Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School

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Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School
Warren Zevon - Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 15, 1980 (February 15, 1980)
StudioThe Sound Factory, Hollywood, California
ProducerGreg Ladanyi, Warren Zevon
Warren Zevon chronology
Excitable Boy
Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School
Stand in the Fire
Singles from Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School
  1. "A Certain Girl"
    Released: 1980
  2. "Jeannie Needs a Shooter"
    Released: 1980
  3. "Gorilla, You're a Desperado"
    Released: 1980
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert ChristgauB−[2]
Rolling Stone(positive)[3]

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]

The album was dedicated to Ken Millar (1915–1983), a friend of Zevon's who was better known for writing mystery novels under the name Ross MacDonald.[6]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Warren Zevon, unless otherwise indicated.

1."Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School" 3:00
2."A Certain Girl"Naomi Neville3:08
3."Jungle Work"Jorge Calderón, Zevon3:58
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, Zevon3:55
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, Zevon5:04
12."Wild Age" 4:19


Additional personnel
  • 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.
  6. ^ Browning, Boo (April 18, 1980). "Zevon's 'Turning Point'". Retrieved January 28, 2018 – via