|Return to Magenta|
|Studio album by|
|Recorded||Columbia Recording Studios,|
New York, New York
Sound Factory West,
|Genre||R&B, Rock, Soul, Blues|
|Producer|| Jack Nitzsche |
|Mink DeVille chronology|
Return to Magenta, issued in 1978, is the second album by the rock band Mink DeVille. The album was the last to feature all the original members of the band. For this album the band was joined by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Steve Douglas on sax and Dr. John on piano, who would later collaborate with leadsinger Willy DeVille after his move to New Orleans.
Return to Magenta continued in the vein of the first album, with a mixture of rock, soul, blues, and Latin rhythms. It was produced by Jack Nitzsche, who also co-wrote a song with DeVille ("Just Your Friends"). Willy DeVille said about Cabretta, Mink DeVille's album prior to Return to Magenta, "We went against strings on the first album — decided it should be outright, raw, and rude." On Return to Magenta, however, Willy DeVille and producers Jack Nitzsche and Steve Douglas employed lavish string arrangements on several songs.
Willy DeVille sings a quasi-duet with singer-songwriter David Forman on the Forman-composed “’A’ Train Lady.” "Steady Drivin' Man" became a favorite of Willy DeVille fans; DeVille performed the song on his Acoustic Trio Live in Berlin 25 years after the original recording.
|Christgau's Record Guide||C+|
Critic Robert Christgau gave the album a C+, writing, “The main thing wrong with Willie DeVille is that he hasn't had a new idea since he decided he didn't like acid in 1970. Even as the songpoet of greaser nostalgia, he's got nothing to say..."Many reviewers believed that Mink DeVille's second album sounded too much like its first, and the band had not broken new ground (although Kid Leo, musical director of WMMS in Cleveland, ranked it as the eighth best rock album of all time.) Return to Magenta peaked at 126 on Billboard's Pop Albums chart.
During the Return to Magenta recording sessions, the band recorded two songs for the background of Paul Schrader's Hardcore : "Easy Slider" and "Guardian Angel", three songs for the soundtrack of the movie Cruising : "Heat of the Moment", "Pullin' My String", and "It's So Easy." These songs were written by Willy DeVille and produced by Jack Nitzsche, who wrote the musical score for Cruising. The three songs appeared on the CD reissue of Willy DeVille's 1987 album Miracle. "It's So Easy" is also on the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino's movie Grindhouse: Death Proof.
The song "Rolene" was written by Moon Martin, who also wrote "Cadillac Walk," a song on Mink DeVille's previous album, Cabretta.
The album cover includes a quote (dated March 13, 1978) about the band by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Doc Pomus, who would later co-write songs with Willy DeVille:
DeVille said about the song "I Broke that Promise": "It's one of my favorite songs in that album. I keep it in the bag to do it. It has a good feeling because it says, 'I broke that promise that was so important to me.' You can say 'I broke that promise that was so important to you,' but it's even worse to break a promise that's only important to whoever made the promise."
Mink DeVille toured North America with Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe after this album came out.
Willy DeVille lived for a time on Boulevard de Magenta in Paris, which may account for the album's name, Return to Magenta."
Pianist Bobby Leonards said about Return to Magenta, "Willy had wanted to do an album much like the first one. He wanted to team up with Nitzsche to write some tunes, but Nitzsche wasn’t interested in doing that. All he wanted to do was produce. He was there to help. He didn’t actually say no. He said, 'Hey we’re wasting valuable time and you don’t have a lot of material. The record companies want you to produce a product every year, ten to twelve songs, but nobody writes that way. You do a record when you’ve got something. Don’t record unless you’re ready to record.'" He added, "I went back and erased most of my tracks, but some of mine are still on there.”
Unless otherwise noted, all songs by Willy DeVille.
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||76|
Bernard Alfred Nitzsche, known professionally as Jack Nitzsche, was an American musician, arranger, songwriter, composer, and record producer. He first came to prominence in the early 1960s as the right-hand-man of producer Phil Spector and went on to work with the Rolling Stones and Neil Young, among others. He also worked extensively in film scores, notably for films such as Performance, The Exorcist and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. In 1983, he won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for co-writing "Up Where We Belong" with Buffy Sainte-Marie.
Willy DeVille was an American singer and songwriter. During his thirty-five-year career, first with his band Mink DeVille (1974–1986) and later on his own, Deville created original songs rooted in traditional American musical styles. He worked with collaborators from across the spectrum of contemporary music, including Jack Nitzsche, Doc Pomus, Dr. John, Mark Knopfler, Allen Toussaint, and Eddie Bo. Latin rhythms, blues riffs, doo-wop, Cajun music, strains of French cabaret, and echoes of early-1960s uptown soul can be heard in DeVille's work.
The Jersey Shore sound is a genre of rock and roll popularized at the Jersey Shore on the Atlantic Ocean coast of New Jersey, United States.
Crazy Horse is the debut album by Crazy Horse, released in 1971 by Reprise Records. It is the only album by the band to feature Danny Whitten, and it peaked at #84 on the Billboard 200 album chart.
Steve Douglas was an American saxophonist and flautist. As a Los Angeles session musician, he worked with Phil Spector, Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys and Ry Cooder.
