The Wind

Warren Zevon

Artemis Records, 2003

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


Warren Zevon was too weird for the charts, and too cool to die.

One of the world's most politically incorrect songwriters, Zevon had a long career and a long life; he got to, in his own words, be 'the most @^#$@ rock star on the block, and then I got to be a sober dad for eighteen years'. His admirers included Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Dave Letterman, Hunter S. Thompson and Jesse Ventura; he was, in many ways, the original gonzo rock star, always a little too weird and a little too edgy for mainstream success. When he passed away on September 7 of this year, he left a body of work whose topics included mercenary armies, Chinese-food-eating werewolves, deranged killers and cyberpunk.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

So what would he do when he knew he was dying?

The Wind is Warren Zevon's final musical statement. Recorded after he received his diagnosis of inoperable lung cancer, the CD is a celebration of Zevon's life, friends, music and unique outlook on the world. Having always been blunt in his opinions, Zevon apparently saw no reason to stop now; he discusses his life in toto ("Dirty Life And Times"), his feelings ("Numb As A Statue"), his loves ("She's Too Good For Me"), and facing the inevitable ("Rub Me Raw"). Throughout, his voice is solid and retains its usual sardonic expressiveness. The musicianship on the CD is equally solid; Zevon's piano playing is still excellent, and his backing musicians (including several members of the Eagles, Ry Cooder, Tommy Shaw, John Waite, Jim Keltner, Jorge Calderon, Jackson Browne, T-Bone Burnett, Billy Bob Thornton, Tom Petty and Emmylou Harris) are stellar.

The songs are, as always, the highlights. The heartbreakers are the plainspoken "El Amor De Mi Vida" and Zevon's goodbye song, "Keep Me In Your Heart"; both are damned hard to listen to, as is Zevon's cover of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door." The dignity, courage and wry humour with which Zevon met his death are admirable in the extreme, and serve as a lesson for all of us.

The Wind is a great final testament to a brilliant artist's career. Check it out today.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


"The Wind" is a cd I dreaded and looked forward too, all at once. I wanted so much for WZ to go out..."top of his game".

And he did it! He really did!

I loved the music immediately, but the music was swirling around my head with the added mix of my swelling emotions of knowing he was dying.

Once Warren passed and time had a chance to sand-down some of my jagged emotional edges...I discovered "The Wind" to be even better than my earlier listens, if that is possible.

I still feel a touch of sadness when I hear WZ, but even more, I feel joy (and a bit of pride).

Warren Zevon went out like he came in...On his own terms! Good stuff!

© 2003 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Artemis Records, and is used for informational purposes only.