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Preludes: Rare and Unreleased Recordings

Warren ZevonAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Price: $18.84 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Preludes: Rare and Unreleased Recordings + Learning to Flinch + Life'll Kill Ya
Price for all three: $34.45

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 1, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: New West Records
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,803 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Empty Hearted Town (3:05) (solo piano)
2. Steady Rain (4:23) (full band)
3. Join Me In L.A. (2:33) (solo guitar)
4. Hasten Down The Wind (2:34) (solo piano)
5. Werewolves Of London (3:36) (full band)
6. Tule's Blues (3:08) (solo piano)
7. The French Inhaler (3:34) (solo guitar)
8. Going All The Way (2:19) (full band)
9. Poor Poor Pitiful Me (3:12) (full band)
10. Studebaker (2:23) (solo piano)
See all 16 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
2. Warren speaks on songwriting and the early days of his career (7:14)
3. Musings on mortality, song noir and The King of Rock n' Roll (5:07)
4. A chat about producers and the stark sounds on the album Life'll Kill Ya (5:09)
6. Warren's take on Winwood's classic and Warren's inspirations (3:58)
7. Talk of TV, movies, acting and performing (5:14)
8. DON'T LET US GET SICK (3:10) (solo acoustic) Recorded live 12/3/99 at Austin City Limits Studios for 107.1 KGSR Radio Austin 9th Anniversary Concert

Editorial Reviews

After Warren Zevon's death in 2003, his son Jordan was clearing out a storage space when he found a large stash of demos and home recordings Zevon had made before 1976. Winnowed down from many hours of tape, this selection is so satisfying you're left awaiting another volume almost instantly. Preludes has been generously packaged with a booklet overflowing with reminiscences and insight from peers and family, as well as a bonus disc with recent interview extracts and choice selections from 2000's Life'll Kill Ya. The rough sound quality is more than made up for by the performances. Highlights include a speedier, country-punk garage take on "Poor, Poor Pitiful Me" and the original demo of "Werewolves of London," here presented in a slowed-down reggae-ish (and campier) take. Only two of these 16 takes fall flat: the vocals on "Accidentally Like a Martyr" are just too bleak even for Zevon, while the faux-sunshine Eagles-y production on "Ride So High" is interesting but just too anachronistic. The versions of "French Inhaler" and "Carmelita" show Zevon in his angry, post-Dylan singer-songwriter style. It's reminiscent of the best John Cale solo recordings. Poignant, beautiful and bitter, it's no wonder the guy didn't fit in with his California contemporaries. As with Townes Van Zandt, there's something of a great short story in Zevon's songs; confronted with them in all their ragged, stripped-down glory, it's clear what a major talent he was. --Mike McGonigal

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Product Description

Following Warren's death in 2003, his son, Jordan Zevon, discovered 126 unreleased outtakes and demos in a piano-sized touring case. This 2-CD set collects the best of these recordings.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Parting words from the past May 2, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Warren Zevon was a complex guy. I only saw him in concert, heard his music, enjoyed his warped, brilliant, poetic sensibility and view of the world. This excellent collection of outtakes, previously unreleased demos and unreleased songs is just a sampling of his brilliant songwriting and performing skills. When his son Jordan went through his stuff after his death in 2003 he found a case full of reel-to-reel recordings, cassettes and other teasures. He and his sister Ariel have chosen to share these terrific demos with us his fans. While not every track is perfect (how could it be? These are demos!), it's that lack of perfection that makes this collection so perfect, so intimate; it's a performance by one man with no idea they would be released when he did them. As a result, Warren is presents his music without artiface--these songs are as naked and pure (in an emotional sense)as when he first conceived them. Listening to them is like being at the birth of greatness for the best songs on here.

Two discs one featuring 16 (19 if you get this through Best Buy as there are three bonus tracks on their edition)tracks of the essence of the Mutineer. We get demos for "Join Me in L.A.", "Hasten Down the Wind", "The French Inhaler", "Poor Poor Pitiful Me", "Carmelita", "Desperados Under the Eaves" all of which appeared on Warren's second released album ("Warren Zevon").
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ernie Pouttu May 2, 2007
Format:Audio CD
I just picked this up last night thinking that this would relly be suitable for a loyal Warren Zevon fan like me. But what I discovered was really incredible versions of previously released songs and previously unreleased songs that in my opinion are terrific. For anyone that has the DVD of the making of The Wind, this two CD set is a must. Add in the great interviews on the second CD (which I already had from a prior special release) and you have a great package that will be enjoyed by WZ fans and those are coming later to the party. PS Take some time to read the liner notes as they add another perspective to a truly multitalented singer songwriter.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Zevon July 19, 2007
By Johnno
Format:Audio CD
This is a collection of old tapes and interviews. It is not what I would suggest for someone checking him out for the first time. For the Warren "virgin"(not many around him by the sound of it) I would suggest "Warren Zevon" and "Exciteable Boy".

