Willy DeVille Biography

William Borsey, 25 August 1950, Stamford, Connecticut, USA. DeVille put the lid on his previous outfit, Mink DeVille, following the release of Sportin’ Life in 1985. Having embarked on a solo career, he was unexpectedly chosen to sing and write the theme tune to The Princess Bride, which brought his name back into the media after several years away from the mainstream. ‘Storybook Love’ was subsequently awarded an Academy Award Nomination, and was the closing track on 1987’s Miracle, - a soft rock/pop soul collection produced by Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), who also played guitar throughout. Although unmistakably the voice of Willy DeVille, there was little else in slushy songs such as ‘Angel Eyes’ and the Van Morrison cover version, ‘Could You Would You’, to appease long-standing fans.

After moving to New Orleans, DeVille signed to the local Orleans label. The 1990 release Victory Mixture proved far more interesting, partnering the rejuvenated rocking DeVille with blues and soul legends such as Dr. John and Alan Toussaint. Two years later, DeVille shone on a tribute to the late Doc Pomus and released his signature album, Backstreets Of Desire. His studio albums during the rest of the decade and into the new millennium were predominantly aimed at the European market, as he remained completely overlooked in his home country. DeVille’s louche fusion of rock ‘n’ roll, Tex-Mex and country styles has matured with age, and his most recent work is among the finest of his recording career.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.