Today, we're listening to four of my favorite twelve-inch singles spotlighting remixes from legendary club DJ John "Jellybean" Benitez, whose name on a record almost always guaranteed a great remix. This is part four of the 1983 Hideaway 200.
Benatar's music has always appealed to me though I'd be hard-pressed to name a song or album after 1993's "Everybody Lay Down" from Gravity's Rainbow, her last album for Chrysalis. Her look, her persona, like Madonna's, never was my thing - I was all about that big voice and Neil Giraldo's crunchy guitars. Imagine my surprise and confusion when looking through the twelve-inch singles one day in 1983 and seeing a bright, mostly blue cover with Benatar scrawled across it in a yellow script and a red stripe down the right side with the improbable words Special Extended Re-Mix.
Picking it up and flipping it over, I saw A John "Jellybean" Benitez Mix and that was all I needed. SOLD! Admittedly, "Love Is A Battlefield" is not one of my favorite Benatar/Giraldo joints but man oh man my lady at the time loved the music video and, to his credit, Jellybean does make the song more enjoyable for my tastes, mainly by bringing the drums up in the mix and subtly stretching the 5:25 album cut out to 6:51. "Love Is A Battlefield" fought its way to number 41 on the Dance/Disco chart, number 1 on the Rock chart, and number 5 on the Pop chart.
The Electric Universe album opening track "Magnetic", which I mistook for a Kool & The Gang track when I first heard it, goes from 0 to 60 pretty dang fast and the chorus
It's magnetic/The rhythm of a dangerous dance/Let's dance in the static/Suck you in twice as fast/Magnetic/The rhythm of a dangerous dance/Let's dance in the static/Suck you in, you'll never last
sticks in my head long after the track ends. For his Extended Dance Remix, Jellybean digs out the title phrase up front at liftoff and then puts the drums up in the mix as well. Not that it matters but I have yet to meet another fan of this track. "Magnetic" made it to number 36 on the Dance/Disco chart, number 57 on the Pop chart and number 10 on the R&B chart.
Didn't discover "A Night In New York" until my deep dive into the Disco Discharge series back in 2015 and now I highly recommend the track to just about everyone. Jellybean sweetens the 4:21 album version with the extended rhythm intro it deserves while punching up the (synth?) drums and the (synth?) horns, with his Extended Version remix clocking in at a still too short for my liking 5:50. Vocalist Stephanie Fuller glides over the modern swing big band (synth) sound which makes it ever so hard to sit still and not dance and sing-along. "A Night In New York" spent more than one evening at number 24 on the Dance/Disco chart.
Michael Sembello's "Maniac" is one of three songs from the Flashdance soundtrack to receive a twelve-inch single release and a remix by John "Jellybean" Benitez. For the Re-Mix, Jellybean amps up the drum machines to 11 while leaving the song's structure relatively untouched, stealthily adding more than 90 seconds to the original 4:12 album cut. Compare this to the 9:43 Disco Purrfection Version by DJ DiscoCat, who seamlessly edits in parts from the twelve-inch instrumental flipside, more than doubling the runtime of the original. "Maniac" peaked at number 6 on Dance/Disco chart, number 34 on both the Rock and AC charts and Number One on the Pop chart.
Don't see your favorite 1983 Jellybean Benitez mix here? The Second Part of our Jellybean Tribute is coming.