Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Absolutely the last Warren Zevon posting of the week.

Bill Sherman has listed five great Zevon songs that aren't "Werewolves of London", and while it's a great list I can't resist making my own. And it goes like this:

Desperadoes Under the Eaves from Warren Zevon
A song of 70s El Lay disaffection, it features a great melody and one of WZ's best lyrics:

And if California slides into the ocean
Like the mystics and statistics say it will
I predict this motel will be standing until I pay my bill

It ends hilariously with closing harmonies by several LA luminaries, including arranger Carl Wilson, humming as if to emulate an air conditioner.

Jungle Work from Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School
Nobody could mock and celebrate simultaneously like our boy. A tale of mercenary soldiers, with some audacious rhymes and more humming against some heavy metal gutar.

Lear jet S.W.A.T. team
On a midnight run
With the M16
And the Ingram gun

Mohammad's Radio (live) from Stand in the Fire
One of the best cuts from his criminally unavailable 1981 live record. This had already been recorded on his debut, and Linda Ronstadt took a shot at it as well if I recall correctly, but this is the best version in my opinion. WZ's earlier attempt was fine, but just a little stiff and fussy; no chance of that here as Zevon is in full gonzo mode and his band falls right in step. The result is more of an in-your-face version and is much more resonant because of it.

Charlie's Medicine from The Envoy
A great story-song about the unfortunate title character and a drug deal gone bad, with acoustic verses and rocking, dissonant choruses. Like Stand in the Fire, I fail to see why this album's not in print.

Poisonous Lookalike from Mutineer
I was determined not to name more than one song from each record, and there are several on this one that I'd like to name, like "Similar to Rain", "The Vast Indifference of Heaven", and "Monkey Wash Donkey Rinse"...but I think this song of betrayal and bad feelings is possibly the best, with a devastatingly correct guitar solo towards the end.

Well, that's another list. Feel free to make one of your own, I'm sure it will be just as good. There are a lot of great WZ songs to choose from!

No comments: