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Headless In Boston Live

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 July 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: All Access
  • ASIN: B00CTPXT48
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,966 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

Hard-drinking, hard-living Warren Zevon (1947-2003) was one of Rock's most explosive characters. His incendiary, larger-than-life persona is awesomely displayed in the powerhouse performance captured in this live broadcast recording. Despite the fact that Zevon might be termed a singer-songwriter, he was most definitely not inclined towards sun-bleached West Coast wimpery. No Sir! On the contrary, Rolling Stone magazine's Dave Marsh described him as one of the toughest rockers ever to come out of Southern California . In his formative years Warren zigzagged across the USA. He was born in Chicago, moved to California, and then - at age 16 - left Los Angeles for New York. There he honed his craft as a session musician and composer. Notably he wrote several songs for the Turtles and had another included on the soundtrack of the classic John Schlesinger movie Midnight Cowboy (1969). He recorded and released a rather forgettable album the same year, Wanted Dead Or Alive, and toured regularly with the Everly Brothers in the early 1970's - playing keyboards and acting as musical director for their backing band. It wasn't until the mid-70s that Zevon really hit his stride as a performer in his own right. In the autumn of 1975 he returned to Los Angeles to record a new debut album - this one for a major label. Released in 1976, Warren Zevon is stacked with great songs and a host of heavyweight musical contributors. Playing on the record were most of Fleetwood Mac, some Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, David Lindley and Beach Boy Carl Wilson; the album was produced by Asylum label-mate and friend Jackson Browne. Highlights from an exceedingly strong body of songs are, Poor, Poor Pitiful Me, Carmelita and I'll Sleep When I m Dead (all included here). His subsequent album, Excitable Boy (1978) is even better. An astonishing piece of work and widely regarded as the man's best record, Jackson Browne again produced the masterpiece which includes the irresistible Top 30 hit single, Werewolves of London. Other highlights include Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner - the bizarre tale of a mercenary in the Congo - the murderously funny title track, the stomping Lawyers, Guns and Money and the exuberant opening blast of Johnny Strikes Up The Band. Throughout it all, Zevon's lyrics are - as usual - steeped in an intoxicating blend of pulp fiction, film noir and black humour. 1980's Bad Luck Streak In Dancing School was another album stuffed with celebrity contributors and included a co-writing credit for The Boss himself on Jeannie Needs a Shooter after Springsteen had acknowledged Zevon's talents as a songwriter. Warren later returned the favour by including the rumbustious Cadillac Ranch in his live set. Another highlight, Play It All Night Long, takes a satirical swipe at southern rock and name checks Lynyrd Skynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama. This live broadcast, from Boston's Metro, was made during Warren Zevon's 1982 tour in support of his fifth album, The Envoy. Once again, the song-writing is exemplary, with the title track masterfully demonstrating that even American foreign policy and diplomacy can be the subject for a great rock song... in the right hands! Zevon went on to record another half-dozen albums, and formed a brief working partnership with members of REM in the later 1980s and 90s. He also became a regular musical guest on The Late Show with David Letterman. Tragically, he was diagnosed with inoperable cancer in 2002 and died the following year. It's better to burn out, than to fade away sang Neil Young... and few epitomised that sentiment better than Warren Zevon. This live recording is a fine testament to a massive talent.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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So, I took the cellophane off with a bit of trepidation. Was this going to be one of those shoddy sound quality semi-"official bootlegs ? You know the ones where tape quality is dreadful and there is considerable tape hiss.
No , the very good news is that it isn't. The even better news is that it's a superb performance . It's a Boston radio performance from 1982 to promote " The Envoy" album. The band ( John Wood, Randy Brown, Larry Larson , and Joe Daniels) are tighter than a ducks bum and obviously totally engaged with the material. Warren is quite startlingly wonderful and seems to be relatively free of excessive " concert medicine " ( or drugs and alcohol as some people call it ) . He sings some of the songs with a freshness and enthusiasm that would have people thinking he just wrote them . My particular favourites are " Roland the headless Thompson Gunner " , " Lawyers Guns and Money" and a fine version of Springsteen's " Cadillac Ranch" Well worth your ( and my) money
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I have been looking for some of his old concerts from the 70's and 80's but they are just not so easy to find. Finally, here seems to be something that at least is semi legal. The sound completely acceptable, while the performance is top class! This man is really missed! He was a true original!
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Wareen Zevon, the best. Discovered late in my life, being now 75. I love his singing, his fun, his thoughtful lyrics. What a loss to those around him and his followers his death must have been. But he lives on through all the great energy of his work.
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This is a marvellous performance by Warren - a five star performance.
However, this CD presents only part of the show - and hence a three star rating.

The full running order was:
CD 1
01 Intro 02 Johnny Strikes Up The Band 03 Overdraft 04 Certain Girl
05 Let Nothing Come Between You 06 Band Intros > Banter 07 Jeannie Needs A Shooter
08 Join Me In L.A. 09 Gorilla, You're A Desperado 10 Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner
11 The Envoy 12 Simple Man, Simple Dream 13 Bill Lee 14 Charlie's Medicine
15 Junglework 16 Play It All Night Long

CD 2
01 Lawyers, Guns and Money 02 Bad Luck Streak In Dancing School 03 Hula Hula Boys
04 Accidentally Like A Martyr 05 Mama Couldn't Be Persuaded 06 The Next Best Thing
07 Poor Poor Pitiful Me 08 Cadillac Ranch 09 Excitable Boy 10 Ain't That Pretty At All
11 Werewolves Of London 12 DeeJay Banter 13 Carmelita 14 I'll Sleep When I'm Dead 15 Outro

It is available for free download at archive.org
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Warren Zevon is a hero to me - what a writer of vivid songs, wildly varied but all believable, wonderful tunes, great backing musicians - and Warren's piano is SO lovely that I hold my breath in Frank and Jesse James when he plays the piano bridge between verses, so that I don't miss one note. Headless in Boston is a super live concert .. he gave 100% of himself it seems, God bless him.
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Having listened to this several times, I have no doubt WZ was headless for these performances !!!
All my old favourites are here, and performed fantastically. These concerts must have been great events with the "Buzz" lasting for days.
Totally recommend.
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Just listened to this CD and I wish I had attended the concert. The sound is quite good and it appears that the audience enjoyed it as well. A good buy.
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