Like no other singer-songwriter of his generation, Warren Zevon
addressed murder, desperate passion, espionage, crippling loneliness, and f----you excess with a lethal wit and confessional grace that remain unrivaled. When the singer-songwriter-pianist succumbed to lung cancer in 2003, the music world lost a truly original voice. Rhino honors Zevon's brilliant lyrics, poignant melodies, withering wit, and devastating satire with a trio of reissues that revisit two of his finest studio efforts, plus a stunning live album. Remastered and expanded with previously unreleased bonus tracks, Excitable Boy
, Stand In The Fire
, and The Envoy
will each be available March 27 at all retail outlets and at all digital music providers. Additionally, there will be an exclusive album-only iTunes version featuring rare photos.
Born in Chicago, Zevon studied classical music as a youngster and played his first L.A. sessions in his late teens. By the end of the '60s, he had written songs for The Turtles, cut singles as half of the folk-rock duo Lyme And Cybelle, recorded a flop solo album for Imperial Records, and joined the Everly Brothers
band as pianist and toured with them in the early '70s. He was in self-imposed exile-singing in a bar in Barcelona, Spain, in 1976-when Jackson Browne
persuaded Zevon to record a new album of his own material. The eponymous album for Asylum was a hit with critics who hailed Zevon's hard-edged sound and lyrical bite.
Two years later Zevon returned with Excitable Boy
, a breakout Top 10 album produced again by Browne. Among the nine tracks are some of Zevon's signature tunes-the Top 30 hit "Werewolves Of London," "Lawyers, Guns And Money," "Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner," and the title track. Everything music critics nationwide loved about Zevon-his taut wit and emotional honesty; the rock 'n' roll believer's vigor in his voice-knocked 'em dead in the mainstream too.
Rhino's expanded version of Excitable Boy
contains four unreleased bonus tracks that include an alternate version of "Werewolves Of London," plus the outtake "I Need A Truck" and a strings version of "Frozen Notes," along with a solo piano version of "Tule's Blues," a song that appeared on Zevon's debut that he revisited during the sessions for Excitable Boy
Much has been said and written about Zevon's remarkable songwriting, but his live album Stand in the Fire
proves he was also a sensational performer whose concerts were always raw, wild, and unforgettable. Recorded in 1981 during a five-night stand at The Roxy in Los Angeles, the original featured 10 tracks including "Stand in the Fire
" and "The Sin," a pair of fast and fierce songs Zevon premiered during his "The Dog Ate The Part We Didn't Like Tour." The album also includes "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" and "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" from his eponymous album; "Werewolves Of London" and "Lawyers, Guns And Money" from Excitable Boy
; and "Jeannie Needs A Shooter" from his 1980 album, Bad Luck Streak In Dancing School.
Rhino's expanded version of Stand in the Fire
, issued on CD for the first time, contains four unreleased bonus tracks including the dance-party dynamite of "Johnny Strikes Up The Band" and "Play It All Night Long" along with the striking quiet of "Hasten Down The Wind" and "Frank And Jesse James," a song Zevon wrote in the early '70s for and about his former employers, The Everly Brothers. "For those who never got to see Warren take the stage, this is a grand taste of a mad rock wizard in his prime," writes author Carl Hiaasen in the album's introduction.
Zevon once described The Envoy
as "Excitable Boy
Grows Up"-referring back to the 1978 album that made him a fantastically unlikely pop star. Released in 1982, the album is a compelling piece of work that offers some surprising moments of emotional vulnerability and outright unjaded romance. The original album, which has never been released on CD, features nine songs including the brooding title track, as well as "Let Nothing Come Between You," a buoyant song of romantic commitment that showcases Zevon's sweeter side to fine effect. Produced by Zevon, Greg Ladanyi, and Richard "Waddy" Wachtel, The Envoy
found the singer-songwriter once again backed by an impressive group of singers and players that included many big names of L.A. rock, such as Lindsey Buckingham
, Don Henley
, J.D. Souther
, and Graham Nash
as well as Zevon's own son, Jordan.
Among the four unreleased bonus tracks featured on Rhino's reissue of The Envoy
are an unhinged cover of The Troggs' "Wild Thing," an alternate version of "Let Nothing Come Between You," the lost gem "The Risk," and "Word Of Mouth," an infectious and thoughtful instrumental that sounds like a lost movie soundtrack Zevon should have written.
For additional information regarding Excitable Boy
, Stand in the Fire
, and The Envoy
, please contact Lellie Capwell in Rhino Records' Media Relations Department at 818-238-6246 or Lellie.Capwell@wmg.com.
Track ListingsExcitable Boy
1. "Johnny Strikes Up The Band"
2. "Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner"
3. "Excitable Boy"
4. "Werewolves Of London"
5. "Accidentally Like A Martyr"
6. "Nighttime In The Switching Yard"
8. "Tenderness On The Block"
9. "Lawyers, Guns And Money"
10. "I Need A Truck" - Outtake*
11. "Werewolves Of London" - Alternate Version*
12. "Tule's Blues" - Solo Piano Version*
13. "Frozen Notes" - Strings Version*Stand in the Fire
1. "Stand In The Fire"
2. "Jeannie Needs A Shooter"
3. "Excitable Boy"
4. "Mohammed's Radio"
5. "Werewolves Of London"
6. "Lawyers, Guns And Money"
7. "The Sin"
8. "Poor Poor Pitiful Me"
9. "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead"
10. "Bo Diddley's A Gunslinger/Bo Diddley"
11. "Johnny Strikes Up The Band"*
12. "Play It All Night Long"*
13. "Frank And Jesse James"*
14. "Hasten Down The Wind"*The Envoy
1. "The Envoy"
2. "The Overdraft"
3. "The Hula Hula Boys"
4. "Jesus Mentioned"
5. "Let Nothing Come Between You"
6. "Ain't That Pretty At All"
7. "Charlie's Medicine"
8. "Looking For The Next Best Thing"
9. "Never Too Late For Love"
10. "Word Of Mouth" - Outtake*
11. "Let Nothing Come Between You" - Alternate*
12. "The Risk" - Outtake*
13. "Wild Thing" - Outtake*
Listening Parties: Excitable Boy
| The Envoy
| Stand In the Fire
(Streaming audio and/or video links may expire without notice)