Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"Give Me the Night" by George Benson

Top 10 Alert!
Grammy Alert!
Song#:  0243
Date:  07/05/1980
Debut:  77
Peak:  4
Weeks:  23
Genre:  R&B, Adult Contemporary



Pop Bits:  Although Benson had been recording jazz albums since 1964, his first #1 jazz album came in 1974 with "Bad Benson." But it was 1976's "Breezin'" that really broke his music to a wide audience. Featuring the song "This Masquerade" ("#10 pop), the album is considered the first jazz-oriented album to go platinum. It also hit #1 on the pop albums chart. He continued to mix in more pop elements (and more vocals) with his jazz/soul background and put songs like "On Broadway" (#7, 1978) on the chart. This title track to his 1980 album ended up being his biggest pop hit and it also reached #1 on the R&B chart.

ReduxReview:  Smooth jazz gets a bad wrap most of the time, but there are exceptions. George Benson is one of them. He was top notch in this area in the late 70s-early 80s and this R&B easy groover is proof of that. Tay-stee! Oooo...and I love those "dab-buh-dab-buh-dah" background vocals (courtesy of Patrice Rushen).

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Benson was nominated for six Grammy awards for the song and album "Give Me the Night." Benson himself won three trophies for Best R&B Vocal ("Give Me the Night"), Best Jazz Vocal ("Moody's Mood"), and Best R&B Instrumental ("Off Broadway"). In addition, the song "Dinorah, Dinorah" from the album won for Best Instrumental Arrangement. Benson also co-won another Grammy the same year for his contribution to the children's album "In Harmony" from Sesame Street. The song "Give Me the Night," written by Rod Temperton, was nominated for Best R&B Song.

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