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Envoy
     

The Envoy

by Warren Zevon
 
While moderation was never Warren Zevon's strong suit, his efforts to clean himself up in the early '80s resulted in two of his finest albums, 1980's literate but corrosive Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School and the following year's explosive live set Stand in the Fire. It seemed as if the wired chaos of Zevon's personal life had been channeled into his

Overview

While moderation was never Warren Zevon's strong suit, his efforts to clean himself up in the early '80s resulted in two of his finest albums, 1980's literate but corrosive Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School and the following year's explosive live set Stand in the Fire. It seemed as if the wired chaos of Zevon's personal life had been channeled into his art on those LPs, but after another bout with the bottle and another attempt at sobriety, Zevon tried another approach at merging his music and his life on 1982's The Envoy. On The Envoy's best songs, Zevon tackles his dangerous appetites head on; "Charlie's Medicine" is a chilling requiem for a drug dealer who used to sell him dope, "Jesus Mentioned" is a spare but curiously moving meditation on the death of Elvis Presley, who "went walking on the water with his pills," and the ragged but right " Ain't That Pretty at All" is an unlikely but powerful recovery anthem in which he howls "I'd rather feel bad than not feel anything at all." When Zevon confronts his own demons on The Envoy, the album is intense and compelling stuff, but unfortunately there aren't enough of these moments to prop up the rest of the set, which is smart and literate but not especially exciting. Novelist Thomas McGuane co-wrote "The Overdraft," a hard-charging rocker that unfortunately doesn't make much sense, while the languid "The Hula Hula Boys" plays like a joke in which the punch line got lost, and the two love songs, "Let Nothing Come Between You" and "Looking for the Next Best Thing," manage to sound at once heartfelt and like lesser variations on themes he'd covered with greater strength before. The Envoy would prove to be Zevon's last album for five years after he took another stumble into addiction, but while it's an often brave and ambitious disc, the high points don't quite redeem its weaknesses.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/27/2007
Label:
Rhino
UPC:
0081227999780
catalogNumber:
101758
Rank:
65846

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Warren Zevon   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Guitar,Piano,Electric Piano,Background Vocals,Soloist,Harmony,Prepared Piano,Guitar (12 String Acoustic)
Lindsey Buckingham   Harmony
Don Henley   Harmony
Graham Nash   Harmony
Jorge Calderon   Harmony
Kenny Edwards   Guitar
Steve Forman   Percussion
Bob Glaub   Bass
George Gruel   Actor
Jim Horn   Recorder
Danny Kortchmar   Guitar
Russ Kunkel   Drums
Greg Ladanyi   Actor
David Landau   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Background Vocals
Steve Lukather   Guitar
Rick Marotta   Drums
Jeff Porcaro   Drums,Log Drums
J.D. Souther   Background Vocals,Harmony
Jordan Zevon   Harmony
Waddy Wachtel   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Background Vocals,Harmony
LeRoy Marinell   Acoustic Guitar
Leland Sklar   Bass
Jonathan Exley   Actor
Mike Botts   Drums
Gary Braglia   Actor
Don Grabowski "Don G."   Actor
James Houghton   Actor
Harry Landry   Actor
Ted Shackleford   Actor

Technical Credits

Jackson Browne   Audio Production
Chip Taylor   Composer
Niko Bolas   Engineer
Michael Curtis   Assistant Photographer
Bill Inglot   Producer
Greg Ladanyi   Producer,Engineer,Original Album Producer
David Wild   Liner Notes
Warren Zevon   Composer,Producer,Original Album Producer
Waddy Wachtel   Producer,Audio Production,Original Album Producer
Jimmy Wachtel   Cover Photo

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