Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Warren Zevon – A Quiet Normal Life

There are many artists who are building on the basis of popular culture and in effect creating works totally opposing to popular culture ideas. Sometimes it looks like genre or style are coincidental elements due to primary tendency to put into question everything we know. They can play blues or jazz, sometimes piano rock, ballads or anything. Usually critics see them as rebels, bards or revolutionists but it is worth to ask if they are the only real artists. Between many bards of second half of the twentieth century well known person was Warren Zevon, songwriter and musician.
He was so much involved in American history and social problems he was barely known outside the USA, but even though in other countries he occupied position of rock’n’roll conscience. In punk rock era he was someone like Bob Dylan for flower-power generation. In musical setting he was closer to Lou Read than Leonard Cohen and in sharpness of political satire he is more like Frank Zappa than Tom Waits, he has rock sound but popular and country moods are still promoted to the highest level of his musical creativity. Warren Zevon was one of those talented songwriters and musicians who remain underestimated until is too late. He died in 2003 in his 57th. His output are 13 studio albums two live recordings and 6 compilations.

Warren Zevon – A Quiet Normal Life (1986)

In 1986 Elektra Records released Warren Zevon’s first compilation. Program of this album consist of the best songs from 1975-1982 period. One third of the set are the songs from 1978 album Excitable Boy. In cd version compilation has been extended by two more songs from this record which meant that the proportion is close to half of the greatest songs came from one edition. As well, album Excitable Boy could be included to greatest compilation entirely – it was biggest Zevon’s success, reaching in US market position of Platinum and promoting artist with his original style of writing and performing. Idea of this compilation was probably pure marketing decision of Electra/Asylum Records managers. Of course product has excellent quality and is representative for artist’s ideas.

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