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Vinyl, Original recording remastered, March 24, 2009
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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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this bad boy does good...very talented..best album he did...he had Jackson Browne behind himPublished 14 days ago by D. madden
It came to me in mint condition with original CD jacket. I was very satisfiedPublished 3 months ago by Roland Paquette
Audiophile quality!!?!??! First and foremost, having a heavy pressed vinyl is irrelevant if the quality of the pressing is bad. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Erik
|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