Tag Archives: Warren Zevon

Alfie Boe’s Best Ever Song 2018: Number Seven

Number seven in the 2018 quest to find the fans favourite Alfie Boe recorded song is my favourite…Keep Me In Your Heart:

Now a staple of Alfie’s live set (so far!) in a different form, I love this video as I can see so many lovely friends in it!

Keep Me In Your Heart is from Alfie’s 2013 album, Trust (one of my favourites).  Judging my the results of this poll (only once has the song dropped out of the top ten since it’s introduction in 2014) everyone else feels the same…I worry for the safety of everyone’s buttons!

The song was written by US musician and songwriter, Warren Zevon in response to receiving a terminal diagnosis of asbestos related cancer and was the last song to be recorded for 2003’s The Wind, Zevon’s final album. Zevon survived the album release by only a few weeks although he did manage to see it achieve a top 20 chart position, his highest position since his critically acclaimed earlier album, Excitable BoyClick here to read more about Zevon’s music.

Trust is available here:

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Exploring New Music: Warren Zevon

Three months into my 2018 new year resolution to listen to more music and this time, I’m looking at an artist introduced to me by Alfie but suggested for this project by Gill Jansingh.  The artist is Warren Zevon and he wrote the song that has become my all time favourite song by Alfie Boe, the wonderful Keep Me In Your Heart.  Although the basics of the song are the same in both versions, it’s Alfie’s interpretation and voice that really shakes the buttons on my blouse – they’re perfectly safe with Zevon’s original!

Of Zevon’s albums, I concentrated on three for this post, the eponymous 1975 album, 1978’s Excitable Boy and The Wind, released just before his death in 2003 (Keep Me In Your Heart is from The Wind).  Of the three, although liking elements from all, my favourites are Warren Zevon and The Wind.  Encompassing musical genres such as country, rock, folk, pop and blues, Zevon’s own style is somewhat harder to describe; in this respect at least, he reminds me of Alfie’s eclectic musical career so far.

There are several outstanding songs on The Wind, namely Numb As A Statue, Prison Grove, El Amor De Mi Vida and Rest of the Night, that showcase Zevon’s talent as a lyricist.  Please Stay and Rub Me Raw are also little gems, while Knockin on Heavens Door is one of the best versions of the Dylan classic that I’ve heard.  Prison Grove sounds like an old chaingang style song, similar to the rhythms of Rosie, from Alfie’s Trust album, while Rest of the Night is a great dancing tune which exhorts us to just enjoy life while you can – “we’ve got the rest of the night”.

Zevon’s eponymous album of 1975 has some cracking tunes and eminently singable lyrics, even if the meaning of what you’re singing takes you by surprise on occasion.  Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me, also a hit for Linda Ronstadt, is a song with great danceability and simple yet powerful lyrics that take a somewhat dark turn, as does Carmelita, which beguiles with a country sound whilst Zevon sings about addiction.  Sleep When I’m Dead, surely an anthem for would be rockers, has a definite edge of punk.

Excitable Boy was the least successful of the three albums I concentrated on for this post and also seemed to contain the most pop / rock sound.  Having said that, there aren’t that many albums that reference the Biafran war early on – Zevon was certainly an intelligent lyricist who knew how to tell a story as well as make the listener think.

One of the most enjoyable parts of listening to music recorded a while ago is working out the musical influences; I could hear Springsteen, Dylan, Johnny Cash and Eric Clapton amongst others and yet I know that many of you will hear different things again.  What do I take from Warren Zevon? The joy of music written for the sheer joy of writing and recording and not with one eye on the sales market, and it seems that his music was a critical success right from the start with the sales being a little harder to come by.  This is perhaps due to the intrinsic difficulty of categorising the music so this would be a good moment to remind ourselves of Alfie’s perception of music: it’s either good or bad.  And Warren Zevon’s music is good, very good.

The Wind and other albums are available here:

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an an exclusive interview!