Zevon was apparently still drinking at this stage, and an all-night studio session which seems to have involved studio time that had been budgeted for but was surplus to Sentimental Hygiene requirements produced the ten covers, released by Giant Records three years later as Hindu Love Gods

Again, there’s no way to be sure of the actual ins and outs of the process, but there’s a lively step to their cover of Robert Johnson’s Walkin’ Blues, Zevon barks out the lyrics in an impassioned manner and the migratory theme continues as Travellin' Riverside Blues (another Robert Johnson track) gets a thorough going over in bar band mode. It’s something that would work reasonably well in a bar. 

There was enough personality in Raspberry Beret to have it enter the charts as a single, but with Crosscut Saw and Junko Partner we’re thoroughly back in basic barroom blues band mode, though there aren’t too many basic barroom blues bands fronted by the likes of Warren Zevon.

Mannish Boy, Willie Dixon’s Wang Dang Doodle and a cover of the Georgia Satellites’ Battleship Chains rock along nicely, and an off the wall selection in the form of Johnny Horton’s I'm a One-Woman Man is delivered with a suitably feral yelp. A fairly straightforward reading of Woody Guthrie’s Vigilante Man winds things up, and while you’ve heard most of these tracks done better in other settings there’s enough of a vibe here to make this collection work in an appropriate environment.

For maximum effect, that environment should involve maximum volume and readily available drink in substantial quantities and a couple of fellow Zevon aficionados. If that’s not possible, there’s probably room for a couple of loose, spirited readings of this material in the average rock listener’s playlist, though whether your average rock listener’s going to shell out $16.99 for the whole thing is probably problematic.

If you’re a Zevon fan, on the other hand, and one who enjoys Warren in rowdy, unhinged boozer mode (if you enjoyed Stand in the Fire’s rowdy rampage, for example) it’s probably a no-brainer. It’ll take a while before some of these will end up on the fringes of Hughesy’s Top 1500 Most Played, but Raspberry Beret will almost certainly end up there.

© Ian Hughes 2012