The Return of Bruno (album)

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The Return of Bruno
BruceWillis - ReturnOfBruno.jpg
Studio album by Bruce Willis
Released January 20, 1987
Recorded 1986
Genre R&B, pop
Length 40:34
Label Motown
Producer Robert Kraft
Bruce Willis chronology
The Return of Bruno
If It Don't Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger
(1989)If It Don't Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger1989
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[1]

The Return of Bruno is the debut album by actor Bruce Willis. Released by Motown in 1987, this album is an eclectic gathering of R&B music sung by Willis, with backing musicians including Booker T. Jones, The Pointer Sisters and The Temptations. It is a companion piece to an HBO special of the same name which aired shortly after the album's release. A re-issue was distributed by Razor & Tie in 1997.


The album peaked at #14 on the US Billboard 200 album chart.[2] Leadoff single "Respect Yourself," a duet with June Pointer featuring background vocals by the Pointer Sisters, was a hit. It peaked at #5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and number 7 in the UK Singles Chart. Follow-up singles "Young Blood" and "Under the Boardwalk" did not fare nearly as well, peaking at #68 and #59, in the US respectively. Though "Under the Boardwalk" fared poorly in the US, in the UK it was a different matter, as the single reached #2 in the charts and became the UK's 12th best-selling single of 1987.

Reception and legacy[edit]

Reviews of the album were mixed. In February, 1987, People magazine gave the album a B+, while calling Willis' cover of "Under the Boardwalk" "surprisingly okay", noting additionally that the album "shows us that he (Willis) can't shout songs quite as well as Don Johnson. So Springsteen he ain't. Funny he is."[3] Allmusic observes that Willis "doesn't quite have the conviction or skill of the Blues Brothers", adding that The Return of Bruno is today little more than a kitsch artifact.[4]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Comin' Right Up" (Brock Walsh) – 3:30
  2. "Respect Yourself" (Luther Ingram, Mack Rice) – 3:53
  3. "Down in Hollywood" (Ry Cooder, Tim Drummond) – 5:20
  4. "Young Blood" (Jerry Leiber, Doc Pomus, Mike Stoller) – 4:08
  5. "Under the Boardwalk" (Kenny Young, Arthur Resnick) – 3:03
  6. "Secret Agent Man / James Bond Is Back" (Steve Barri, P.F. Sloan) / (John Barry) – 4:48
  7. "Jackpot (Bruno's Bop)" (Robert Kraft, Bruce Willis) – 4:12
  8. "Fun Time" (Allen Toussaint) – 3:38
  9. "Lose Myself" (Larry John McNally, Jon Lind) – 3:56
  10. "Flirting with Disaster" (Brock Walsh, Jeff Lorber) – 4:33


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ "Bruce Willis - The Return Of Bruno: Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Picks and Pans Review: Bruce Willis: the Return of Bruno". People Magazine. Retrieved 30 July 2016. 
  4. ^ "AllMusic Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 30 July 2016.