The Complete Disco Guide to...

George Benson

George Benson, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native born in 1943, is an accomplished guitarist and singer whose jazz, disco, R&B, and pop recordings have garnered worldwide praise. His first recorded single was "It Should Have Been Me", a cover of a Ray Charles song, in 1954.

In 1975, Benson released the song "Supership". It became a hit in Europe. It is uplifting danceable R&B with great vocals and horns in which Benson is accompanied by female singers and a ship's sound effects.

Benson's ventures into disco were classy and memorable. His album "Give Me the Night" sold over a million copies, driven by a strong title track. A year earlier, his instrumentals "Nassau Day", "Before You Go", and "Soulful Strut" showed how well jazz could merge with a disco rhythm and with strings, and his first actual disco song, "Love Ballad", a nice cover of the 1976 L.T.D. ballad that had been sung by Jeffrey Osborne, reached #18 Pop in the USA and #29 Pop in the U.K. in the spring of 1979. Benson's last disco song was 1981's "Never Give Up on a Good Thing", which appeared on Warner Brothers' compilation The George Benson Collection, though "Turn Your Love Around" (on the same compilation) is a dance/pop song that some might also call disco.


DISCOGRAPHY

Classic Songs:
1971: White Rabbit
1975: Supership
1976: This Masquerade, Everything Must Change, Breezin'
1977: The Greatest Love of All
1978: On Broadway, Inside Love (So Personal)
1979: Love Ballad, Soulful Strut, Nassau Day
1980: Give Me the Night, Love X Love, Off Broadway
1981: Never Give Up On A Good Thing, Turn Your Love Around
1983: Lady Love Me (One More Time), In Your Eyes
1985: 20/20, Beyond the Sea (La Mer)
1989: Tenderly
2000: El Barrio, The Ghetto

Albums:


Give Me the Night (1980)
TRACKS:   Love X Love      Off Broadway      Moody's Mood      Give Me the Night      What's On Your Mind      Dinorah, Dinorah      Love Dance      Star of the Story      Midnight Love Affair      Turn Out the Lamplight
Produced by Quincy Jones, the "Give Me the Night" album is one of Benson's most popular. It was released in 1980 as the first record from Jones's Qwest Records. George Benson's "Give Me the Night" and "Love X Love" are among the best of romantic disco tunes, with upbeat and sensual lyrics accompanied by high-class guitar playing. "Give Me the Night" became a #1 R&B and #2 Disco hit in the United States. In the UK, "Give Me the Night" reached as high as #7 Pop in July 1980. "Love X Love" was released as a single in October 1980 and reached #61 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States and #10 Pop in the UK. Rod Temperton wrote the lyrics to both "Give Me the Night" and "Love X Love". Lee Ritenour also contributed guitar playing to "Give Me the Night". In addition to the two disco songs, the album also features the uptempo tracks "Off Broadway" and "Dinorah, Dinorah" and several jazzy ballads.

"Give Me the Night" is such a magnificent record that it won 4 Grammy awards for 1980. Benson won "Best Jazz Vocal Performance" for "Moody's Mood" and "Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male" for the album as a whole. Jerry Hey and Quincy Jones won "Best Instrumental Arrangement" for "Dinorah, Dinorah". "Best R&B Instrumental Performance" was won for "Off Broadway" by Benson and fellow musicians Lee Ritenour (guitarist), Louis Johnson (bassist), Greg Phillinganes (keyboardist), Jerry Hey (trumpetist), Kim Hutchcroft (saxophonist and flautist), Larry Williams (saxophonist and flautist), John Robinson (drummer), and Paulinho DaCosta (percussionist).

The music video for "Give Me the Night" is very cool, showing Benson in concert singing with his guitar, and also including a scene where he roller-skates down the sidewalk with many others skating behind him, and concluding with his black car driving down the boulevard at night.


Covers of George Benson Songs:

  • "Give Me the Night" by Kathy Smith's Aerobic Fitness (1981) - jazzy electro-disco version
  • "Give Me the Night" by BRUT (1986) - electro-dance version
  • "Give Me the Night" by Tom Browne (1994)
  • "Turn Your Love Around" by Amii Stewart (1994)
  • "Give Me the Night" by Randy Crawford (1995) - mellow version
  • "Turn Your Love Around" by Bill Champlin (1996) - mellow jazz version
  • "Turn Your Love Around (Live)" by Tavares (1998)
  • "Give Me the Night" by The Jazz Steppers (1999) - instrumental smooth jazz version
  • "Turn Your Love Around" by Lynda Wehipeihana (2000) - mellow version
  • "Turn Your Love Around" by Jackie Gore (2002) - jazz version

    Benson-Influenced Songs:

  • "Vibe" by Zhané (1994) - contains some words and music from "Love X Love"
  • "Not Tonight (Album Version)" by Lil' Kim (1997) - samples "Turn Your Love Around"
  • DJ Jason Phats (of Phats and Small) released a house "edit" or "recreation" of "Give Me the Night".
    HOW TO ORDER YOUR FAVORITE GEORGE BENSON SONGS

    CD/ALBUM TITLEMerchant 1Merchant 2Merchant 3Merchant 4Merchant 5
    Give Me the Night Amazon.com Amazon.ca WOW HD Sverige iTunes
    Livin' Inside Your Love Amazon.com Amazon.ca WOW HD Sverige iTunes
    George Benson - The Greatest Hits of All Amazon.com Amazon.ca The Nile AU WOW HD Sverige
    George Benson - The Ultimate Collection Amazon.com Amazon.ca WOW HD Sverige iTunes
    The Best of George Benson Amazon.com Amazon.ca The Nile AU WOW HD Sverige iTunes
    The George Benson Collection Amazon.com Amazon.ca The Nile AU WOW HD Sverige iTunes
    George Benson: Les Incontournables Amazon.com Amazon.ca

    Related links:

  • The Official George Benson Website
  • Richard De La Font Agency, Inc.: George Benson
  • George Benson: Anthology - Liner Notes
  • Soul Tracks: George Benson
  • Jazz Improv: George Benson
  • Hard Bop: George Benson
  • Cosmopolis.ch: George Benson
  • Funky's Disco Mania: George Benson
  • Deep Groove Encyclopedia: George Benson
  • AllMusic: George Benson
  • "George Benson has no plans to hang up guitar" by Jim Gilchrist in The Scotsman, 19 July 2015
  • Disco Savvy Homepage