnecessary. What you really want here is the original album, and "Excitable Boy" is worth the remastered wait.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Lance G. Rigley on September 18, 2003
Format: Audio CD
What would you the listener put on his tombstone.."Send Lawyers Guns and Money..Here Lies An American Original,An American Songwriter".It pained me to learn of the death of Warren Zevon last week,dead from inoperable lung cancer..but the legacy he left in his collection of songs,and in particular,in this collection,makes him one of the true mavericks,one of the most interesting of performers and writers of the late 20th century.
To celebrate Warren Zevon is to understand that he produced recordings with a bent, a unique perspective on life and in this album, love and death.
The previous album,"Warren Zevon" was consistently delivered with great songs,but it was with the release of "Excitable Boy" in 1978 that he launched his career into the mainstream and scored his most commerical success with the quirky and infectiously irresistable *Werewolves of London*
From the very first listening,and with a song book that showcased the weird,the macabre,the wasted ,the historical,the romantic,the dark and the witty,this had something for everyone.
There will probably never again be a songwriter who can flipantly recount the behaviour of a seriously deranged killer,and label it as if he was just"a very naughty boy" as in the title track,and then produce the perfectly crafted and achingly poignant *Accidently Like A Martyr*.This original card carrying West Coast rocker,the thinking man's Eagles with the dark sense of humour,delivered a memorable song canvas.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By dale caudwell on July 9, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I've always felt that some gifted musicians were never given the full exposure they needed to go to the next level. Although Warren Zevon has experienced a truly great career, I think he can take to heart that a lot of people really enjoy listening to his music. One of the best albums to be released in the 70's was Zevons "Ëxcitable Boy".
This was another record I heard on a local FM station who would have "Album Hour" every night. They would play new LP's by well known or obscure talents. When this album came on, I had no idea who the artist was nor had I heard anything similar. The vocals were gruff and somewhat reserved. The sound was deep rooted and together. From the opening tune "Johnny Strikes up the Band" I felt that this was worth hanging around for. Warren exposes himself as a decent song writer and pocess' somewhat of an imagination. Great arrangements on the songs gives substance to the lyrics. Excellent musicians fill out the rest. Great cuts to listen to over and over, "Lawyers, Guns and Money", Night Time in the Swiutching Yard", "Tenderness on the Block" and the stalwart "Werewolves of London".
All the songs here are very well done and Warren Zevon is without question on par with the best. This album I feel really was a true gem. If you like this, try "My Ride's Here". All in all "Good Music".
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By elvistcob@lvcm.com on June 10, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I remember when this first came out, Rolling Stone called him "The New Contender". They put this album on par with the best of Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and Jackson Browne as far as songwriting ability goes. Well, this single album is as good as those, and career-wise, he's on par with at least Jackson Browne. But while he did come out with very good material both before and after this, he never cranked out enough great stuff afterwards to be considered the Best of the Best.
So revel in this one, as it's his masterpiece. With piano being his primary instrument, and penchant for songs not playing with a full deck, he is on par with Jerry Lee Lewis as far as rock and roll performing goes (I've seen them both live, and that part is true). The song "Excitable Boy" is a true gem to see if you can ever see him live. "Lawyers, Guns, and Money" does point out what "Excitable" behavior leads to. And of course the immortal "Werewolves of London" keeps one howling long after the song is done.
But like Lewis, he also does hearfelt ballads very well, and these outnumber the faster paced songs on the album 5-4. While "Roland the Headless Thomson Gunner" keeps him in the wacky category, "Accidently Like a Martyr" is a genuinely sad song about lost love. However, my favorite song of the entire album is "Tenderness on the Block". It deals with the issue that all parents eventually have to face, which is when to finally let your children find out about life. While I don't necessarily think it means letting them join a street gang, it does point out that kids have a mind of their own, and eventually they will have to learn how to use it. I thought so over twenty years ago, and now with kids of my own, I'm forcing myself to keep agreeing with it.
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Topic From this Discussion
This edition's version of Tule's Blues vs. Preludes version
Sure you've found the answer by now, but just noticed the question.

There are two versions, Preludes version is piano only and sounds like a demo. The "Wanted Dead or Alive" is a band and fully flushed out. That and "She Quit Me" to have long been the great songs off that...
Dec 15, 2013 by Cain Knobel |  See all 2 posts
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