Day 22: Warren Zevon – Excitable Boy

22 Mar

Werewolves of London

For this week’s edition of Dad-Rock Tuesday, my father picked Warren Zevon’s 1978 album Excitable Boy for me to listen to.

Wow.  You know that feeling when you love an album?  I’ve got that feeling with Excitable Boy.  I’ve got it to such an extent that I’m having trouble thinking about what I’m going to write about, so excuse me if this post is below the mediocre quality that all three of my readers have already come to expect from me.

I’ve heard a little of Zevon’s other work before, mainly The Wind, which got a lot of play in my house back in 2003.  I always liked what I heard, but never really thought about checking out any other music that Zevon made.  Thank God for Dad-Rock Tuesday.

Excitable Boy has a sound that I associate with the ’70s.  Some of the songs sound a bit like Springsteen, mainly the title track, sax and all.  Hold on, let’s talk about that title track.  This was the point where I knew I was in love with the album.  The song Excitable Boy, at first glance, is an upbeat song with catchy “oooohs” coming from the background singers, but quickly turns into a macabre tale as Zevon sings about this excitable boy raping and murdering his junior prom date.  What’s so great about this is Zevon’s consistent, almost happy delivery of the lyrics, even when the song turns dark.

Another great thing about the album is the way it starts up, does what it needs to do, then finishes quickly.  At 32 minutes, and with nine songs, the album never drags on for too long, and doesn’t overstay its welcome.  You gotta love that.


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3 Responses to “Day 22: Warren Zevon – Excitable Boy”

  1. The Yuan March 23, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    You have an eye for quality. Greatest songwriter of his generation. Funny, the mention of Springsteen. The song they did together just didn’t work even though you would think it would be a match made in heaven. Now you need to listen to the self-titled album, which is arguably better. And, guess what, a great live show too. I saw him on Halloween at, of all places, Busch Gardens in Tampa. What a show. We miss him.

  2. Dave Chops April 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    Hmmmm. I like this album, too. And if you like it, I would like to nominate another 2 artists who are superior both musically and lyrically (in a smart-ass way): First, Mr. Randy Newman. Musically, Randy is stuck in New Orleans in about 1928. Fortunately, that is a pretty good place to be stuck. Also, he is hysterically cynical. I highly recommend Sail Away and Good Ol’ Boys from the early 1970s but also his last two studio albums, Bad Love and Harps and Angels. Second, Mr. Ben Folds. The first Ben Folds Five album is classic – and very funny. Also, you have not lived fully until you have heard the album that Ben did with William Shatner. I cannot express in words how much I love the cover of Common People he did with Joe Jackson. Watch it! http://www.joejackson.com/lenowm.htm

  3. Darrell Dunn December 27, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    Was fortunate to see Zevon in a small bar in Dallas many years ago. A top songwriter, with a couple of my favorites being Desperados Under the Eaves and Play It All Night Long.

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