Thursday, December 27, 2012

Now That's A Pretty Song

Back in the High Life Again, by the late Warren Zevon, from his wonderfully titled antepenultimate album Life'll Kill Ya.

Steve Winwodd's original was a big hit here in New York in the 80's (I think), but Zevon nails that "threw it all away, wiser now" tone in this low-key, pared-down, laid back version that was released just two years before he was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, a cancer widely associated with asbestos exposure.

There's lots of good stuff on this album, which is themed around morbidity, though High Life isn't about physical death as much as social and psychic morbidity (at least, that's what it sounds like to me).

I'm not a big Zevon fan. I've only got two of his recordings and one I bought for the track used on The Color of Money. Not only that, his (to many people) anthemic Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner reduces me to helpless laughter at the point where the mercenary transitions into the vengeful revenant sans tête. There are two schools of thought on that: I reckon it's the most egregious use of bathos I've ever come across, everyone else says I'm nuts and use clever words uncleverly. Whatever.

Buy Life'll Kill Ya" and listen to "Back in the High Life Again".

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