Monday, March 19, 2012

Music Video Monday: Bruce Willis

In honour of Bruce Willis' 57th birthday, this week's music video is one of the songs he remade for his 1987 debut album, The Return of Bruno. It's the Motown classic "Under the Boardwalk." When I was a teenager in the mid-to-late 80s, my favourite show was Moonlighting, which brought a former bartender from New Jersey fame as the crazy, but very cool boss of a fledgling detective agency owned by a supermodel (played by Cybil Shepherd). I became a huge fan of Bruce Willis because of that show (and lost interest when he starred in a lot of bad and violent movies and turned out to be one of the few Republicans in Hollywood). I wished that I had a personality like David Addison. He was my idol! Funny that from 2002 to 2005, I actually had a supervisor who reminded me a lot of David Addison. And yes, that kind of boss is really fun to work for!

Such the big fan of the show that I was, one of the things I most loved about Bruce Willis' humour and performance is that he would break out in song on occasion. It was all the classic 60s songs that he sung that caused the DVD of the series to be delayed in release because of all the synch licenses that the producers of the show had to have to be in compliance with copyright law. His singing wasn't so bad and in the 1980s, he became one of several actors who recorded albums (Rick Springfield, Don Johnson, Michael Damian, Patrick Swayze, Eddie Murphy were other actors with albums out). Of course, like any true fan, I just had to buy Bruce's debut album when it was released in 1987. I actually liked it, even though most of the songs were remakes of classic 60s songs. However, in the 1980s, remakes of 60s songs were also a big thing. Songs I loved include "Comin' Right Up", "Under The Boardwalk", "Secret Agent Man / James Bond is Back", "Down in Hollywood", "Flirting With Disaster" and of course his only Top Ten hit on the U.S. singles charts "Respect Yourself." His song "Good Lovin'" from the show was featured on the soundtrack album for the show. He had fun with this album and it shows. He's actually quite soulful for a white guy.

His follow-up album, If It Don't Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger followed in 1989 but it was a dud, both with the record buying public and myself. Another prey to "the sophomore jinx." Oh well, at least his debut album is memorable and is probably the best actor-to-singer album that I heard in the 1980s.

Happybirthdaymotherf#@ker! I'm sure his John McClane would be pleased with that kind of birthday greeting.

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