But for a long term diehard customer like me, then what you do is play Preludes, and read "Sleep When I'm Dead". Then it all makes sense.... or not.

Much of it is demo quality, but good listening. And gives an insight into the man, and how he built his songs.

Ownership is compulsory
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rapidily climbing to #1 in my house May 17, 2007
By Buxx
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The "rough" cuts on this disc are what always sold Warren as an artist. It's like the recently published bio says "Warren traveled his own was un-paved."

My all time favorite on this disc is ROSARITA BEACH CAFE. Listen to it twice and it will run around in your head for weeks! Also moving up with a bullet in our house is STEADY RAIN. I really like the cut of JOIN ME IN L.A. also...muy blusie.

Yep, this is probably going to end up being my favorite Zevon CD. Until the next one (I hope there is another one, Jordan!) comes out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection July 5, 2007
Format:Audio CD
I love the unreleased version of Werewolves of London even more than the familiar one. And the interview was somewhat eye-opening as to the personality of Zevon. Essential for any true fan of his work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Zevon Unearthed May 26, 2007
Format:Audio CD
If stuff doesn't get released by the artist there is usually a reason. This is not clean-and-pretty Zevon. BUT its FUN Zevon. Disc one has my new favorite version of Werewolves of London. There's a lot of unusual stuff and its great for any Zevon fan. Disc two is an interview that shows off Zevon's cantankerous side. The interviewer asks questions like a high school reporter scoring his big break and doesn't really listen to the answers but still the interview is made all the more poignant by the fact that Zevon has little knowlege that he has so little time left. THe set is a must for Zevon fans but probably won't make any new ones.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
You've probably seen other "b-side" or "demo" collections from other musicians. Sometimes there's the odd memorable tune or maybe an acoustic version of an old favorite. But more often than not those discs end up being just a bunch of stuff that was left off other albums because the songs weren't really up to snuff.

So when I first grabbed 'Preludes' off the shelf I had my doubts about the level of quality of the songs. But after reviewing the track listing and specifically the half-dozen songs that had never been released on any other Zevon recording... well, I was sold. And I am completely thrilled by the fact that this isn't just one of those collections of leftovers. It's much more vital than just a bunch of tracks from some old reel-to-reel tapes found in a storage unit. And yet that's just what these are. Warren's son Jordan describes finding just such a box and the result of going through the contents is what you find on this amazing collection.

By the middle of the first track on the first disc you will already be convinced that you're hearing a Zevon classic that somehow slipped past producers and record company execs when first recorded. You'll ask yourself, "why on earth wasn't this ever released?" Yes, it's that good of a song. If you're like me you'll be singing along by the end of it and quickly hitting the back button to hear it again.

Also on the first disc are solid recordings of well-known tracks like Hasten Down the Wind and Desperados Under the Eves. Though I challenge even the most well-listened Zevon fan to pick out Accidentally Like a Martyr when the track first begins. I had to check the disc case twice just to be sure I had the right song. It's a completely different reworking of what I thought to have been an amazing song to begin with.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love Zevon's music and this adds a lot of enjoyment.
Published 1 month ago by MainlineRich
5.0 out of 5 stars All Dressed Up for the Masquerade
This collection of rare and unreleased recordings is so imminently beautiful, I'm not sure any review can do it justice. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Naimad Enossalab
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Warren
Thought it was great. Although much of the album consisted of variations of songs from his other albums, I felt that in these variations, he perhaps didn't feel pressured to make... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Somewhere in Montana
5.0 out of 5 stars New songs and new takes on old songs to love
Not just different recordings, but whole new versions of both new and old songs that breathe unexpected new dimensions into the music and the artist.
Published 13 months ago by Craig H
5.0 out of 5 stars Zevon
This may be Zevon at his best. No spit and polish here...listen to this to get to the essence of the man and his music.
Published 14 months ago by C. Huff
5.0 out of 5 stars a necessity for the Zevon fan, yet frustrating
This is an interesting compilation. One disc contains alternate versions of previously released songs, and some songs that had never been released. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Alan Zelaya
5.0 out of 5 stars Zevon is a genius
Wonderful list of unreleased material from a musical genuis. Recommended for any big fan of Warren Zevon. I was in the house when the house burned down is a classic unrated song. Read more
Published on May 3, 2012 by Steve M
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for hard-core fans!
If you are a casual fan of Zevon or are just becoming familiar with his work then this is not for you. Read more
Published on January 26, 2010 by Scott L. Geyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and Fun
I just started listening to Warren Zevon a couple months ago. Preludes was my second CD purchase. I bought it on a whim without knowing much about it. Read more
Published on October 5, 2009 by reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Another look at the one rock's wild geniuses
Starting with "Empty Hearted Town" a recording that evolved into "Empty Handed Heart" this look at Zevon's demos and unreleased songs definitely are of interest for anyone who... Read more
Published on November 11, 2008 by J. Carroll
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