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The Wind

301 customer reviews

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The Wind
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Audio CD, August 26, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Wind is like an X-ray with a dark shadow that shouldn’t be there and can’t be ignored. Recorded after Zevon was diagnosed in 2002 with inoperable lung cancer, it sounds like the work of a guy who's still fighting, but also starting to wrap things up. Although Zevon is best known for his poison-dart wit, he’s always been a bit of a softie, too. It’s no surprise, then, that The Wind leans heavily on irony-free ballads such as "She’s Too Good for Me," "El Amor de mi Vida," and "Please Stay." But there’s also a dose of defiant blues ("Rub Me Raw") and plenty of dirty slide guitar, courtesy of Ry Cooder and David Lindley. (Other guests include Bruce Springsteen, Don Henley, Tom Petty, Jackson Browne, and Dwight Yoakam).

If the lyrics generally lack the literary precision of Zevon’s best work, the songs take on greater weight given the circumstance under which they were recorded. Heard in 1983, a party-hearty anthem like "The Rest of the Night" would’ve sounded like yet another dumb argument for hedonism, and "Numb as a Statue" might have come off as the self-lacerating joke of an alcoholic unable to deal with his emotions directly. However, on The Wind, these songs are genuinely touching, the work of a guy deadened by meds but unwilling to surrender to The Big Sleep just yet. A cover of Dylan’s "Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door" is the album’s most direct comment on Zevon’s fragile health, but the most touching song is the album-closing acoustic ballad "Keep Me in Your Heart," recorded by Zevon at home after the star-studded studio work was complete. Clearly, Zevon survived one hell of a farewell party last night, but now it's morning again and there’s no telling what the rest of the day might bring. --Keith Moerer

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 26, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Artemis Records
  • ASIN: B0000AGWIK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (301 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,422 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

192 of 199 people found the following review helpful By David Wolf on February 8, 2004
Format: Audio CD
You know someone is unique when the guy finds out he has a terminal illness and he, not Leno or Letterman (no, certainly not Letterman), is the one who sees gallows humor in the predicament.
On the Letterman Show, Warren Zevon, with a wry, paradoxical smile and laugh, said that his fear of doctors was "one of those phobias that didn't pay off." Also on that night, Zevon, who has told us so much through his songs, gave us a precious nugget he discovered, something he knows that David Letterman and other people whose life expectancy doesn't number in months or days, or in Warren's case, as he's already supposed to be sleeping while dead, negative numbers: we better learn to enjoy each sandwich.
Zevon, surpassing the limitations prescribed by his doctors, has lived to see the birth of his twin grandchildren and the release of his wonderful latest album, the understandably melancholy, yet at times strangely upbeat, _The Wind_. I feel privileged to bear witness to the Mutineer's final journey, as it, like his last two studio albums, holds its own with Zevon's greatest albums (Warren's best album for my money is "Life'll Kill Ya," written and recorded way before the cancer diagnosis).
Anyway, Zevon starts out with one of his great turns of phrase: "Some days I feel like my shadow's casting me, Some days the sun don't shine." I love that image of a shadow casting a person -- it evokes a darkness, a state of nothingness, death, and yet, the lyrics are carefully crafted: only on some
days does Zevon, and I'm going to presume that there's plenty of self-reference going on on this album, feel that his shadow is casting him and that the sun is not shining.
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65 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Michael King on August 29, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Judging by the people who helped with or appeared on this album, Warren Zevon is truly blessed with a lot of famous friends. As Warren himself said, David Letterman was the best friend his music had. Bob Dylan has taken to doing some Zevon covers in concert lately. Warren returned the favor by recording a Dylan song on this album. A partial list of those who appear on this album with Warren are: his mentor Jackson Browne, his longtime songwriting partner Jorge Calderon, Ry Cooder, Emmylou Harris, Don Henley, David Lindley, Tom Petty, Timothy B. Schmit, Tommy Shaw, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bob Thornton, Joe Walsh and Dwight Yoakam.

"Dirty Life And Times" - When the opening line of the first song on the album is, "Some days I feel like my shadow's casting me," you can't help but be reminded of Warren's terminal illness. I can assure you that this is NOT a depressing album. With tasty guitar licks from Ry Cooder and backing vocals from Billy Bob Thornton and Dwight Yoakam, this song has a strong country music flavor to it.

"Disorder In The House" - Lyrically, this song is very reminiscent of "I Was In the House When The House Burned Down." This song is a real rocker, with Bruce Springsteen providing scorching guitar licks. His guitar solos sound like Jimi Hendrix, with Bruce holding nothing back. In addition, his vocal contributions amount to a duet between Bruce and Warren, rather than Warren singing lead with Bruce in the background.

"Knockin' On Heaven's Door" - Warren turns in a heartfelt vocal on this classic Dylan song. May you be in heaven an hour before the devil knows you're dead, Warren.

"Numb As A Statue" - This is another rocker, in which Warren pleads to beg, borrow or steal some feelings so he can feel something too.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Earth Mother on November 12, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm not a professional reviewer, just a humble fan of good music. I've read all the reviews, both professional and customer. We own this album, and we love it.

I'm appalled by the level of cruelty in some of the reviews; yes, Warren Zevon was a hard-living, even hedonistic musician - as so many are! And yes, he probably smoked himself into his final inescapable predicament. But here is a man who didn't just lie down and stop living. He fought pain, medication-fog and despair to produce one last work for family, friends and fans. For that reason alone, it is worth owning, as a testament to courage and the will to live.

Warren Zevon's music has never been for everyone. Those of you who never liked him, won't like this album either, I'm sure; but don't be so self-righteously cruel in your reviews. None of us is perfect. This album has a wide spectrum of musical flavors; most of us will find something we love on it. Many of the songs, given the circumstances, make me cry everytime I hear them.

I'll just mention my two favorites on the album: I agree with many of the reviewers that the closing song "Keep Me in Your Heart" will haunt you for a very long time. I also think the ballad "Please Stay" reveals his fragility of mind and voice; his voice wavers, misses notes, but the emotion evoked will overwhelm anyone but the hardest-hearted. This man was facing his own mortality, but mustered enough strength to live his life to the last day.

Bravo, Z-man, wherever you are now on the other side. You've inspired some of us. I, for one, am going to take your advice from now on, and "enjoy every sandwich!"
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