Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School

Last updated on 27 August 2017

Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School is the fourth studio album by American singer-songwriter Warren Zevon. The album was released on February 15, 1980, by Elektra Records. Three singles were released from the album, one of which charted: "A Certain Girl" (a cover of a song previously recorded by Ernie K-Doe and The Yardbirds) reached No. 57 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Zevon's second and final hit on that chart.

"Play It All Night Long" is a commentary on those who listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama", whom Zevon supposes only listen to the song because country life is so intolerable. It is probably the only popular song ever written which contains a reference to brucellosis.[4]

The term "dancing school" has been used as a euphemism for a brothel since the mid-17th century.[5]

Warren Zevon - Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School.jpg
Warren Zevon - Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School.jpg

Track listing

All songs written by Warren Zevon, unless otherwise indicated.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School"   3:00
2. "A Certain Girl" Naomi Neville 3:08
3. "Jungle Work" Jorge Calderón, Zevon 3:58
4. "Empty-Handed Heart"   3:16
5. "Interlude No. 1"   0:26
6. "Play It All Night Long"   2:53
7. "Jeannie Needs a Shooter" Bruce Springsteen, Zevon 3:55
8. "Interlude No. 2"   1:08
9. "Bill Lee"   1:37
10. "Gorilla, You're a Desperado"   2:47
11. "Bed of Coals" T-Bone Burnett, Zevon 5:04
12. "Wild Age"   4:19


Additional personnel
  • The Sid Sharp Strings – strings
  • Jackson Browne – guitar, slide guitar on "Gorilla, You're a Desperado"; backing vocals on "A Certain Girl", "Play It All Night Long" and "Gorilla, You're a Desperado"
  • Don Felder – guitar on "A Certain Girl"
  • Glenn Frey – harmony vocals on "Bill Lee" and "Wild Age"
  • Don Henley – harmony vocals on "Wild Age" and "Gorilla, You're a Desperado"
  • Ben Keithpedal steel guitar on "Bed of Coals"
  • Linda Ronstadtdescant on "Empty-Handed Heart"; backing vocals on "Bed of Coals"
  • Leland Sklar – bass
  • J.D. Souther – backing vocals on "Gorilla, You're a Desperado" and "Bed of Coals"
  • Waddy Wachtel – lead guitar on "A Certain Girl"; guitar on "Empty-Handed Heart"
  • Joe Walsh – lead guitar on "Jungle Work" and "Jeannie Needs a Shooter"
  • Ernie Sheesley, Niko Bolas, Serge Reyes – engineers
  • Jimmy Wachtel – cover
  • George Gruel, Jimmy Wachtel, Michael Curtis – photography



Year Chart Position
1980 Billboard Pop Albums 20


Year Single Chart Position
1980 "A Certain Girl" Billboard Pop Singles 57


  1. ^ Mark Deming. "Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School - Warren Zevon | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  2. ^ "CG: warren zevon". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  3. ^ "Warren Zevon: Bad Luck Streak In Dancing School : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". 1980-03-06. Archived from the original on February 18, 2009. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  4. ^ "I'm no linguist, but I believe Warren Zevon may be the only man in the history of human communication to use the word brucellosis in a song" - David Letterman, quoted in the liner notes of the "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" anthology.
  5. ^ "dancing academy" in Jonathan Green, Cassell's Dictionary of Slang, 2nd ed., 2006.

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