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Randy Krbechek's Metronews
Music Reviews

Randy's Buttons

September 8, 1993

Backstreets of Desire

Willie DevilleWillie DeVille, Backstreets of Desire (FNAC 1992) -- Chalk this disk up as a big find. Neo-gothic roots rocker Willie DeVille has apparently flown the coop and landed with French label FNAC. The result, Backstreets of Desire is a gem of an album just waiting to be found.

When I first heard this album, I thought "Wow -- John Mellencamp remembered how to sing". Gail thinks it sounds like The Boss. Cheryl thinks it sounds like vintage Bowie. There are also occasional echoes of Pere Ubu.

It doesn't matter. The result is one great, driving rock 'n roll record -- the kind of disk that ought to scale the charts.

Featured cuts include the barnburning "Even While I Sleep", and a mariachi-influenced version of Hendrix's "Hey Joe" that is pulled off with aplomb.

My phone number for FNAC in France doesn't connect, so I can't obtain any additional information. There are reports of discussions regarding domestic distribution for the new release, as well as domestic CD re-issues of DeVille's first three albums (from the late 70s/early 80s as Mink DeVille).

Don't wait. Be the first kid on your block to get turned onto Willie DeVille. Wherehouse (at Blackstone and Barstow) promised to order five copies. Find it. Buy it. Enjoy it.

Glen DelpitGlen Delpit & The Subterraneans, Blue Deep, Wine Red (Dharma 1993) -- Fresno's local recording talent continues to grow. Glen Delpit, who is arguably Fresno's most accomplished musician, has dished up yet another tasty morsel with the locally-produced and distributed Blue Deep, Wine Red.

Glen's current quartet, which includes Doug Campbell on lead guitar, Darren Embry on bass, and Joe Luppino on drums, serves up some of Fresno's best bar rock, as Glen synthesizes country-western, rock, and blues elements in a manner reminiscent of Van Morrison.

Blue Deep, Wine Red features established crowd-pleasers like "Long Distance Operator", together with more politically-influenced numbers like "A Little Bit of Love," and some songs you only hear in the Valley (like "Rainmaker").

If you like Glen live, you'll love this disk. If you don't like Glen live (or haven't heard Glen live), then it's time to catch the buzz.

TommyOriginal Cast Recording, Tommy (RCA 1993) -- Last fall, Pete Townsend dusted off Tommy and gave it new life as a theatrical musical. The initial revival in La Jolla got great reviews, so they shipped the show on to the Great White Way.

This new two-disk set from RCA features the cast of the Broadway show. Sorry folks, but Tommy doesn't cut it as a revival musical. The original version by the Who is still definitive, and the new version pales by comparison.

However, credit must go to RCA for sensibly following the European lead and packing these disks in a single fold-open jewel case. There is no need for dual jewel cases for double-disks -- two disks will fit very neatly into one case. Now let's hope other U.S. companies will join suit (no pun intended regarding the big used CD brouhaha).

-- Randy Krbechek

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