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Vanity, thy name is human, is the old saying that often carries far more negative connotations than it’s worth when you’ve got talent and ambition to back it up. In 1987, film star Bruce Willis was taking the public by storm, after a successful bout on cult classic moonlighting and a successful action movie career on the horizon. But that wasn’t enough for the rapidly rising actor, who turned his hungry gaze towards the world of blues music, teaming up with H.B.O. they produced an imaginative, glamour soaked debut into the world of blues music, a Return Of Bruno.
Bruce Willis’s The Return of Bruno is both an album and a pseudo-documentary, Demonstrating the glorious career of Bruno Radolini. From rising star in the early 60s to his downfall and the heels of an alleged comeback tour, the project is a musical mocumentary, 100% of its tongue firmly in cheek and it’s pleasant to see so many celebrities and music industry big shots in on the act.
The Return Of Bruno boasts a star-studded cast of hundreds, each one willing to embrace the humour of the situation to the fullest, cameos of film stars, famous musicians, even hit record producers are in on the gag. Fans of music history will recognise some of the moments depicted in the documentary, Bruno was there at Woodstock, had a stint with a very Beatles-esque band, to masterminding an all-female based harmonica and bass guitar cover of the Peter Gunn theme. It’s a comedic treat if you know your music trivia, and an eye-opening, informative experience, if you don’t.
The album itself features a selection of songs included in the documentary and some other selections, Coming Right Up is clearly chosen for its prowess as a lead single and serves strongly as an ambassador for the entire project capturing the fun musical showmanship. His cover of Down In Hollywood has a funky bluesy quality to it, and original compositions like Flirting With Disaster showcase a catchy energy that demands repeat viewing. Some songs even had chart success, with Bruce Willis cover of Under The Boardwalk taking the number 2 spot in the UK charts, how much of this was helped by the inclusion of The Commodores is unknown. But without their help, Bruce Willis still brings a solid cover of that track to the mix.
The Return Of Bruno demonstrates a promising beginning for the music career of Bruce Willis, combining catchy compositions with a natural vocal ability, and a whole lot of in-built charisma in the mix. It’s the chance taking attitude that’s behind this project that can be accredited to a lot of triumphs in human history, at it certainly doesn’t stop this project from hitting the Jackpot.
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