Saturday, September 9, 2017

"20/20" by George Benson

Song#:  2157
Date:  12/15/1984
Debut:  85
Peak:  48
Weeks:  13
Genre:  R&B, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:   Benson had been on a good run of success since his triple-platinum 1976 album Breezin'. Each successive album was certified gold or platinum. However, each one took Benson further out of the jazz arena into a more commercial direction. At some point, his commercial fortunes were going to wane and that point came with this first single from his LP 20/20. It did okay at R&B and AC getting to #15 on both charts, but it missed the Pop Top 40. It would end up being Benson's last song to reach the Pop chart. The album would reach gold level sales despite missing the R&B Top 10 and stalling at #3 on the Jazz chart, which ended a streak of five consecutive #1 Jazz LPs. Benson would continue to record and was able to grab one more R&B Top 10 in 1988 with a remake of the 1975 #1 hit by the Staple Singers, "Let's Do It Again." Benson's version would reach #8 at R&B. Later on Benson would turn back towards a more jazz-oriented sound and would get eight more #1 Jazz albums.

ReduxReview:  This is a good jam from Benson. It had a definite commercial lean thanks to producer Russ Titelman and near the end Benson gets in some good jazzy licks. It's a fine listen, but it just doesn't seem to stick in my mind for very long. It is certainly a pleasant listen, but there just wasn't enough to the song to make it cut through the clutter on the chart.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Another track on the album was Benson's remake of "Beyond the Sea," which was a #6 hit in 1959 for Bobby Darin. That song earned Benson a Grammy nod for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male.  2) In 2006, Benson would team up with singer Al Jarreau for a collaboration album titled Givin' It Up. The album consisted of the duo performing new versions of each artists' former hits along with some new originals. The album would be Benson's best performing on the charts since 20/20 getting to #1 Jazz, #14 R&B, and #58 Pop. Benson would also earn two Grammy awards for his work. He won for Best Pop Instrumental Performance for Al Jarreau cover "Mornin'," and with Jarreau and Jill Scott would win one for Best Traditional R&B Performance for "God Bless the Child."


No comments:

Post a Comment