Friday, July 29, 2022

"Into the Night" by Benny Mardones

Song#:  3889
Date:  05/06/1989
Debut:  65
Peak:  20
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Pop, Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  In 1980, singer/songwriter Mardones issued out his second album Never Run, Never Hide. Its first single was the power ballad "Into the Night." It would become a hit just missing out on cracking the Pop Top 10 peaking at the dreaded #11 spot. No further singles from the LP charted and after a third album quickly came and went, Mardones' career took a major tumble. He would be dropped by his label and fall into substance abuse, which he would eventually overcome. Mardones would continue to write and perform and in '86 would even release an indie album credited to Benny Mardones & the Hurricanes. It seemed like his days on the charts were over, but then in '89 a radio station in Phoenix aired a "Where Are They Now"-style segment that featured Mardones and "Into the Night." The song gained some attention thanks to a new generation of listeners who hadn't heard it before. The buzz about the tune made it over to L.A. DJ/Program Director Scott Shannon who then added the old hit to his station's playlist. The song quickly picked up steam with other stations putting it into their rotations. With the tune generating a lot of new interest, Mardones' former label, Polydor, reissued the single. The song reentered the Pop chart and began to take off. It would eventually peak at the Top 20 mark while also getting to #20 at AC. The song's revival would be a big boost to Mardones' career and give him a second shot at the big time.

ReduxReview:  My original review was kinda short, but it still stands. This was a well-written song that was made even more memorable by Mardones emotive vocal. To find out more about the song and Mardones' vocal take, I highly suggest watching the Professor of Rock interview with Mardones. More insight into the song is given in the interview than can really be found elsewhere and it is worth watching (as is anything by Prof of Rock).

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  As "Into the Night" scaled the chart for a second time, it gave Mardones an opportunity to seek a new record deal. He would sign on with the Warner Bros. distributed label Curb Records. Curb, which was founded by composer/musician Mike Curb in 1964, was mainly known as a country music label. Pop/rock artists were not necessarily in their wheelhouse, but they wanted to give it a go with Mardones. A self-titled album that featured a newly recorded version of "Into the Night" was quickly recorded and released. A couple of singles were issued out, but neither charted and the album quietly went away along with Mardones' contract with Curb. Mardones would not reach the Pop chart again, which oddly made him a one-hit wonder twice. Despite not making the Pop chart again, Mardones would reach the AC chart three times. In 2002, Mardones would release the indie album A Journey Through Time. Two songs from the LP would end up making the AC chart. "I Need a Miracle" would get to #30 while "I Want It All" would reach #25. Then in 2003, Mardones would be a duet partner on the song "I Know You By Heart" by singer/songwriter Katrina Carlson. The track was from her second album Untucked. The song would reach #25 on the AC chart. Mardones would continue to record and perform over the years even after getting a diagnosis for Parkinson's disease in 2000. By the late 2010s, he would be sidelined by continuing health issues. Mardones would die in 2020 due to complications from Parkinson's.


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