Friday, April 13, 2018

Lost in the Seas

Mink DeVille : I Broke That Promise

In April of 1979 Mink DeVille released Return to Magenta, a follow-up to the critically acclaimed debut Cabretta. Thius time critics found fault in the album's similarity to its predecessor. Robert Christgau gave the album a C+ grade, 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--the most interesting writing on this record is an old David Forman tune--and the romanticism of his vocal style makes me appreciate George Thorogood. "

But over time the album has been recognized as one of Willy DeVille's best. Recorded with producer and string arranging master Jack Nitsche (Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, Harvest), Return to Magenta has that Ben E King swing and a pure romantic's view of New York City. Dr John makes a guest appearance. 

In the liner notes the legendary songwriter Doc Pomus said of DeVille:

Mink DeVille knows the truth of a city street and the courage in a ghetto love song. And the harsh reality in his voice and phrasing is yesterday, today, and tomorrow — timeless in the same way that loneliness, no money, and troubles find each other and never quit for a minute. But the fighters always have a shot at turning a corner, and if you holler loud enough, sometimes somebody hears you. And truth and love always separate the greats from the neverwases and neverwillbes.

The album peaked at 126 on the Billboard album charts and can be purchased as a two-fer with Cabretta.

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