I bought this album when it first came out. Nobody else in Brownwood, Texas, was interested in it. In fact, the record store (yes, there were record stores in those long-ago days, kiddies) had to order it for me. When it arrived, the clerk, who happened to be one of my students, suggested that I listen to a few cuts to be sure I actually wanted to buy it. When the first couple of bars of "When Johnny Strikes up the Band" played, I told her I was sure. When I got it home and played it all the way through, I knew I'd be listening to it for a long time.
I was right. I listened to it again yesterday (I have it on CD now), and it's a fresh and and wild and crazy as ever. Songs like "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner," "Lawyers, Guns, and Money," "Werewolves of London," "Excitable Boy," "Vera Cruz." They don't write 'em like that anymore, and for that matter nobody else ever did. I bought Zevon's earlier albums, and all the subesquent ones. There are plenty of great songs on all of them, but Excitable Boy remains my favorite.