The Complete Disco Guide to...
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.
1971: White Rabbit
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)
2000: El Barrio, The Ghetto
Me the Night (1980)
TRACKS: Love X Love
Give Me the Night
What's On Your Mind
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
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
"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
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:"Love X Love" by King's Group and Singers
"Give Me the Night" by Fausto Papetti (1980) - instrumental jazzy disco version
"Give Me the Night" by Kathy Smith's Aerobic Fitness (1981) - jazzy
"Give Me the Night" by Tony Evans Band (1982) - 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)
"Turn Your Love Around" by Bill Champlin (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
"Turn Your Love Around" by Lynda Wehipeihana (2000) - mellow version
"Turn Your Love Around" by Jackie Gore (2002) - jazz version
"Gib' mir die Nacht" by Joo Kraus (2003) - German version of "Give Me the Night"
"Give Me the Night" by Nate James (2009)
"Give Me the Night" by Alma Thomas (2017) - bossa version
"Give Me the Night" by Denise King (2017) - jazz version
"Give Me the Night" by State of Sound (2018) - electro-dance-pop version
"Give Me the Night" by Juan Laya and Jorge Montiel featuring Xantoné Blacq (2019) - jazz-funk version
"Give Me the Night" by Double Soul (2020)
"Give Me the Night" by Denise King and Massimo Faraò Trio (2020) - jazz version
"Give Me the Night" by Hindley Street Country Club (2020) - electro-disco version
"Give Me the Night" by Jimmy Michaels (2020) - electronic instrumental 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
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 TITLE||Merchant 1||Merchant 2||Merchant
|Give Me the Night
|Livin' Inside Your Love
|George Benson - The Greatest Hits of All
|George Benson - The Ultimate Collection
|The Best of George Benson
|The George Benson Collection
|George Benson: Les Incontournables
The Official George Benson
De La Font Agency, Inc.: George Benson
Benson: Anthology - Liner Notes
Tracks: George Benson
Improv: George Benson
Disco Mania: George Benson
Encyclopedia: George Benson
"George Benson has no plans to hang up guitar" by Jim Gilchrist in The Scotsman, 19 July 2015
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