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Mardones, Benny - 1980 Never Run Never Hide

ARTIST: Mardones, Benny
ALBUM: Never Run Never Hide
LABEL: Polydor
SERIAL: PD-1-6263
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 1990, Polydor, 839 582-2 * 2004, Universal, 839582


LINEUP: Benny Mardones - lead and backing vocals * Ron Bloom - guitars * Bobby Messano - guitars * Kinny Landrum - keyboards * Leigh Foxx - bass * Sandy Gennaro - drums * Robert Tepper - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 She's So French * 02 Mighta Been Love * 03 Into The Night * 04 Crazy Boy * 05 Hold Me Down * 06 American Bandstand * 07 Hey Baby * 08 Hometown Girls * 09 Too Young


Goodness. Is this the AOR Dream Team or what? Winding back the clock to 1980 and we get the working-class hero of the era.. Benny Mardones stepping out with his first big time album. The assembled line-up makes for impressive credentials. Members of Brother Bait, Starz, Blackjack and Franke & The Knockouts are all here, plus future singing star Robert Tepper gather around to provide the musical support. Mardones career has been full of peaks and troughs. More down than up it would seem. The seventies were spent doing the songwriting thing with partner Alan Miles. Benny went through the turnstile of record company politics, and saw the inside of Record Executive offices more often than most. However, it would lead to an eventual solo deal, firstly with Private Stock Records in 1979 for his debut album 'Thank God For Girls', and then when that label folded, he joined Polydor Records for this his sophomore album 'Never Run Never Hide' the following year.

The Songs
I guess the stand-out track on this LP is the hit single 'Into The Night', which was all over the charts in 1980 and is still a radio-staple to this day. His husky delivery predating the success that the likes of Jimi Jamison and Michael Bolton would find later on. That's not to say this LP is a one-track pony. Opening track 'She's So French' is a stop-start affair with Bolton-esque vocalisms. It's followed by the mid-paced aggression of 'Mighta Been Love', a track displaying attitude, stabbing pianos and solid blues based guitar-riffing. The Bolton comparison, particularly from his Blackjack era is apparent on a few tunes. Listening to 'Hold Me Down, 'American Bandstand' and 'Too Young' only confirms that opinion. On 'Hometown Girls' Benny ends up in Michael Stanley territory, the good-time mid-west sound a return home so to speak, as Mardones was originally from Cleveland. Returning to ballad-land is 'Hey Baby', a lilting drifting piece which features an array of vocal harmonies from all concerned.

In Summary
It would appear that Polydor also dropped the ball representing Mardones. Along with personal and health issues, Benny would eventually make his recovery years later having done it 'the hard way'. He is now a permanent resident in Syracuse NY, and occasionally gets out to play a few live gigs, which is nice to hear. Trying to fast track through Benny's career in the space of a few paragraphs will not do the man any justice. Have a squizz around on his website, get familiar with his music, and find out a little bit more about a singer who could've been in the super-league where Michael Bolton is right row. A serious and much maligned talent who is waiting to be rediscovered again. The next time you hear that song 'Into The Night' on classic rock radio, you'll now know who sings it.

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#1 | jeffduran on January 02 2008 20:59:12
Prefer the 1989 'comeback' release to this although always been a big Mardones fan. He is huge in upstate NY where he resides and is a very cool guy. Great movie about his life came out a couple years back worth checking out!
#2 | rostoned on May 26 2008 08:02:04
this is really odd: the megaclassic 'Into The Night' was issued as a single in 1980 on Polydor and reached #11 on the BILLBOARD HOT 100 in the US. The same song and same recording (not the rerecording off his CURB album, which was put out but didn't chart!) was released again in 1989 and went again TOP 20, getting now to #20 on the same chart. WOW! The sign of an everlasting melodic evergreen.

The film that Jeff refers to (a portrait of Benny's dramatic story) is called 'Into The Night' and will be out on DVD this fall. check for a nice clip/preview and updates. Looks very cool to me hairy bloody motherfuckin randr eyes! Thumbs Up

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