PUNKNET 77 - Mink DeVille / Willy DeVille


In 1976 Mink DeVille appeared on a punk/new wave anthology album, Live at CBGB's, which paved the way for a recording deal with Capitol Records and the release of the band's first album, Mink DeVille, in 1977. Led by Willy DeVille (born William Borsey on August 25, 1950), vocals and guitar, with Ruben Siquenza on bass, Bobby Leonards on piano, Thomas R. Allen Jr. on drums, and Louie X. Erlanger on guitar, the group established a small but solid following in the United States and Europe on the strength of that debut. Return to Magenta, featuring contributions from Dr. John and, once again, Steve Douglas on sax, followed in 1978.

In 1979 Mink DeVille all but disbanded, Willy taking Louie X. Erlanger and Steve Douglas to Paris to record Le Chat Bleu, a brilliant and stunning mixture of musical sounds and styles. The record was not released in the U.S. until 1980. Coup de Grace came out in 1981, also the year Capitol issued a "best of" compilation, Savoir Faire. The band's lineup changed considerably at this time, and continued to change through subsequent Mink DeVille records, the only constant being Willy DeVille. Where Angels Fear to Tread, which included Each Word's a Beat of My Heart, a semi-hit in the U.S., was released in 1983. It was followed in 1985 by Sportin' Life, recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama.

In between recording and touring, Willy also acted in two films in the 1980s, Va Banque in 1986 and Homeboy, with Mickey Rourke and Christopher Walken, in 1988.

With Miracle, released in 1987, Willy launched a solo career. Produced by Mark Knopfler, the record included the song Storybook Love, which became the theme for the movie The Princess Bride, scored by Knopfler. (Storybook Love was nominated for an Academy Award in 1987.)

Willy had moved to New Orleans in the mid-1980s, and in 1990 Victory Mixture, his tribute to New Orleans R&B hits of the '50s and '60s--including songs written by Eddie Bo, Ernie K-Doe, Earl King, and Naomi Neville--was released. The record featured guest performances by Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, and Eddie Bo, among others. Backstreets of Desire, with contributions from Dr. John, Bonnie Sheridan on background vocals, and Los Lobos' Dave Hidalgo, was released on the FNAC label in France in 1992 and, finally, in the U.S. in 1994 on Rhino Record's Forward label. In 1995 Loup Garou came out in Europe on the Eastwest label (1996 in the U.S. on the Discovery label). Mostly simple, straightforward rock and roll, with touches of Tex-Mex, country, and Uillian pipe, Loup Garou included You'll Never Know, a beautiful and powerful duet with Brenda Lee.


** LP ** Mink DeVille (Capitol ST 11631) -77
- reissued on CD (Era Records 5013-2) -93
** LP ** Return to Magenta (Capitol SW 11780) -78
- reissued on CD (Era Records 5012-2) -93
Soul Twist / Rolene (Capitol CL 16005 - U.K.) -78
** LP ** Le Chat Bleu (Capitol ST 11955) -80
- reissued on CD (Era Records 5018-2) -93
** LP ** Coup de Grace (Atlantic SD 19311) -81
** LP ** Savoir Faire (Capitol 748854-2) - 81
** LP ** Where Angels Fear to Tread (Atlantic 7 80115-1) -83
Each Word's a Beat of My Heart / Love and Emotion -84
** LP **Sportin' Life (Polydor 825 776-2) -85
I Must Be Dreaming / In the Heart of the City (12" single; Polydor POSPX 773 - U.K.) -85
** CD ** Spanish Stroll 1977-1987 (Raven RVCD-32) -93
** CD ** Return to Magenta (CD reissue of first two LPs) (Raven) -96

Willy DeVille:
** LP ** Miracle (A&M SP 5177) -87
- reissued on CD (+ 3 tracks from Cruising soundtrack) (Raven RVCD-41) -94
Storybook Love / The Friends Song (Vertigo 37 - U.K.) -87
** LP ** Victory Mixture (Orleans OR1001) -90
** CD ** Backstreets of Desire (FNAC) -92
- also Rhino/Forward R2 71686) -94
Hey! Joe / All in the Name of Love (FNAC 593140) -92
I Call Your Name / Chemical Warfare / Hey! Joe (promo interview) (FNAC 593105) -92
I Call Your Name / Lonely Hunter (FNAC 593192) -93
Demasiado Corazon (live) / Spanish Stroll (live) (FNAC 593254) -93
** CD ** Willy DeVille Live (FNAC 922544) -93
** CD ** Big Easy Fantasy (Wotre Music 122151) -95
** CD ** Les Inoubliables de Willy DeVille (Wotre Music 592016) -95
Back Door Man / Save the Last Dance for Me / I'm in the Mood (Eastwest PROC 95 369) -95
Still (radio edit) / When You're Away from Me / Still (CD version) (Eastwest) -95
Runnin' Through the Jungle / Bank of the Pontchartrain (Eastwest 352823) -96
** CD ** Loup Garou (Eastwest/Discovery 77040) -96
White Trash Girl / Blues All Around My Bed / Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet (Eastwest 449523) -96
** CD ** Love and Emotion (Atlantic 7567-82958) -96
** CD ** Best of Willy DeVille (Arcade 3018902) -96
Moonlight Let Me Down (radio version) / Moonlight Let Me Down (extended version) / Ballad of the Hoodlum Priest (Eastwest) -96

Most important tracks on compilations:

Live at CBGB's: Cadillac Moon, Let Me Dream If I Want To and Chance It Comes (Atlantic SD 2-508) -76
D.I.Y.: Blank Generation: The New York Scene (1975-78): 2 tracks (Rhino) - 93
Cruising (movie soundtrack): Heat of the Moment, Pullin' My String, It's So Easy -80
The Princess Bride (movie soundtrack): Storybook Love -87
Tribute to Edith Piaf: Les Amants (Amherst Records AMH 5500-2) -93
DiY 5: Blank Generation - The New York Scene (1975-78): Let Me Dream If I Want To and Spanish Stroll(Rhino Records R2 71175) -93


Desperate Days (ARC 008) (live in New York) -82
Gentleman's Speech (CLSLT CL 7916) -82
Gitano (BUCAN BUC 025) -82
Soul and Romance (ROCKDR 92054) (live in The Netherlands) -84
Desperate Days (TSP 139) (live in Lausanne) -88
Willy DeVille
El Chicano (SGCD 06) (live in Milan) -94

Mink DeVille / Willy DeVille:

Willy DeVille - by Thea ** Great site!
Willy DeVille - Rocknet interview
Mink DeVille - Tabs

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Created by JJu: April 9, 1996        Each Beat Goes to My Heart

Last Updated: December 28, 2000