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A Quiet Normal Life
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Album: A Quiet Normal Life: The Best of Warren Zevon
# Song Title   Time
1)    Werewolves of London
2)    Excitable Boy - (bonus track)
3)    Play It All Night Long
4)    Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner
5)    Envoy, The
6)    Mohammed's Radio
7)    Desperados Under the Eaves
8)    Johnny Strikes up the Band - (bonus track)
9)    I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
10)    Lawyers, Guns and Money
11)    Ain't That Pretty at All
12)    Poor Poor Pitiful Me
13)    Accidentally Like a Martyr
14)    Looking For the Next Best Thing
 
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Tracks

Performer Notes
  • Personnel includes: Warren Zevon (vocals, guitar, piano); Waddy Wachtel, Danny Kortchmar (guitar); Jim Horn (saxophone); Jai Winding (piano); John McVie (bass); Mick Fleetwood, Russ Kunkel, Jeff Porcaro (drums); Jackson Browne, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Carl Wilson, Jorge Calderon, J.D. Souther, Karla Bonoff, Graham Nash, Don Henley (background vocals).
  • Producers: Jackson Browne, Waddy Wachtel, Warren Zevon, Greg Ladanyi.
  • Warren Zevon's body of work is a good bit more diverse and intelligent than you might imagine if you only know his music from the radio; while his relative hits ("Werewolves of London," "Excitable Boy," "Lawyers, Guns and Money") play more like novelty songs than anything else, his best albums display a melodic sophistication that never gets in the way of his desire to rock out, and a lyrical perspective that's unusually literate, witty, and brutally cynical. As one might expect, A Quiet Normal Life: The Best of Warren Zevon focuses on the artist's best known stuff from his tenure at Asylum Records, and leans more towards "Crazy Warren" tunes (like the above-mentioned trio) over superior if more difficult material like "The French Inhaler" or "Frank and Jesse James," with no rare or unreleased material for completists. It doesn't even honor the hits as well as one might hope (the remastering is a bit on the flat side, and "Lawyers, Guns and Money" appears in a radio edit that deletes the final verse), and there isn't a single song from Stand in the Fire, Zevon's superb live album. But you do get the most famous songs, which are invariably worth hearing (his own hits and a couple tunes that were made famous by Linda Ronstadt, though "Hasten Down the Wind" is curiously absent), along with a few pleasant surprises, including the incendiary "Play It All Night Long" and one of Zevon's finest meditations on life in L.A., "Desperados Under the Eaves." A Quiet Normal Life: The Best of Warren Zevon will satisfy those with a casual interest in the artist, but for a better one-stop introduction to this songwriter's body of work, try I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (An Anthology). ~ Mark Deming
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