Mink DeVille (1974–86) was a rock band known for its association with early punk rock bands at New York's CBGB nightclub and for being a showcase for the music of Willy DeVille. The band recorded six albums in the years 1977 to 1985. Except for frontman Willy DeVille, the original members of the band played only on the first two albums. For the remaining albums and for tours, Willy DeVille assembled musicians to play under the name Mink DeVille. After 1985, when Willy DeVille began recording and touring under his own name, his backup bands were sometimes called "The Mink DeVille Band," an allusion to the earlier Mink DeVille.
Coup de Grâce is the fourth album by the rock band Mink DeVille, released in 1981. The album represented a departure for the band, as frontman Willy DeVille dismissed the only other remaining original member of the band, guitarist Louis X. Erlanger, and hired Helen Schneider's backup band to record the album. Moreover, the album was recorded for Atlantic.
Cabretta, known as Mink DeVille in the United States, was the 1977 debut album by Mink DeVille. It peaked at number 186 on the Billboard 200 chart and was voted the 29th best album of 1977 in the Village Voice's Pazz & Jop critics' poll. A single from the album, "Spanish Stroll", was a top-20 hit in the UK.
Le Chat Bleu is the third album by the rock band Mink DeVille, released in 1980. The album received critical acclaim and elevated lead singer and composer Willy DeVille to star status. The Rolling Stone critics' poll ranked Le Chat Bleu the fifth best album of 1980, and music historian Glenn A. Baker declared it the tenth best rock album of all time. The album cover is a photo of Willy's first wife Toots Deville's tattoo on her shoulder.
Where Angels Fear to Tread is the fifth studio album by the rock band Mink DeVille. It was released in 1983, and was the second album Mink DeVille recorded for Atlantic Records, and Atlantic brought in two in-house producers, Howard Albert and Ron Albert, to produce the album.
Sportin’ Life is the sixth and final studio album by the rock band Mink DeVille, released in 1985. Since the band’s third album, 1981’s Le Chat Bleu, when the original members of the band departed, lead singer and composer Willy DeVille had been assembling musicians to record and tour under the name Mink DeVille. After Sportin’ Life, Willy DeVille began recording and touring under his own name.
Miracle is an album by Willy DeVille. Recorded in 1987, it was the first album that Willy DeVille recorded under his own name. Prior to Miracle, DeVille recorded six albums with the band Mink DeVille, the last four of which were really solo albums by Willy DeVille in that no members of the original band played on the four albums.
Victory Mixture is a 1990 album by Willy DeVille. The album consists of cover versions of New Orleans R&B and soul classics by DeVille’s musical idols. Trouser Press said about the album, “A rootsy covers collection, Victory Mixture provides a welcome antidote to Miracle's misguided modernity, making the most of the singer's relocation to New Orleans with backup from such local legends as Allen Toussaint, Eddie Bo and Dr. John.”
Backstreets of Desire is an album by Willy DeVille. It was recorded in various Los Angeles recording studios in 1992. To make the album, DeVille was joined by many prominent musicians, including Dr. John, David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, Zachary Richard, Jim Gilstrap, Freebo, Efrain Toro, and Jimmy Zavala.
Willy DeVille Live is a live recording of Willy DeVille and the Mink DeVille Band. It was recorded on June 16–17, 1993 at The Bottom Line in Greenwich Village, New York City, and in October 1993, at the Olympia Theatre in Paris. It was released in Europe on December 1, 1993 in Europe by the French label Fnac Music.
Big Easy Fantasy is an album by Willy DeVille and the Mink DeVille Band. It was released in Europe on the French New Rose label in 1995. The album is a mixture of studio tracks and concert recordings made in New York and Paris. The "big easy" of the album's title refers to New Orleans. As the album cover says, the inspiration for the album was "Jump City, the Crescent City, the city that care forgot, New Orleans...The Big Easy!" All songs on the album are standards by New Orleans musicians or are original compositions by Willy DeVille about some aspect of New Orleans.
Horse of a Different Color is a 1999 album by Willy DeVille. The album consists of original compositions and remakes of traditional Black music titles such as Fred McDowell's “Going over the Hill,” and Andre Williams' "Bacon Fat."
Acoustic Trio Live in Berlin is a 2002 album by Willy DeVille. The album consists of concert recordings made in Berlin to celebrate DeVille’s 25 years of performing, and concert recordings made in Stockholm. Buscadero, the Italian music magazine, named Acoustic Trio Live in Berlin one of the top-ten albums of 2002 in its critics' poll; its readers' poll named the album the 21st best album of 2002.
Pistola is the last album by Willy DeVille, released on Mardis Gras day 2008 as a nod to DeVille's musical roots in New Orleans. The album was recorded in Los Angeles with Brian Ray, Lon Price, The Valentine Brothers, and other musicians who had played with DeVille for years. For this album, DeVille borrowed bassist Davey Faragher and drummer Pete Thomas from Elvis Costello's backup band, the Imposters. John Philip Shenale produced the album, his fourth production effort for Willy DeVille.
The discography of American singer and songwriter Willy DeVille includes, as well as his solo recordings, recordings released by his band Mink DeVille in the period from 1977 to 1985. It consists of fourteen studio albums, three live albums, fifteen compilation albums, twenty-two singles, and one extended play (EP).