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

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...

History of "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 he looks forward to a night out on the city... 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 romance is a big possibility. "Give Me the Night" is a luxurious disco track about love for nightlife, dancing and romantic experiences... This is perhaps the most famous and beloved track of George Benson himself.

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

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 looking for an artist for his new label, Qwest Records. And he found it...

Word to George Benson:

“I started to move 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 one!” I saw what he did to Michael Jackson with Off the Wall. It was luxurious! And he said, “George, put yourself in my arms. I know more about you than you yourself ... "At first I got angry, but then I calmed down and things went on!"

George Benson
George Benson

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

“Their music delighted and inspired me…” George recalled.

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

Benson later recalled:

“Rod has always been in the shadows, except when something went wrong. He could say, "George, you're singing in the wrong key!" As a result, we have a great team!”

George Benson:

“…After a month in the studio, I was packing my bags when Quincy called me and said they had another song for me. I wanted to go home, but he insisted: “God, this is a good song. It does not take much time!" 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! This has become the highlight!”

Miami Girls 80s
Photo in the style of the clip. Girls on the beach in Miami. 80s

Benson also recounted how the composer tricked him:

“I was too tired to give this song proper vocals, and the result is this crazy, fake voice ... Quincy promised me that he would not use it on the record. But when he sent me a trial version, of course he used that vocal! My kids never asked me about my music, but when I played it at home, my little son asked, “Daddy, can you play a song called Give Me the Night?” So I always knew this song was special…”

Achievements

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

No less 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 ...

A music video for "Give Me the Night" was released in 1980. In the video, Benson performs the track on stage. There are footage of him dancing, dinner with dates... Given that the video was uploaded relatively recently to YouTube, it already has over three million views!

The album itself as a whole was also the only significant time that 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 be born! However, what their union left behind is really something special...

We can say with confidence that it was this song that marked the further fate of the entire album ... It was “Give Me the Night” that made the release! The title single became a worldwide hit and the leader of the prestigious ratings! The album brought three Grammy awards to the musician's piggy bank at once!

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

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

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