In an effort to honor the legendary singer/songwriter, Excitable Boy has been remastered and expanded. Originally produced in 1983, this album contains such signature hits as "Werewolf in London," "Excitable Boy," and "Lawyers, Guns and Money" as well as new liner notes by David Fricke.
It's really too bad that Warren Zevon had to die before hearing how spectacular his albums sounded in these latter-day remasters. Excitable Boy
remains his best-known document, awash with blood and guts (especially on the horror-laden title track) and a famous, phenomenal touch of lycanthropy. The trick is in Zevon's ironic distance, his dispatch of killer narratives that touch on mercenary internationalism and undeserved indulgence in due course. Zevon's writing is musically simple--pianos and guitars and mid-tempo pacing--and those touches here only underscore how crisp the remastering sounds. To wit: The raucous undertow of "Lawyers, Guns, and Money" is delirious and ironically rhapsodic. As for "Werewolves of London," it's here twice (once in the expanded rack of four additional tunes) in all its tilted glory. As for the other extra content, "I Need a Truck" is the short gem, a 50-second a cappella litany of Zevon's raffish ways: "I need a truck to haul my percodan and gin" and one to "haul the womens from my bed," he sings... followed by this apt note, "I need a truck to haul my body when I'm dead." He had a mordant side. --Andrew Bartlett