Genius: The Best Of Warren Zevon CD (2002)

Artist: Warren Zevon

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Product Overview

A celebrated rock singer, piano player, and writer with a gift for dramatic, cinematic, and often humorous story-songs, Warren Zevon was born in Chicago in 1947, but primarily raised in California and Arizona, the son of a professional gambler. Warren studied piano as a kid, and played his first L.A. sessions in his late teens. He cut his first sides as half of a duo, then cut a criminally ignored solo album in 1969, and toured with the Everly Brothers band in the early '70s before heading to Spain to take some time off. Meanwhile, Zevon's songs were introduced to millions of rock fans when Linda Ronstadt covered several of them, including "Hasten Down The Wind" and "Poor Poor Pitiful Me." In 1976 Jackson Browne persuaded Warren to record a new album of his own material, and Zevon's eponymous album for Asylum was a hit with critics who hailed his hard-edged sound and lyrical bite. The Top 40 hit single "Werewolves Of London," from the 1978 follow-up Excitable Boy, expanded his cult following to national proportions. Since then, Zevon has recorded a dozen more albums chronicling the adventure of various colorful characters, himself included. In 1996 we relased the Elektra/Rhino 2-CD I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: An Anthology, covering his career up till then. Now we've compiled GENIUS: THE BEST OF WARREN ZEVON, the definitive single-CD survey of Zevon's very best work up through the present-22 songs that earned him rock 'n' roll notoriety and the respect of his peers.


Label Rhin/mesa/bluemoon Records
SKU 60574879
UPC 081227377120
UPC 14 00081227377120
Format CD
Release Date 10/15/2002
Sales Rank 1297
Author Warren Zevon
Compilation Appearance Freaks & Geeks Soundtrack
Compilation Appearance Temptation:music From The Showtim(ost
Compilation Appearance Where The Action Is Los Angeles Nugge
Technical Info
CatalogID 73771
Lable Name Rhino (Label)
Released 10/15/2002
Original Release 2002
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Length 78m : 20s
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00081227377120
Musical Guests
Neil Young
Graham Nash
Don Henley
Glenn Frey
Lindsey Buckingham
John McVie
Jackson Browne
Linda Ronstadt
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel includes: Warren Zevon (vocals, guitar, harmonica, electric piano, oragn, keyboards, percussion); Glen Frey, Don Henley, Phil Everly, Graham Nash, Neil Young, JD Souther, Linda Ronstadt, Lindsey Bukingham, Jackson Browne (vocals); Waddy Wachtel (guitar, background vocals); David Linley (steel guitar); Peter Buck (guitar); Charlie Bishharat, Joel Derouin (violin); Evan Wilson (viola); Larry Corbett (cello); Jim Horn (saxophone); John McVie, Mike Mills, Larry Klein, Jorge Calderon (bass); Mick Fleetwood, Anton Fig, Bill Berry (drums).
Producers include: Warren Zevon, Jackson Browne, Waddy Wachtel, Greg Ladanyi, Andrew Slater.
Compilation producer: Warren Zevon, Gary Peterson.
Includes liner notes by Will Self.
To paraphrase the old saw, if Warren Zevon did not exist it would have been necessary to invent him. At a time when his L.A. singer-songwriter peers were bleeding all over their shirtsleeves with mawkish, sensitive balladry, Zevon turned the 1970s troubadour approach on its ear with a twisted lyrical sensibility that embraced danger, ribaldry, and general mayhem. A more concise summary than the two-disc collection I'LL SLEEP WHEN I'M DEAD, GENIUS is an excellent thumbnail sketch of Zevon's iconoclastic work.
The early years are well represented by the oddly poignant junkie's lament "Carmelita," the horror-of-war ghost story "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner," and of course, such misanthropic staples as "Excitable Boy" and "Werewolves of London." GENIUS stands to show, however, that the '70s weren't the end of Zevon's story. Zevon is backed by R.E.M. on the trenchant boxing tale "Boom Boom Mancini" and admirably covers Prince's "Raspberry Beret." He humorously sums up his life as a rogue on "Mr. Bad Example," and touchingly enough for a cancer victim, sounds unassailably resilient on "I Was in the House When the House Burned Down." GENIUS serves Zevon's legacy well, and helps ensure that he won't be forgotten.
Professional Reviews
Q (1/03, p.142) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Wonderful..."
Uncut (01/03, p.132) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Since every track on GENIUS is worth at least two of almost anybody else's, it can only be welcomed..."
Mojo (Publisher) (1/03, p.106) - "...The lyrics are really something - smart, mordant, mischievous, yet vulnerable, sung in a deep, dark, likable voice..."
Disc 1
1 Poor Poor Pitiful Me
2 French Inhaler, The
3 Carmelita
4 Hasten Down The Wind
5 Werewolves of London
6 Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner
7 Excitable Boy
8 Lawyers, Guns & Money
9 Interlude No. 1 / Play It All Night Long
10 Certain Girl, A
11 Looking For The Next Best Thing
12 Detox Mansion
13 Reconsider Me - (single version)
14 Boom Boom Mancini
15 Splendid Isolation
16 Raspberry Beret
17 Searching For A Heart
18 Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead
19 Mr. Bad Example
20 Mutineer
21 I Was In The House When The House Burned Down
22 Genius

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