14 Songs, 1 Hour

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though in his later years Warren Zevon became best-known as a ‘songwriter’s songwriter,’ this live album from 1980 recorded over five nights at the Roxy in Los Angeles proves he was once a ‘rocker’s rocker.’ With guitarist David Landau and a seasoned-but-scrappy pick-up band from Colorado adding a terse edge, a newly-sober Zevon delivers powerful performances that range from the obvious (“Werewolves of London,” “Excitable Boy”) and the previously unreleased (the title track, “The Sin”) to the most deserving (“Jeannie Needs a Shooter,” “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead”) and primal (“Bo Diddley’s A Gunslinger / Bo Diddley”). Though Zevon’s writing is notable for its economy, its magic is often contained in his emphatic delivery, which is given an added dimension when performed before an enthusiastic audience. (Here he namechecks James Taylor and Jackson Browne.) Since the one complaint of the original release was its brevity, the 2007 reissue nicely expands the show with four bonus cuts, including solo piano renditions of “Frank and Jesse James” and “Hasten Down the Wind” where Zevon sounds appropriately well-worn.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though in his later years Warren Zevon became best-known as a ‘songwriter’s songwriter,’ this live album from 1980 recorded over five nights at the Roxy in Los Angeles proves he was once a ‘rocker’s rocker.’ With guitarist David Landau and a seasoned-but-scrappy pick-up band from Colorado adding a terse edge, a newly-sober Zevon delivers powerful performances that range from the obvious (“Werewolves of London,” “Excitable Boy”) and the previously unreleased (the title track, “The Sin”) to the most deserving (“Jeannie Needs a Shooter,” “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead”) and primal (“Bo Diddley’s A Gunslinger / Bo Diddley”). Though Zevon’s writing is notable for its economy, its magic is often contained in his emphatic delivery, which is given an added dimension when performed before an enthusiastic audience. (Here he namechecks James Taylor and Jackson Browne.) Since the one complaint of the original release was its brevity, the 2007 reissue nicely expands the show with four bonus cuts, including solo piano renditions of “Frank and Jesse James” and “Hasten Down the Wind” where Zevon sounds appropriately well-worn.

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