Song:Never Gonna Let You Go
Album:Classics Vol. 18
Fifteen years after scoring top ten pop hits with The Look Of Love and The Fool on the Hill, Sergio Mendes made a surprise return with the 1983 top ten hit Never Gonna Let You Go. It marked the end of a long lean period for Mendes and a return to A&M Records after ten years on other labels. Though the song was a big hit, it frequently is overlooked by comp producers because it's more of a standard R & B ballad than a Brazilian flavoured song. After his late 60s success, Mendes continued to tour successfully especially in international markets like South America and Japan. But his recording career had stalled. So he left A&M for Bell Records in 1973. His two albums for Bell were recorded with jazz musicians led by producer Bones Howe. He left Bell for Elektra when Clive Davis bought Bell and turned it into Arista. His albums on Elektra didn't sell. So he returned to A&M for the 1983 album Sergio Mendes. The big surprise was when Never Gonna Let You Go reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Of course this revived Mendes' career which continues today. Never Gonna Let You Go was written by the legendary husband and wife songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil for Earth Wind & Fire. They didn't record it but Dionne Warwick recorded it on her 1982 album Friends In Love. Mendes thought the ballad would be a good change of pace for the album. The track was arranged by Canadian born session musician Robbie Buchanan. He also played keyboards. The guitar solo is by veteran session musician Michael Landau. The vocals are by studio singers Joe Pizzulo and Leza Miller. Pizzulo toured with Mendes after the song was a hit and then later he returned to studio work which he still does today. Leza didn't even tour with Mendes which is why she isn't in the video clip. She worked a lot with sax player Tom Scott and she retired in the 90s. You can get Never Gonna Let You Go and Mendes 60s hits on this comp. As I said, a lot of Mendes comps don't include Never Gonna Let You Go and they should because it was a big hit. Of course Mendes is still around having success with the Black Eyed Peas. Here's Sergio Mendes featuring Joe Pizzulo and Kate Yanai performing Never Gonna Let You Go on Solid Gold 1984.