Werewolves of London

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This article is about the song. For the video game, see Werewolves of London (video game). Not to be confused with Werewolf of London.
"Werewolves of London"
Single by Warren Zevon
from the album Excitable Boy
B-side "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner"
Released 1978
Format 7" single
Recorded 1977
Genre Rock
Length 3:27
Label Asylum Records
Writer(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"

"Werewolves of London" is a rock song composed by LeRoy Marinell, Waddy Wachtel, and Warren Zevon and performed by Zevon. Included on Zevon's 1978 album Excitable Boy, it featured accompaniment by drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie of Fleetwood Mac.

The single was released by Asylum Records as catalog number 45472. It entered the American Top 40 charts on April 22, 1978, reaching number 21, and remained in the Top 40 for six weeks.

According to Wachtel, "Werewolves of London" was "the hardest song to get down in the studio I've ever worked on."[1] However, Wachtel "laid down his solo in one take, before he'd even had a chance to partake of the bump of coke and drink he'd placed in front of him."[2]

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.[3]

The song is in the key of G major with a three-chord progression that runs through the entire song.[4]

Other versions[edit]



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

The Martin Scorsese film "Color of Money" features the song in an important scene. Tom Cruise is supposed to play a poor player but cannot resist showing off to this song. Cruise mouths the words "his hair was perfect" indicating that the song was playing at the pool hall.


  1. ^ Zevon, Crystal. I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon, p. 138.
  2. ^ Browne, David (April 12, 2013). "The Knights of Soft Rock". Rolling Stone (1180): 58. 
  3. ^ Zevon, Crystal. I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon, p. 112.
  4. ^ Stephenson, Ken (2002). What to Listen for in Rock: A Stylistic Analysis, pp. 45–46. ISBN 978-0-300-09239-4.
  5. ^ "Magnolia Electric Co. - Hard To Love A Man (CD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 2005-11-10. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  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.