It's impossible to listen to The Wind without pondering the circumstances surrounding its creation -- namely, the terminal cancer diagnosis that Warren Zevon received just before embarking on his final musical journey. But as with everything else the mercurial, acerbic singer-songwriter has produced, the disc is anything but a simple epitaph. Yes, he drops a cover of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" into the middle of the disc, but he doesn't stoop to milking it for maudlin effect -- heck, he even cracks wise at the pearly gates, ending his version with shouts of "Open up!" The Wind is evenly split between rock numbers and more subdued ballads, the latter of which, especially "Please Stay," show the wear and tear Zevon's illness has had on his already gravelly voice. He's bolstered, however, by a slew of guests, including Ry Cooder, Don Henley, T-Bone Burnett, and Emmylou Harris, who impart a feel midway between a house party and an Irish wake -- particularly the bluesy "Rub Me Raw," which is cleaved by a raucous Joe Walsh guitar solo, and the ribald romp "Dirty Life and Times," on which he gets some vocal aid from Dwight Yoakam and Billy Bob Thornton. Similarly, when Bruce Springsteen chimes in on "Disorder in the House," Zevon's barbed-wire wit is honed to an even more affecting sharpness. It's rare that an artist is given the opportunity to write his own epitaph, and it's somehow fitting that providence granted the chance to someone as capable of handling it as Warren Zevon.
Performance CreditsWarren Zevon Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Emmylou Harris Background Vocals
Dwight Yoakam Background Vocals
Jackson Browne Background Vocals
Ry Cooder Slide Guitar
Don Henley Drums
David Lindley Background Vocals,Lap Steel Guitar,Electric Saz
Tom Petty Background Vocals
Bruce Springsteen Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
John Waite Background Vocals
Joe Walsh Slide Guitar
Jorge Calderon Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Electric Guitar,Maracas,Background Vocals,Tres,Spanish Vocals
Tommy Shaw Background Vocals,Guitar (12 String Acoustic)
Mike Campbell Electric Guitar
Jim Keltner Drums
Gil Bernal Saxophone
T Bone Burnett Background Vocals
Luis Conte Percussion,Bongos,Conga,Drums,Maracas
Brad Davis Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Steve Gorman Drums
Reggie Hamilton Upright Bass
Randy Mitchell Background Vocals,Slide Guitar
James Raymond Piano
Timothy B. Schmit Background Vocals
Jordan Zevon Background Vocals
Billy Bob Thornton Background Vocals
Technical CreditsBob Dylan Composer
Jorge Calderon Composer,Producer
Hugh Brown Art Direction
Steve Churchyard Engineer
Warren Zevon Composer,Producer
Jordan Zevon Executive Producer
James Michell Engineer
Joe West Engineer
Matthew Rolston Cover Photo
Greg Hayes Engineer
Bridgette Barr Executive Producer
Noah Snyder Producer,Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Wind based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
This CD is filled with all the feelings of a man knowing he is dying. He wanted to leave great music and he did compiling it all on one last CD.
THIS IS HEARTWRENCHING TRUTH. THE WIND IS A GREAT WORK OF ART. KOSH
My Dirty Life and Times - In this humorous, profound, self-depracating "I'm outta here," WZ pays tribute to country music and calls in Ry Cooder, Dwight Yoakam and Billy Bob Thornton to help out. Wonderful nod to Neil Young ("It's hard to find a girl with a heart of gold when you're living in a four-letter world.") Disorder in the House - A rocker featuring Springsteen on lead guitar, Warren draws in chaos and emits laughter and understanding. Amazing. Knockin' on Heaven's Door - Bob Dylan doesn't have to appear on this record to be recognized prominently and permanently. A tear-jerker. Numb as a Statue - How does it feel to know the Reaper's warming up the hearse? Funny as can be, great jibe at Dave Lindley. She's Too Good for Me - Calls in Eagles Don Henley and Timothy B. Schmidt for the occasion. Take that you snobs. It's ok in life to modest and vulnerable and write and perform pretty songs. Deal with it. Prison Grove - Wow. Prison work song as metaphor for humans' incarceration in their bodily form. Bruce, Jackson Browne, Jordan Zevon, others on chorus. Ry Cooder again. El Amor de Mi Vida - WZ at his most vulnerable on this record, unafraid to bare his soul. Amigo Jorge Calderon carries the vocal through on this song of love lost. Rest of the Night - It's hard to pick a favorite off this record, but this song may be the one. WZ brings in legend Tom Petty and sideman Mike Campbell to make Warren Zevon and the Heartbreakers tune. Partying for the rest of the night may have killed this man, yet he sings and laughs and rocks all the way down. God bless him. Please Stay - Soft and profound, with who else but Emmylou Harris rounding out some of the saddest vocals you've ever heard. I heard this was an adios to his girlfriend Kristen, who stuck with him to the end. Album title derives from this one. Rub Me Raw - Let's have some dirty blues with Joe Walsh. Maybe a nod to the Stones ("fade in the shade" and "goat head gumbo"), of whom WZ was a great fan. Joe's slide work should be in a museum somewhere. Keep Me in Your Heart - A real sad folk song and goodbye. Thanks Warren.
Its a real touching, good, and enjoyable album; before this I wasn't a Warren Zevon fan, but I'm now. Also, I love "Disorder in the house" and "Keep me in Your Heart".
Released just a few short weeks before his death at age 56 on Sunday, September 7, 2003, "The Wind" is a fitting and lasting tribute to Warren Zevon and the musical company he kept. Featuring a talented list of guests such as drummer Jim Keltner, singer Jackson Browne, guitarist Ry Cooder and singer-guitarist Bruce Springsteen (whose fretwork shines throughout "Disorder in the House"), "The Wind" is a timeless addition to Zevon's career. When you listen to Zevon sing Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" or his own "Keep Me in Your Heart," you'll shed a tear; but listening to "The Rest of the Night" will give just as many reasons to smile and raise a toast.