Wanted Dead or Alive

Wanted Dead or Alive

by Warren ZevonWarren Zevon


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One has to wonder if anything but ambulance chasing was in EMI's motive for re-issuing this debut Imperial date by Warren Zevon from 1969. Though it was reissued before the songwriter's demise, his own distaste for the set was well-known -- and it is quoted in the liner notes (which were written, perfunctorily at best, by David Wild). While it doesn't even rate on a scale with the rest of Zevon's work, if this album were made by a post-post-punk group (like the White Stripes, Black Keys, or the Fiery Furnaces, say) or by any of the current crop of songwriters (Mark Kozelek or Rufus Wainwright), it would be hailed as a work of genius. The setting for this album is primitive, loose, muddy, and dark in a non-humorous way, and addresses a kind of immediacy that Laurel Canyon songwriters all found distasteful by 1971. Too bad for them. As a shambolic mess of a record, one that wears its excesses everywhere, even with its stark production, Wanted Dead or Alive/A Leaf in the Wind works well. The standout tracks here are "A Bullet for Ramona," and a dancehall version of "Iko Iko."

Product Details

Release Date: 05/06/2003
Label: Capitol
UPC: 0724358074123
catalogNumber: 80741
Rank: 39219

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