A very kind person sent me a taped copy of yet another solo LP by Johnny Contardo, entitled Ballads For Lovers. It's even rarer than Changeover, and virtually impossible to find.

The album was produced by Johnny himself, and he does all the lead and background vocals. From what I understand, it was distributed mainly through his fan club and live performances, privately pressed, with only a few hundred copies made, which is why it's so extremely rare. Fortunately, it was re-released on CD, and available on Johnny's website.

The album bears no date, but most fans I've spoken to who purchased it back then seem to recall that it was released in 1983.

After desperately longing to find an original copy of my own, an extremely generous friend and fellow Contardoholic sent me one as a gift - I'm so thrilled! : )

It's unimaginable to me that it wasn't made widely available, because it truly is a masterpiece - an amazingly heartfelt and beautiful album. Ballads For Lovers is a Johnny fan's dream come true - a dozen gorgeous classic love songs crooned in his trademark sweet, sultry, seductive style. Here are the lyrics...

SINCE I DON'T HAVE YOU

I don't have plans and schemes,
And I don't have hopes and dreams.
I don't have anything
Since I don't have you.

I don't have fond desires,
And I don't have happy hours.
I don't have anything
Since I don't have you.

I don't have happiness
And I guess
I never will again.
When you walked out on me,
In walked the misery,
And it's been here since then.

I don't have love to share,
And I don't have one who cares.
I don't have anything
Since I dont have you.

* * *

MY PRAYER

When the twilight is gone,
And no songbirds are singing,
When the twilight is gone,
You come into my heart,
And here in my heart you will stay
While I pray...

My prayer is to linger with you
At the end of the day in a dream that's divine.
My prayer is a rapture in blue,
With the world far away
And your lips close to mine.

Tonight while our hearts are aglow,
Oh tell me the words
That I'm longing to know.

My prayer and the answer you give,
May they still be the same
For as long as we live -
That you'll always be there
At the end of my prayer.

* * *

I LOVE HOW YOU LOVE ME

I love how your eyes close
Whenever you kiss me.
And when I'm away from you,
I love how you miss me.
I love the way you always treat me tenderly,
But darling, most of all,
I love how you love me.

I love how your heart beats
Whenever I hold you.
I love how you think of me
Without being told to.
I love the way your touch is always heavenly,
But darling, most of all,
I love how you love me.

(Spoken: I love how your eyes close whenever you kiss me.
And when I'm away from you, I love how you miss me.)

I love the way you always treat me tenderly,
But, darling, most of all,
I love how you love me.
I love how you love me.
I love how you squeeze me, tease me, please me.
Love how you love me.
I love how you love me.
I love how you love me.
I love how you love me.

* * *

I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU

My love must be a kind of blind love,
I can't see anyone but you...

Are the stars out tonight?
I don't know if it's cloudy or bright.
I only have eyes for you, dear.

The moon may be high,
But I can't see a thing in the sky.
I only have eyes for you.
I don't know if we're in a garden,
Or on a crowded avenue.

You are here, and so am I,
Maybe millions of people go by.
But they all disappear from view,
And I only have eyes for you.

* * *

YOU ARE MY DESTINY

You are my destiny.
You are what you are to me.
You are my happiness -
That's what you are.

You are my sweet caress.
You share my loneliness.
You are my dream come true -
That's what you are.

Heaven and heaven alone
Can take your love from me.
'Cause I'd be a fool
To ever leave you, dear.
And a fool I'd never be.

You are my destiny.
You share my reverie.
You're more than life to me -
That's what you are.

* * *

SINCE I FELL FOR YOU

When you just give love,
And never get love,
You'd better let love depart.
I know it's so, and yet I know
I can't get you out of my heart...

You made me leave my happy home.
You took my love,and now you're gone,
Since I fell for you.

Love brings such misery and pain.
I guess I'll never be the same,
Since I fell for you.

Well it's too bad, and it's too sad,
But I'm in love with you.
You love me, then you snub me.
But what can I do?
I'm still in love with you.

Well, I guess I'll never see the light.
I get the blues every night,
Since I fell for you.

* * *

HALF HEAVEN, HALF HEARTACHE

My arms reach out for you,
I kiss you tenderly,
But when you touch my lips,
You're kissing him, not me -
Why must it be?

Half heaven, half heartache,
My love for you, darling.
Can't you forget that other love you knew?

Within your angel eyes,
A world of dreams are there.
Yet I keep wondering
If they are mine to share.
Oh, it's just not fair.

Half heaven, half heartache,
My love for you, darling.
Oh, let my love be strong enough to
Take away the heartache,
And make my life a heaven on earth with you.

* * *

SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES

They asked me how I knew,
My true love was true,
Oh, I, of course, replied, something here inside,
Cannot be denied.

They said someday you'll find
All who love are blind,
Oh, when your heart's on fire, you must realize
Smoke gets in your eyes.

So I chaffed them and I gaily laughed,
To think they could doubt my love.
Yet today, my love has flown away,
I am without my love.

Now. laughing friends deride
The tears I cannot hide,
Oh, so I smile and say, when a lovely flame dies,
Smoke gets in your eyes.

Smoke gets in your eyes

* * *

A TOWN WITHOUT PITY

When you're young and so in love as we,
And bewildered by the world we see -
Why do people hurt us so?
Only those in love would know
What a town without pity can do.

If we stop to gaze upon a star,
People talk about how bad we are.
Ours is not an easy age,
We're like tigers in a cage.
What a town without pity can do.

The young have problems, many problems.
We need an understanding heart.
Why don't they help us, try to help us,
Before this grey, granite planet falls apart?

Take these eager lips and hold me fast.
I'm afraid that this joy can't last.
How can we keep love alive?
How can anything survive
When these little minds tear you in two?
What a town without pity can do.

No, it isn't very pretty
What a town without pity can do.

* * *

MY SPECIAL ANGEL

You are my special angel,
Sent from up above.
The Lord smiled down on me,
And sent an angel to love.

You are my special angel,
Right from paradise.
I know that you're an angel -
Heaven is in your eyes.

A smile from your lips
Brings the summer sunshine.
The tears from your eyes bring the rain.
I feel your touch, your warm embrace,
And I'm in heaven again.

You are my special angel,
Through eternity,
I know that you're an angel
Here to watch over me.

Here to watch over me.

* * *

YOU BELONG TO ME

See the pyramids along the Nile.
Watch the sunrise on a tropic isle.
Just remember, darling, all the while -
You belong to me.

See the marketplace in old Algiers.
Send me photographs and souvenirs.
Just remember when a dream appears -
You belong to me.

I'll be so alone without you,
Maybe you'll be lonesome too.

Fly the ocean in a silver plane.
Watch the jungle when it's wet with rain.
Just remember 'til you're home again -
You belong to me.

* * *

IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT

In the still of the night,
I held you, held you tight.
For I love, love you so,
Promise you'll never let me go
In the still of the night.

I remember that night in May,
All the stars were bright above.
So I hope and I pray
To keep your precious love.

So, before the light,
Hold me again with all of your might,
In the still of the night.

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