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Mr Bad Example


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Audio CD, October 15, 1991
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 15, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Giant Records (Warner)
  • ASIN: B000002L0K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,628 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Finishing Touches
2. Suzie Lightning
3. Model Citizen
4. Angel Dressed In Black
5. Mr. Bad Example
6. Renegade
7. Heartache Spoken Here - Dwight Yoakam
8. Quite Ugly One Morning
9. Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead
10. Searching For A Heart

Editorial Reviews

Available again since 1991

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
17
4 star
9
3 star
2
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0
1 star
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See all 28 customer reviews
Soft,sweet yet, once again very bitter.
BILLY RUBIN
Its subject matter is simple enough, and it rarely rhymes.
Ethan Straffin
"Mr. Bad Example" is the quintessential Warren Zevon song.
L. M. Seitz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By William J. Mertens on August 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This 1991 disc was unavailable for years. It's great to see that it's come back.
This has to be one of the strongest efforts across the span of Zevon's career (and it's unbearably sad that after The Wind, we won't be hearing his unique voice - as vocalist or songwriter - again). Everything that defined Zevon's greatness is here.
I agree that Finishing Touches is a terrific song (though some of the lyrics are un-airable). The assortment of personas that Zevon assumed in his songs was unmatched, and a good sample of them are here. There's the cheerful sociopath of the title song, sung to an upbeat, bouncy tune ("I opened up an agency somewhere down the line/ To hire aboriginals to work the opal mines/ But I attached their wages and took a whopping cut/ And whisked away their workman's comp and pauperized the lot.... I'm thinking of retiring from all my dirty deals/ See you in the next life, wake me up for meals.") There's the upstanding but despairing suburban dad in Model Citizen, the one with the Craftsman lathe in the basement and a head swarming with other dark thoughts ("When I feel the pressure/ And I need a break/ Load up the Winnebago/ Drive it in the lake.") And there are more.
One of Zevon's trademarks has been the phantasmagoric and apocalyptic hard rock number, and that's represented here in Quite Ugly One Morning. ("Quite ugly one morning/ We all said goodnight/ It came without a warning /Just a flash of light.")
And then there are two really first-rate softer and gentler songs, one the country-tinged Heartache Spoken Here (with Dwight Yoakam), and then Searching for a Heart, which is as fine a pop or rock song of the type as anyone has ever written or sung. Really.
If you know and like Zevon but don't have this disc, get it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By BILLY RUBIN on June 6, 2005
Format: Audio CD
As the first bars of the somewhat uncharacteristically heavy riff of "Finishing Touches" fill your ears, you know that you are going to have 45 minutes or so of thrills and maybe the odd surprise. The opening track continues to grow verse by verse, chorus by chorus with one of Waddy Wachtel's trade-mark guitar solos punctuating the musical melee with power and panache.

Zevon's vocal is of course perfect in tone and in delivery of the familiarly bitter lyric.

"Suzi Lightning" comes next. A beautiful pop ballad with a less than sunny lyric,it is a deseptivaly dark song

"Model Citizen" is a song that seems to have been written by a man on the very edge of madness. The thought of a man showing his children a lathe infering a threat when they have been naughty is sinister in the extreme. Another example of the genius of WZ.

Next we are taken to the seedy side of Mr Zevon's LA with "Angel dressed in black". As he talks of sitting smoking crack you can almost smell the damp and filth in whatever hellhole the scene is set. Musically it is rememisent of early 1980's new-wave with Waddy Wachtel's production spinning a strange but effective web of sound regularly opening out into the catchy pop chorus. A delight, all be it a frustrating one.

So, to the title track. "Mr Bad Example" is to all intents and purposes a masterpiece. The wit and humour of the lyric are unsurpassed in modern popular music and it is a rare joy to hear two of the world's finest drummers, Jim Keltner and the late Jeff Porcaro, playing so intricately on such an up tempo yet strangely subtle track.

Next is the beautiful "Renegade". Soft,sweet yet, once again very bitter. A song of sadness and of lost dreams.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 7, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is one of WZ's most overlooked albums. "Suzie Lightning" shows what an underrated balladeer he is, but for my money the couplet in Model Citizen is worth the price of admission: "Down in the basement, got a Craftsman lathe; Show it to the children, when they misbehave." Not advice we'd hear from Drs. Phil or Laura. But Dr. Zevon? Oh yes. And there's much more. We'll miss you Doc.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Thoresen on June 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD
now that we know warren is soon to leave us, i feel compelled, as an obsessed wz fan, to tell like i hear it. this is one of the best albums of all time. it has all the zevon traits i love. wit, humor, sarcasm, lost love. there is a bitterness (regret) and a tenderness (hope) that few songwriters ever achieve. next in line is 'mutineer' and 'life'll kill ya'. i can't belive he'll be gone soon. i look forward to 'the wind', already in the can. take care warren and see you in the next life...and don't be late.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Packham on March 23, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is a much darker album from Zevon. Generally his subject matter is fairly dark anyway, but here he gets a little nasty. It's nice. The caustic 'Finishing Touches' and the placid anger in 'Model Citizen' set the tone, and the beautiful 'Searching for a Heart' ironically ends the album. Its subject is looking for love in all the wrong places, thinking of it in all the wrong ways - "you can't start it like a car, you can't stop it with a gun." This song encapsulates the whole theme and feel of the album: dysfunctional people, bad examples.

For such a popular artist, it mystifies me why there's four Zevon CDs that are out of print. By a freak of nature my half-brother had this in his collection, and I couldn't believe my luck.

Why can't there be a re-release of 'The Envoy', 'Stand in the Fire', 'Mr. Bad Example' and 'Hindu Love Gods'? There's definitely a market for them.
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