Benny Mardones and The Hurricanes – American Dreams [1986]

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Here you have a little gem. This unknown vinyl is part of the two “Syracuse only” albums recorded by BENNY MARDONES in the middle of the 80’s. Both records were released and distributed by BT Records (a small local concert promoters label) in New Jersey state only, especially in the Syracuse area, where Benny is the hometown hero (even today), outselling ‘big’ names like Bruce Springsteen from local charts.

Why a limited and local release only? There’s a story to be told. By ’82, Benny was enjoying a great success with his top single ‘Into the Night’ , 3 LP’s on the streets and a juicy deal with Polydor. But… one day, messin’ around in the studio with his friends, the duo ALESSI BROS, between drugs & alcohol, he shown to their mates his new song ‘All for a reason’, just recorded and ready to be released by his label as Benny’s new single. They say: “…What a great tune! let’s do it!” Benny himself helped to arrange the song to fit the duo’s style and then recording it. Two weeks later ALESSI BROS released their own version of ‘All for a reason’ and become the duo’s most successful hit single ever. Mardones’ label, infuriated, fired him immediately and canceled his ready-to-go own single.

Those were hard years to Mardones, fighting to kick his addiction to heroin. However, both ‘Syracuse only’ (the other was called “Unauthorized”) albums are excellent. The man has an unique voice, style and feeling. A true AOR icon, and personally, I think all his discography is essential to any fan of this beloved genre. I will not explain how this album is, just get it. Contains wonderful songs including a new version of the classic “Shelia C.” (co-written with ROBERT TEPPER). The Fire Is Raging (Jam 99)” was recorded with members of LYNYRD SKYNYRD, a minor but cool shuffle song.

Band Members
Benny Mardones – Lead Vocals, producer
Duane Evans – Guitar, producer
Arthur Neilson – Guitar
Mark Bosch – Guitar
Steve Galloway – Keyboards
Rennie Xosa – Bass
Dan Hickey – Drums
Lind Miller – Backing Vocals

Tracks
01. (Love Is Just A) Heart Away (4:10)
02. Way Of The World (4:28)
03. Tonight (3:44)
04. Silent Gun (4:46)
05. Sheila C (4:02)
06. American Dreams (3:41)
07. Still Falling (4:29)
08. Fire Is Raging (Jam 99) (2:49)

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