Warren Zevon – Excitable Boy

1978 – Elektra/Asylum Records

 

Abby picked out the vinyl this week for me. Many people know Zevon for “Werewolves Of London”, which is featured on this LP, but there is much more to his catalogue than that. He has an interesting perspective in his lyrics, but as usual, I’m not going to write about lyrics, just the music. The feel through these tunes is great. All the songs are well played and fit right in the pocket. There are some interesting (in a good way) chord choices and modulations. “Accidentally Like A Martyr” features some really cool key changes over a section in 7 that moves the whole song forward. Details like that are definitely not on all pop/rock tunes from the 70s.  Waddy Wachtel, who plays guitar throughout this LP is a high point for me. He is a big studio musician who has played with tons of people (Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards, James Taylor, and more). He is very tasteful and is just a great rock guitarist. The first track on the second side is decidedly funkier than the others, which makes sense when reading that Jeff Porcaro is on the drums. He was a drummer that had a distinctive style and sound. Overall, this is a really nice album from a songwriter that stands above many of his contemporaries.

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