Preludes: Rare and Unreleased Recordings

Last updated on 24 November 2017

Preludes: Rare and Unreleased Recordings is a two-CD compilation of music and interviews, including unreleased outtakes and demos, by singer-songwriter Warren Zevon, who died in 2003.

A few months after Zevon's death, his son, Jordan, drove out to one of his father's storage spaces in the San Fernando Valley to begin the process of sorting through old recordings. He discovered over one hundred unreleased outtakes and demos in a piano-sized touring case.

Preludes features sixteen of the newly discovered recordings, including six unreleased tracks: "Empty Hearted Town", "Going All The Way", "Steady Rain", "Stop Rainin' Lord", "Studebaker" and "The Rosarita Beach Café". All of the songs were recorded before 1976. The album also includes previously unreleased versions of "Werewolves of London" and "Accidentally Like A Martyr". The second disc includes a radio interview with Zevon, conducted by Jody Denberg in 2000.

The album was released by New West Records in 2007 in a deluxe two-CD package in a hardbound slipcase. It includes a 44-page booklet with previously unpublished family photos, integrated with excerpts from the memoir I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon by Crystal Zevon.

Preludes: Rare and Unreleased Recordings
Preludes Warren Zevon.jpg
Compilation album by Warren Zevon
Released May 1, 2007
Recorded Pre-1976
Genre Rock
Length 86:34
Label New West
Producer Peter Jesperson
Jordan Zevon
Cameron Strang
Danny Goldberg
Warren Zevon chronology
Reconsider Me: The Love Songs
Preludes: Rare and Unreleased Recordings
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]

Track listing

All songs by Warren Zevon unless otherwise noted.

Disc One

  1. "Empty Hearted Town" – 3:04
  2. "Steady Rain" – 4:18
  3. "Join Me In L.A." – 2:27
  4. "Hasten Down The Wind" – 2:30
  5. "Werewolves of London" (LeRoy Marinell, Waddy Wachtel, Zevon) – 3:36
  6. "Tule's Blues" – 3:02
  7. "The French Inhaler" – 3:31
  8. "Going All The Way" – 2:15
  9. "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" – 3:09
  10. "Studebaker" – 2:34
  11. "Accidentally Like A Martyr" – 3:05
  12. "Carmelita" – 3:56
  13. "I Used To Ride So High" – 2:43
  14. "Stop Rainin' Lord" – 2:11
  15. "The Rosarita Beach Café" – 4:08
  16. "Desperados Under the Eaves" – 3:44
  17. "Workin' Man's Pay" - 2:04*
  18. "Frozen Notes" - 1:42*
  19. "Some Kind of Rider" - 3:21*

(*Special edition bonus tracks)

Disc Two

  1. "I Was In The House When The House Burned Down" – 3:02
  2. "Warren speaks on songwriting and the early days of his career" – 7:14
  3. "Musings on mortality, song noir and The King of Rock n' Roll" – 5:07
  4. "A chat about producers and the stark sounds on the album Life'll Kill Ya" – 5:09
  5. "Back in the High Life Again" (Will Jennings, Steve Winwood) – 3:11
  6. "Warren's take on Winwood's classic and Warren's inspirations" – 3:58
  7. "Talk of TV, movies, acting and performing" – 5:14
  8. "Don't Let Us Get Sick" (solo acoustic) – 3:10
    • Recorded live December 3, 1999 at Austin City Limits Studios for 107.1 KGSR Radio Austin 9th Anniversary Concert


  • Producers: Peter Jesperson, Jordan Zevon, Cameron Strang, Danny Goldberg
  • Mastering: Gavin Lurssen at Lurssen Mastering, Hollywood, California
  • Family Photos: Jordan and Crystal Zevon
  • Still Life Photography: Susie Delaney
  • Art Direction and Design: Kat Delaney
  • Legal: Ken Anderson


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