Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

George Benson - Give Me The Night (1980)

A "perfect storm" kind of collaboration.  Producer extraordinaire Quincy Jones put together a team that included songwriters Ivan Lins and Rod Temperton, vocalist Patti Austin, and instrumentalists like Lee Ritenour, Herbie Hancock, Jerry Hey, and George Duke.  In other words, the same people that brought you Off The Wall and would later bring you The Dude.  Add Benson's own considerable talents to the mix and you've got a top-notch pop/funk/disco/jazz album.  Sadly, this would be the only Benson album that Jones would produce even though Benson would make appearances on other Q albums.  For an album to sell so many copies with only one Top 40 single says a lot about its quality and crossover appeal.

The album won four Grammy awards:
  1. Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, Male
  2. Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male (for Moody's Mood)
  3. Best R&B Instrumental Performance (for Off Broadway) 
  4. Best Instrumental Arrangement (for Dinorah, Dinorah)

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #3
Peak on Billboard's Jazz LPs chart: #1
Peak on Billboard's R&B albums chart: #1 
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #7

Tracks:  How the title track didn't hit #1 on the Hot 100 is beyond me.  Many of these tracks are mid-tempo ballads that the reviewer for Rolling Stone magazine called "the juiciest make-out music I've heard in ages."  Agreed (especially Turn Out The Lamplight).  Q focuses on Benson's voice, but there are few very enjoyable instrumentals: Off Broadway and Dinorah, Dinorah. The only track that remotely sounds like to filler to me is Star Of A Story (X).

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  Back when I would record songs directly from radio, Give Me The Night was one that would get recorded every time I heard it.  This meant it might appear 4-5 times on a single cassette tape.  (mondegreen at that time: give me the knife)

I saw Benson perform in Dallas in 1990.  I'm racking my brain to remember if he played Give Me The Night.  Surely he did, right?

Previously revisited for the blog:
Givin' It Up (2006) (w/Al Jarreau)
Best Of: The Instrumentals (1997)
Collaboration (1987) (w/Earl Klugh)
20/20 (1985)
The George Benson Collection (1981) 
The Other Side of Abbey Road (1970)

1 comment:

  1. First off, bonus points for using the word "mondegreen" - I like it.

    Secondly, I must have recorded this song half a dozen times off the radio myself before I finally found the 45 at the BX one Saturday. (Didn't buy the album until a couple of years later.)

    Third, my love of music from 1980, in particular "da funk" is no secret and "Give Me The Night" is present and acounted for in that playlist.