26 August 2012

I heard somebody singing sweet and soulful

The talented Warren Zevon performs 'Mohammed's Radio' for the Old Grey Whistle Test with the producer of his second album, Jackson Browne. The self-titled 1976 Warren Zevon album was his last before Werewolves of London fame, which flowed from 1978's classic Excitable Boy album. But even before he hit the charts he was always well-connected - the album version of this track featured Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks on harmonies, and other collaborators who popped up on the 1976 album include Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers, Don Henley and Glenn Frey from the Eagles, and Bonnie Raitt (who at the time had yet to achieve commercial success but already had five albums under her belt).

Allmusic reviewer Mark Deming praised this album's 'blood, bile, and mean-spirited irony' and asserted that while it 'may not have been the songwriter's debut, but it was the album that confirmed he was a major talent, and it remains a black-hearted pop delight'. Sounds like a fitting description for the wry, knowing performer too, who was sadly claimed by cancer in 2003.

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