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Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of De Ville's Best, if not THE best..., 8 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Le Chat Bleu (Audio CD)
When Mink De Ville emerged from the New York scene in the mid-1970s, he was (like rockabilly singer Robert Gordon) a real anomaly. He had little in common with bands like Taking Heads, Patti Smith and Television, and harked back to a pre-Beatles rock and roll era, in many ways. By the time of this album, 'Le Chat Bleu', he had just about jettisoned most of his original backing band, and conspired, with Pop veteran Doc Pomus, to produce an album with sometimes lavish production values, with a bunch of songs that displayed an attractive Latino romanticism. It was as far removed from New York Punk and New Wave as it could get, but shows that De Ville was possessed of a musical vision that made him him unique at the time. Songs like 'You Just Keep Holding On' wears its heart very much on its sleeve, with De Ville crooning harmoniously against a rich, sweeping orchestral backing. Elsewhere, he toys with other styles, such as a sleazy, smokey take on Louis Prima's 'Bad Boy', and 'Mazurka', a fun zydeco romp. He can still rock out a little - 'Lipstick Traces' and 'Savoir Faire' recall some of the Mink De Ville of the 'Cabretta' era, for example, but it's the big, Atlantic Records, Drifters style ballads like 'Just To Walk That Little Girl Home' that give this album its winning edge.

Willy De Ville would inhabit some different stylistic genres between the 1980 release of 'Le Chat Bleu' and his death a couple of years back, especially with his fertile 'New Orleans' era of the 1990s, and make equally fine albums, but 'Le Chat Bleu' served notice that De Ville was a genuine talent, if in something of a commercial wilderness. The bonus tracks are nice to have on this reissue, but the core original album still glitters like a precious jewel, thirty-odd years later. An album I can only heartily recommend to the discerning listener.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Jul 2012 02:11:11 BDT
Hiya Og Oggilby, I just had a look arround on stuff I have and love and checked out what people said about Mink DeVille's "Le Chat Bleu" album, which is still my most favourite Mink DeVille album! Your comment entry on that was one on Amazon and just wanted to comment and totally agree with (one of) your favourite choices. I now live in England (well, already since 1985), but am from Holland and back at the time when I was still living there I have been to four live concerts of Mink DeVille. Should actually have been five, but that concert was unfortunately cancelled, because Willy/and other members of the band had been arrested in Norway at the time due to possession of drugs and were not allowed to leave Norway to go to Holland at the time. I was gutted! I was at the time and still now a huge fan! Mink DeVille live gigs have still till this day my most favourite ones ever. I have been to many others of other artists, but theirs are still very close to my heart. The atmosphere he/they were able to create and of course most of all the music was just unbelievable. Unfortunately once I moved to England I sort of lost the connection with them. They were never that popular in the UK as in Holland. If I mentioned them to my friends here in the UK they only knew the number "Spanish Stroll". I was aware at some point that Willy had carried on on his own and bought the first album he recorded, but have to admit that it wasn't quite as I was hoping it would have been. And was quite a bit dissapointed. Found out much later after that that he had passed away in August 2009. Felt very sad and wished I had kept up to date with his work.
I do have to admit that every time I have seen him in all of those concerts, back in the 70's/80's, Willy was looking more and more skinnier and unhealthier and I was getting quite more worried about that. But also very much despite all of that I do still also too remember that he (and the band) gave absolutely f***ing brilliant performances! And I will never forget them and will always remember them as my most favourites and the best gigs I have ever been to in my life!! I still have every album on vinyl Mink DeVille has made and also have most of them on CD.
Obviously I am not an utter freak and have many other bands and artists I love, but Mink DeVille is truely still one of my best loved ones. RIP Willy.
Trijnie x
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Og Oggilby
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Location: North London

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