A Quiet Normal Life - The Best of Warren Zevon
Warren Zevon’s catalog of tunes is deep and wise. While each of his separate studio and live albums are worth collecting, A Quiet Normal Life does a nice job of quickly summarizing his long tortured career. Zevon wrote stories to sleep on and many turned into irresistible nightmares. “Excitable Boy” is pretty much a description of Zevon himself, a man who tested the limits of all those around him, while “Lawyers, Guns and Money” is perfectly paranoid in its dissipation into drugs and violence (though it should be noted this is the studio version and radio edit and not the definitive live version available on Stand In the Fire). “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner” is a terror. “Werewolves of London” is, of course, the Zevon anthem best known to listeners everywhere. However, there are great treats hiding in plain view: the rancorous “Play It All Night Long,” the free and easy Los Angeles studio flow of “Accidentally Like a Martyr” and “Looking for the Next Best Thing,” where Zevon’s considerable talents solider from the dark ground to a blaze of sun all with the feeling of being done effortlessly.