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 Zevon's 1978 album Excitable Boy. 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, reaching #21 that May.[1]

"Werewolves of London"
Werewolves of London Single
Single by Warren Zevon
from the album Excitable Boy
B-side "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner"
Released January 18, 1978
Format 7" single
Recorded 1977
Genre Rock
Length 3:27
Label Asylum Records
Songwriter(s) LeRoy Marinell, Waddy Wachtel, Warren Zevon
Producer(s) Jackson Browne, Waddy Wachtel
Warren Zevon singles chronology
"Hasten Down the Wind"
"Werewolves of London"
"Lawyers, Guns and Money"
"Hasten Down the Wind"
"Werewolves of London"
"Lawyers, Guns and Money"


According to Wachtel, "Werewolves of London" was "the hardest song to get down in the studio I've ever worked on."[2] However, Wachtel "laid down his solo in one take."[3] According to Jackson Browne (who was the producer for the recording), "Werewolves of London" along with "Excitable Boy" were written while work was being done on the album that preceded Excitable Boy but were not included on that album in favor of other songs.[4] The song is in the key of G major, with a three-chord progression that runs throughout.[5]


Reception and Legacy

BBC Radio 2 listeners rated it as having the best opening line in a song.[6]

Zevon later said of the song, "I don't know why that became such a hit. We didn't think it was suitable to be played on the radio. It didn't become an albatross. It's better that I bring something to mind than nothing. There are times when I prefer that it was "Bridge Over Troubled Water", but I don't think bad about the song. I still think it's funny."[7]

Samples and other versions


  1. ^ "Warren Zevon - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  2. ^ Zevon, Crystal. I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon, p. 138.
  3. ^ Browne, David (April 12, 2013). "The Knights of Soft Rock". Rolling Stone (1180): 58.
  4. ^ Zevon, Crystal. I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon, p. 112.
  5. ^ Stephenson, Ken (2002). What to Listen for in Rock: A Stylistic Analysis, pp. 45–46. ISBN 978-0-300-09239-4.
  6. ^ Vine, Jeremy (May 2004). "Greatest Opening Song Line – The Winner!". BBC Radio 2. Archived from the original on 8 December 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  7. ^ Stephen P. Wheeler. "Warren Zevon: Your Guide Through Transverse Citye". Rock's Backpages.(Subscription required.)
  8. ^ Deming, Mark. "Enjoy Every Sandwich: The Songs of Warren Zevon – Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  9. ^ Lifton, Dave (3 September 2013). "Adam Sandler, 'Werewolves of London' –- Terrible Classic Rock Covers". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  10. ^ Peisch, Will (30 October 2015). "7 Spooky Bangers and Monster Mash-Ups". The Dartmouth. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  11. ^ Plasketes, George (23 May 2016). B-Sides, Undercurrents and Overtones: Peripheries to Popular in Music, 1960 to the Present. Rutledge. p. 194. ISBN 978-1-31717-113-3.
  12. ^ "AdWeek – Ad of the Day: Masha Sings a Sultry Remake of 'Werewolves of London' for Three Olives Vodka". adweek.com. 2014-12-04. Retrieved 2014-12-04.
  13. ^ Elliott, Stuart (8 December 2014). "Ads Imply This Vodka Has a Real 'Bite'". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  14. ^ Lukovitz, Karlene (2 December 2014). "Three Olives Unleashes 'Werewolves in London' 12/02/2014". MediaPost. Retrieved 19 December 2016.

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