Sunday, 3 June 2018

Mink De Ville - Return To Magenta (1978)

She said I should sing no, no regrets....


Released in 1978

Running time 30.43

Recorded in New York City

Continuing in the same Latin-influenced soulful blues rock vein, Willy “Mink” De Ville”s 1978 follow up to the impressive Cabretta does not quite hit the heights of that album, but it is certainly not short of highlights - the slow burning, romantic Guardian Angel and "A" Train Lady are typical De Ville street romance fare, as is the unique Just Your Friends with its extended, speeding-up harmonica fade-out. While Cabretta was more full on rock in its arrangements, this album, prompted by legendary producer Jack Nitzsche, included a fair amount of Drifters-style strings in its backing.


1. Guardian Angel
2. Savoir Faire
3. "A" Train Lady
4. Rolene
5. Desperate Days
6. Just Your Friends
7. Steady Drivin' Man
8. Easy Slider
9. I Broke That Promise
10. Confidence To Kill                                

My own personal favourite is I Broke That Promise, a worthy follow-up to the previous album’s Mixed-Up Shook-Up Girl. It was also De Ville's own favourite too. It is packed full of typical De Ville soul. There was something quite unique and essential about his delivery on songs like this. I wish he were still with us. 

Some archetypal De Ville blues rock numbers are there in the Stonesy Steady Drivin' Man, the short but bluesy punch of Confidence To Kill,  the bar-room rock of Rolene and the upbeat, lively Soul Twist while the infectious Desperate Days is an appealing, upbeat bit of Latin fun. The catchy Easy Slider is a laid back bit of bluesy rhythmic boogie as opposed to all out rock.

Like its predecessor, a nice memory for me of the summer of 1978, when I played the album endlessly. Jack Nitzsche was quoted on the album's rear cover saying this about Willy De Ville -

".....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...."

I couldn't have put it better myself. 


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