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Mardones, Benny - 1981 Too Much To Lose



ARTIST: Mardones, Benny
ALBUM: Too Much To Lose
LABEL: Polydor
SERIAL: PD-1-6336
YEAR: 1981
CD REISSUE: 2012, Warrior Records

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Benny Mardones - lead and backing vocals * Robert Tepper - bass, backing vocals * Duane Evans - keyboards * Lars Hanson, Terry Bacon - guitars * Gregg Gerson - druims * Mark Rivera - saxophone * Michael Kamen - synclavier * Kinny Landrum - vocoder, prophet V synth

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sheila C * 02 This Time * 03 The Dreamer * 04 Til He Mentioned Your Name * 05 Baby Don't * 06 Treat You Right * 07 I'm Not Goinna Cry Anymore * 08 Oh Me Oh My

WEBLINKS: www.bennymardones.com


Background
It was the early 80's, and New York singer songwriter Benny Mardones should've been hitting his straps as a solo artist. Instead he was hitting the wall. The late 70's saw Mardones making great strides as a singer. Caught somewhere between Eddie Money, Joe Cerisano (Silver Condor) and Giuffria's David Glenn Eisley, his first two albums 'Thank God For Girls' and 'Never Run Never Hide' were mildly successful, but the single 'Into The Night' from the latter album was a big hit, making #11 on the Billboard singles charts. Polydor Records were hoping for a home run on the third strike 'Too Much To Lose', but Mardones struck out, the album a commercial failure, but years later we investigate this LP and ask some questions as to why it went all pear-shaped and why Mardones became a recluse in Syracuse, where he went to hide out for a few years.


The Songs
Benny had a hand in co-writing 6 of the 8 songs, except for the last two: 'I'm Not Gonna Cry Anymore' and 'Oh Me Oh My', a cover of a Jim Doris song made popular back in 1969 by Scottish chanteuse Lulu. In terms of quality, 'Too Much To Lose' showcases Mardones' voice to perfection. Emotive mostly, wide-ranging and diverse, with the ability to change course on a dime. The personnel on the LP have a solid industry background too: Gregg Gerson has drummed with Billy Idol, Mayday, Russ Irwin and Adam Bomb, Robert Tepper needs no introduction to GD regulars; multi-instrumentalist Duane Evans has appeared regularly on Mardones' albums while Rivera is well known thanks to his work with Tycoon and Foreigner. As mentioned, there's only 8 songs, the standouts for me include the opener 'Sheila C', the stop/start rocker 'This Time', the 70's pop rock of 'Baby Don't' which could be Starz meets Teaze, while 'Till He Mentioned Your Name' which could join the fray but just lingers on the outskirts.


In Summary
At the time, Mardones was doing what all rockstars did on their downtime during this timeframe. With Polydor no longer interested, Mardones retreated to upstate New York to try and get his life in order. He eventually did, and returned in 1989 with the self titled 'Blue Album', which included a reworked version of his earlier hit 'Into The Night'. Since then, Mardones has regularly released albums, and in 2012 his current record label Warrior Records reissued 'Too Much To Lose' as well. Refer his website to see what he is currently up to.


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