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Give Me the Night (1980) - George Benson: All about the song "Give Me the Night."

This track proved to be one of the last disco singles to have great success after the genre's steady decline in popularity in the early 80s...

The story behind the song "Give Me the Night" by George Benson

"Give Me the Night" is a song recorded by American jazz and R&B musician George Benson. It was released as part of a studio album of the same name in 1980. In this composition Benson sings about how much he is looking forward to a night on the town... And he is absolutely sure that the evening will be unforgettable: with wine, dancing and music! Love is in the air, so a little late-night romance is a strong possibility. "Give Me the Night" is a sumptuous disco track about the love of nightlife, dancing and romantic experiences... It's probably George Benson's most famous and favourite track himself.

In fact - the record Give Me the Night completed George's in-depth jazz journey, making him the leading jazz-pop singer in the world!

Record cover
Record cover

History of Creation

The song was written by keyboardist Rod Temperton and produced by Quincy Jones. At the time, the composer was on the lookout for an artist for his new label, Qwest Records. And he had found him...

I give the floor to George Benson:

"I started getting away from jazz, and Quincy asked: "Do you want to make the greatest jazz record in the world - or do you want to experiment?" I laughed and said: "I choose the second!" I saw what he did with Michael Jackson, with his "Off the Wall." It was gorgeous! And he said: "George, put yourself in my hands. I know more about you than you know about yourself..." I was angry at first, but then I calmed down and things got going!"

George Benson
George Benson

In turn, Benson requested the very musicians that Quincy Jones used for Off the Wall!

"Their music delighted and inspired me..." - George recalled.

Rod Temperton, a former member of Heatwave and Michael Jackson's songwriter, was invited to record the album. He also composed "Give Me the Night".....

Benson later recalled:

"Rod was always in the shadows, except when something went wrong. He could say, 'George, you're singing in the wrong key!'. We ended up making a great team!"

George Benson:

"...After a month in the studio, I was packing my bags when I got a call from Quincy saying they had another song for me. I wanted to go home, but he insisted, "God, it's a good song. It won't take long!" I went back to the studio and I was in a good mood... We wrote the song in a day. Quincy heard my guitar part and said he wanted it on the whole record, including the intro! That became the main thing!"

Miami Girls 80s
A photo in the style of the music video. Girls on the beach in Miami. 80s

Benson also revealed how the composer deceived him:

"I was too tired to give this song a proper vocal, and I ended up with this crazy, fake voice... Quincy promised me he wouldn't use it on the record. But when he sent me the sample version, of course he used that exact vocal! My kids never asked me about my music, but when I played it at home, my young son asked: "Daddy, can you play the song called 'Gimme the Night'?" So I always knew that song was special..."

Achievements

The song "Give Me the Night" was a huge commercial success! It became Benson's first single to reach number one on the US Billboard Soul Singles chart! The track also reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 US chart, making it his most successful pop hit. It also reached number two on Billboard Hot Singles and number seven on UK Singles.

Equally curious is that this track turned out to be one of the last disco singles to have great success after the genre's steady decline in popularity in the early 80s....

The music video for "Give Me the Night" was released in 1980. The video features Benson performing the track on stage. There are shots of him dancing, having dinner with dates... Considering that the clip was uploaded to YouTube relatively recently, it already has more than three million views!

The album itself as a whole was also the only significant time Benson and Quincy Jones worked together. It's scary to think what could have happened if they had continued their collaboration! How many more hits could have been born! However, what their union left behind is truly something special....

It is safe to say that it was this song that marked the further destiny of the whole album... It was "Give Me the Night" that made the release! The title single became a world hit and the leader of prestigious raings! The album brought the musician three Grammy Awards at once!

By the way: another beautiful track from the album called "Moody's Mood" was recorded with the participation of singer Patti Austin.

Quincy Jones and Jerry Hay also won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement (the song "Dinorah, Dinorah")!

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