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Coup de Grace

Mink DeVille

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Album Review

While Willy DeVille was trying to perfect his blend of roots rock, fiery punk energy, and the heart-rending ballad style that established vocalists such as Ben E. King and Clyde McPhatter, he went through a few changes. Mink DeVille's previous recording, Le Chat Bleu, had opened the door to DeVille being as fine a ballad singer as any. Along with the Doc Pomus ballads there were a few rockers, and the seeds were sewn for the band to pursue this direction, with Willy DeVille stepping more and more out front as an enigma. The combination of DeVille and Jack Nitzsche brought the early rock and soul vibe deep into the heart of Coup De Grace. Louis Cortelezzi and Kenny Margolis provided the sound of the Jersey Shore and Coney Island on saxophone, keyboard and accordion and swirled around DeVille's and Rick Borgia's guitars, undercut by Tommy Price's drums. The band's sound combined with Nitzsche's timeless production style thatr, combined with his singing voice, created a rock & roll purer than even Bruce Springsteen's in 1981. The evidence is on the anthems "Maybe Tomorrow," the slippery doo wop feel of "Love & Emotion," and the devastating read of Arthur Alexander's "You Better Move On" that includes in its soulful Spanish stroll mix a pair of marimbas and the ever-lamenting accordion, that turns the track into something that is so deadly serious it could have been in West Side Story. This was Mink DeVille near their zenith as a recording unit. [A remastered, limited edition was released in 2014.]

Customer Reviews

Damn fine album

Fantastic album - on many many layers. Here's what Doc Pomus said about Willy Deville - "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." (Wikipedia) I couldn't agree more. Today I was in a local record store looking to purchase a Deville album - then I come home and log on to the computer and see Willy Deville has passed away of pancreatic cancer. RIP Brother - your legacy will live on forever.

Biography

Formed: 1977 in New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s

Although a product of the New York punk scene, at heart Mink DeVille were a soul band with roots in R&B, the blues, and even Cajun music. The group was a showcase for frontman Willy DeVille (born William Boray in 1953), a native New Yorker who in 1971 traveled to London to form a band; unable to find compatible musicians, he worked as a solo performer before returning to the U.S. and settling in San Francisco, where he founded the first incarnation of Mink DeVille in 1974 with bassist Ruben Siguenza...
Full Bio
Coup de Grace, Mink DeVille
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