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Album: Backstreets of Desire
# Song Title   Time
1)    Empty Heart
2)    All in the Name of Love
3)    Lonely Hunter
4)    Even While I Sleep
5)    Voodoo Charm
6)    Come to Poppa
7)    Chemical Warfare
8)    Hey! Joe
9)    I Call Your Name
10)    I Can Only Give You Everything
11)    Jump City
12)    Bamboo City
13)    All in the Name of Love
 
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel includes: Willy DeVille (vocals, slide guitar); Brian Ray (acoustic & electric guitar, slide guitar); Freddy Koella (acoustic & electric guitar, mandolin, violin); Jimmy Z. (harmonica); David Hidalgo, Zachary Richard (accordion); Joel Peskin (baritone saxophone); Steve Madaio (trumpet); John "Streamline" Ewing (trombone); Freebo (tuba); Dr. John (piano); John Philip Shenale (piano, keyboards, synthesizers, percussion); Reggie McBride (acoustic bass, bass); Dennis Fongheiser (drums, percussion).
  • Background vocalists: Billy Valentine, John Valentine, James Gilstrap, Bonnie Sheridan.
  • Los Camperos De Nati Cano: Juan Morales (guitar); Victor Manuel Villa (violin); Juan Jose Almaguer, Jesus Guzman (violin, gritos); Luis Damian (vihuela); Jose Arellano (guitarron); Carlos "Gudino" Jimenez (trumpet).
  • Producers: Willy DeVille, John Philip Shenale, Dr. John, Philippe Rault.
  • All songs written by Willy DeVille except "Come To Poppa" (W. Mitchell/E. Randle) and "Hey Joe" (Billy Roberts).
  • Released to complete indifference in the United States a full year after its issue on the Finac label in France, Willy DeVille's Backstreets of Desire stands tall as his masterpiece as both a singer and a songwriter. DeVille's considerable reputation in Paris -- he regularly filled the Olympia Theater there and had Edith Piaf's arranger writing charts and conducting an orchestra for him -- buoyed him up to make this disc at a handful of studios in his adopted New Orleans home. With guest spots by Dr. John, Zachary Richard, and David Hidalgo, DeVille creates a tapestry of roots rock and Crescent City second line, traces of '50s doo wop, and elegant sweeping vistas of Spanish soul balladry, combined with lyrics full of busted-down heroes, hungry lovers, and wise men trying to get off the street. The sound of the album balances Creole soul and pure rock pyrotechnics. DeVille sounds like a man resurrected, digging as deep as the cavernous recesses of the human heart will allow him to on "Empty Heart"; he brings down the house roaring on "All in the Name of Love," with its forlorn but anthemic refrain underscored by Dr. John's gutter funk guitar playing. "Even While I Sleep" features DeVille in a smoky falsetto shuffling along with Hidalgo's squeezebox and Brian Ray's rockabilly guitar picking. The cover of Billy Roberts' "Hey Joe" is a radically new and moving interpretation of the song, with only Jimi Hendrix' version topping it. The New Orleans street jazz on "Voodoo Charm" throws a curve to the emotionally intense contents with a backbone slip rhythm and popping horns in a slow stroll. In all, Backstreets of Desire reveals more about where DeVille had been than he'd perhaps like listeners to know. The wasted rock & roll junkie may have been resurrected from the dead by music (unlike his neighbor Johnny Thunders), but the darkness that informed that soul graces this music with a ragged elegance and tough grace. ~ Thom Jurek
Professional Reviews
Audio Magazine (7/94, p.72) - Sound: B+ / Performance: A- - "...Willy has dedicated the album to the late Doc Pomus, the great songwriter who clearly is a massive influence...[BACKSTREETS OF DESIRE is] just much to good to let slip away unnoticed..."
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