Excitable Boy

Excitable Boy is the third studio album by American musician Warren Zevon. The album was released on January 18, 1978, by Asylum Records. It includes the single "Werewolves of London", which reached No. 21 and remained in the American Top 40 for six weeks. The album brought Zevon to commercial attention and remains the best-selling album of his career. A remastered and expanded edition was released in 2007.[3]

"Excitable Boy" and "Werewolves of London" were considered macabrely humorous by some critics.[3] The historical "Veracruz" dramatizes the United States occupation of Veracruz; likewise, "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" is a fictionalized account of former mercenary David Lindell's experiences in Africa. "Lawyers, Guns and Money" is a tongue-in-cheek tale of a young American man's adventures in Cold War-era Latin America. In addition, there are two ballads about life and relationships ("Accidentally Like a Martyr" and "Tenderness on the Block"), as well as the funk/disco-inspired "Nighttime in the Switching Yard".

Excitable Boy
Excitable Boy cover
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 18, 1978
StudioThe Sound Factory, Los Angeles
ProducerJackson Browne, Waddy Wachtel
Warren Zevon chronology
Warren Zevon
Excitable Boy
Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School
Singles from Excitable Boy
  1. "Johnny Strikes Up the Band"
    Released: 1978
  2. "Excitable Boy"
    Released: 1978
  3. "Werewolves of London"
    Released: 1978
  4. "Nighttime in the Switching Yard"
    Released: 1978
  5. "Lawyers, Guns and Money"
    Released: 1978
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
Music Box4/5 stars[2]
Robert ChristgauA−[4]
Rolling Stone(favorable)[5]

Track listing

1."Johnny Strikes Up the Band"Warren Zevon2:49
2."Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner"David Lindell, Zevon3:47
3."Excitable Boy"LeRoy Marinell, Zevon2:40
4."Werewolves of London"Waddy Wachtel, Marinell, Zevon3:27
5."Accidentally Like a Martyr"Zevon3:37
6."Nighttime in the Switching Yard"Jorge Calderón, Lindell, Wachtel, Zevon4:15
7."Veracruz"Calderón, Zevon3:30
8."Tenderness on the Block"Jackson Browne, Zevon3:55
9."Lawyers, Guns and Money"Zevon3:29
Bonus Tracks (2007 reissue)
10."I Need a Truck" (Outtake)Zevon0:50
11."Werewolves of London" (Alternate version)Wachtel, Marinell, Zevon3:41
12."Tule's Blues""Zevon3:13
13."Frozen Notes" (Strings version)Zevon1:59


Additional personnel

  • Karla Bonoff – harmony vocals on "Accidentally Like a Martyr"
  • Jackson Browne – guitar, harmony and backing vocals
  • Luis Damian – jarana on "Veracruz"
  • Kenny Edwards – bass on "Veracruz", "Tenderness on the Block" and "Lawyers, Guns and Money"
  • John McVie - bass on "Werewolves of London"
  • Mick Fleetwooddrums on "Werewolves of London"
  • The Gentlemen Boys (Jackson Browne, Jorge Calderón, Kenny Edwards, J. D. Souther and Waddy Wachtel) – backing and harmony vocals
  • Arthur Gerst – Mexican harp
  • Bob Glaub – bass on "Roland the Headless Gunner", "Excitable Boy" and "Nighttime in the Switching Yard"
  • Jim Hornrecorder on "Veracruz"; saxophone on "Excitable Boy"
  • Greg Ladanyi – bells on "Nighttime in the Switching Yard"
  • Rick Marotta – drums on "Veracruz" and "Lawyers, Guns and Money"
  • Jeff Porcaro – drums and percussion on "Nighttime in the Switching Yard"
  • Linda Ronstadt – backing and harmony vocals on "Excitable Boy"
  • Leland Sklar – bass on "Johnny Strikes Up The Band" and "Accidentally Like a Martyr"
  • J.D. Souther – backing and harmony vocals
  • Manuel Vasquez – requinto on "Veracruz"
  • Waddy Wachtel – guitar, synthesizer, harmony and backing vocals
  • Jennifer Warnes – harmony vocals on "Excitable Boy"



Year Chart Position
1978 Billboard Pop Albums 8


Year Single Chart Position
1978 "Werewolves of London" Billboard Pop Singles 21


Organization Level Date
RIAA – U.S. Gold April 17, 1978
CRIA – Canada Gold June 1, 1978
RIAA – U.S. Platinum November 7, 1997


  1. ^ Mark Deming. "Excitable Boy - Warren Zevon | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  2. ^ John Metzger. "Warren Zevon - Excitable Boy (Album Review)". Musicbox-online.com. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  3. ^ a b c  . "Warren Zevon: Excitable Boy". PopMatters. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  4. ^ "CG: warren zevon". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  5. ^ (Posted: Mar 23, 1978) (1978-03-23). "Warren Zevon: Excitable Boy : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on June 2, 2008. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
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Warren Zevon is the second studio album by American musician Warren Zevon. This album was recorded in 1975 and released on May 10, 1976, by Asylum Records. A remastered version of the album with special bonus tracks was released in 2008 by Rhino Records.

Warren Zevon discography

This article lists the discography of American Rock singer-songwriter and musician Warren Zevon.

Werewolves of London

"Werewolves of London" is a rock song performed by American singer-songwriter Warren Zevon. It was composed by Zevon, LeRoy Marinell and Waddy Wachtel and was included on Excitable Boy (1978), Zevon's third solo album. The track featured Fleetwood Mac's Mick Fleetwood and John McVie on drums and bass respectively. The single was released by Asylum Records and was a top 40 US hit, the only one of Zevon's career, reaching No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 that May.

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