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Friday, May 05, 2006


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Warren Zevon made two great records in the late seventies then he spiraled into subsatnce abuse and just plain bad records during the early eighties. In 1987, fresh out of rehab, Warren went into the studio with REM (minus Stipe) and recorded this fantastic 'comeback' record.

For the better part of the following three years I listened to this record every day. It's rife with the classic Zevon humor, and blessed by some excellent, and somewhat rare riffage by Peter Buck.

The band was such a perfect fit that they also released a record of covers as the Hindu Love Gods, which is fun, and features an excellent 'Rasspberry Beret'.

Sentimental Hygiene also features guest performances by two artist much discussed on this blog lately - Neil Young and Flea. The latter appears on the George Clinton produced song 'Leave My Monkey Alone', naturally. Also a guy named Bob Dylan shows up on the excellent 'The Factory'.

I love the shit out of this record. 'Detox Mansion' is a blast.

"Well, I'm gone to Detox Mansion
Way down on Last Breath Farm
I've been rakin' leaves with Liza
Me and Liz clean up the yard

Left my home in Music City
In the back of a limousine
Now I'm doin' my own laundry
And I'm getting those clothes clean"

'Even A Dog Can Shake Hands' is an idictment of the Recording Industry:

"He wants twenty percent
'Cause he knew you back when
Now they all want a piece if the band
Everybody's trying to be a friend of mine
Even a dog can shake hands

All the worms and the gnomes are having lunch at Le Dome
They're all living off the fat of the land
Everbody's trying to be a friend of mine
Even a dog can shake hands"

Warren even gives himself some jabs on 'Trouble Waiting to Happen'

"The mailman brought me the Rolling Stone
Trouble waiting to happen
It said I was living at home alone
Trouble waiting to happen
I read things I didn't know I'd done
It sounded like alot of fun
I guess I've been bad or something
Trouble waiting to happen
Trouble waiting to happen"

It's vintage Zevon in every sense, except theres no David Lindley, Stevie Nicks, Henley & Frey, or Expensive Wino Waddy Wachtel this time around.

UPDATE: Actually, David Lindley, Waddy Wachtel, and Don Henley do appear on the record, along with Jennifer Warnes, Leland Sklar, Michael Stipe, and Tony Levin.

this was the first Zevon I ever purchased, and I still listen quite often.

I agree the 80's yealded nothing more than crap, however "Life'll Kill Ya" (which has a great cover of "Back in the Highlife") and "The Wind" are awesome CDs. "The Wind" puts a lump in my throat everytime I listen to it.

Another great post.

Oh yeah, Hindu Love Gods' version of Raspberry Beret kicks total ass!
I agree with you. This is an amazing, brilliant, fun, timeless album. I enjoyed the post.
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