Whatever Happened to Benny Santini?

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Whatever Happened to Benny Santini?
Whatever Happened To Benny Santini.jpg
Studio album by Chris Rea
Released 1978
Genre Album-oriented rock
Label United Artists (U.S.)/
Magnet (rest of world)
Producer Gus Dudgeon
Chris Rea chronology
Whatever Happened to Benny Santini?
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]

Whatever Happened to Benny Santini? is the debut album by Chris Rea, released in 1978 (see 1978 in music).

The first single lifted from the album, "Fool (If You Think It's Over)", is arguably Rea's best known song, and remains his biggest hit in the United States, peaking at number twelve on the Billboard Hot 100 and reaching number one on the Adult Contemporary Singles chart. Unlike many of Rea's other singles, "Fool..." was not a great success on the UK Singles Chart, failing to chart on its first release and only reaching number thirty when re-released later in 1978 to capitalise on its U.S. success. This success was also helped by being played extensively by Radio Caroline, as it was dedicated to the British Home Office, who were trying to put the station off the air.

The title of the album is a reference to a name Rea's UK record label (Magnet) had considered christening him with to make him sound more attractive commercially.

Whatever Happened to Benny Santini? was produced by Gus Dudgeon, who is perhaps most famous for producing most of Elton John's album output in the 1970s. Rea was reportedly dissatisfied with the final mix of the album; he later went some way to rectify this to his satisfaction starting with 1988's greatest hits compilation New Light Through Old Windows, where "Fool..." was presented in a newly recorded version. Dudgeon went on to produce Rea's next effort, Deltics.

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Chris Rea.

  1. "Whatever Happened to Benny Santini?" – 4:22
  2. "The Closer You Get" – 3:31
  3. "Because of You..." – 3:57
  4. "Dancing with Charlie" – 3:52
  5. "Bows and Bangles" – 3:58
  6. "Fool (If You Think It's Over)" – 4:47
  7. "Three Angels" – 3:26
  8. "Just One of Those Days" – 2:40
  9. "Standing in Your Doorway" – 3:53
  10. "Fires of Spring" – 3:54



  1. "Fool (If You Think It's Over)" b/w "Midnight Love"
  2. "Whatever Happened to Benny Santini?" b/w "Three Angels"