Title - 'Come a Little Bit Closer' (Eagle Records)
Artist - Willy DeVille
What this brand new CD boils down to is a look into the wild and varied career of Willy DeVille. Concentrating on his legendary New York band, Mink DeVille, and their brand of no-nonsense, razor-blade Spanish stroll Jersey soul, 'The Best of Willy DeVille: Come A Little Bit Closer, Live' is a 17 track chocolate box assortment of his musical life.
'The Best of ...' is a combination of catchy hooks, sweeping early rock crescendos, and DeVille's in-the-cut vocals that could give early-Springsteen a good run for is money! This is the sound Lou Reed tried to emulate all his life after the Velvet Underground - the street tough who is possessed by the tenderness of a boy.
A guitar shred starts this 17 track CD off in wildly-perfect style, as 'Venus of Avenue D.' is crashingly brought forth thereafter. Next comes the early-Springsteenish sounding 'This Must Be The Night,' before Willy intro's 'Love and Emotion.' 'Savoir Faire,' replete with that '50s resonance DeVille could always conjure up is followed by the beautiful, heartfelt rendering of 'Just To Walk That Little Girl Home' - written with legendary Doc Pomus.
'Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl' slides its way out, but it's the Bryan Ferry cover of 'Slave To Love' that makes this live set the need-to-own that it truly is! DeVille's version, and without varying a beat nor a tempo, is incredible - making it his own without ever trying.
The organ-fused intro to 'Slow Drain' has the audience baying, then clapping, then chanting along, before the totally-captivating, pulsating 'Demasiado Corazon (Too Much Heart)' comes our way. Complete with a last-third samba breakdown, the song stands alone as a true highlight of the album.
'Little Girl' trickles along, before the Waits-vocal infused 'Storybook Love.' "Thank you," DeVille says to his adoring fans, acknowledging their devotion to a really beautiful song. 'Can't Do Without It, complete with female backing singers is next, before a rip-roaring Hendrix cover 'Hey Joe.' Covered in his own inimitable fashion, complete with growls and snarls, let alone Latino flair, 'Just Your Friends' is next.
Bringing the album to a close is the harmonica-driven 'Steady Drivin' Man,' the tom tom-driven 'Cadillac Walk,' and finally the guitar-laden 'Spanish Stroll' - which was the only song that even came close to being a hit! And so yes, come the end this may well just be a Mink DeVille hits collection, but the cipher, the legend still rumbles on known to all as Willy D.