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Moody's Mood (1980) - George Benson - All about the song...

The song became famous after it was recorded and released by King Pleasure. However, there were lawsuits...

History of "Moody's Mood": George Benson's version, popular cover versions...

"Moody's Mood" is George Benson's famous hit: recorded together with Patty Austin, the track perfectly complements the musician's cult album called "Give Me the Night"! But only a few listeners know that this song actually has a much richer history! And it originates in the 50s of the last century ...

It was originally an Eddie Jefferson song called "Moody's Mood for Love"! The song was recorded in 1952, however - and this is not the whole story! The melody was taken from an impromptu solo by jazz saxophonist James Moody: the tune was originally reserved for the ballad "I'm in the Mood for Love" sung by the charming Frances Langford in Every Evening at Eight (1935)... Since then, countless performers took on this masterpiece, but the most famous version to this day remains "Moody's Mood" by George Benson.

About the song: release, influence ...

King Pleasure, cover of Moody's Mood for Love single
King Pleasure, Moody's Mood for Love single cover

As mentioned above, this song was first performed by Eddie Jefferson, a jazz vocalist and lyricist. Today this person is called an "innovator" in terms of jazz vocals (and vocals in general)! It was Jefferson who was able to combine the lyrics and the instrumental part of the work in a new way (for example, solo). One of the greatest and most famous creations of the jazzman is considered to be "Moody's Mood for Love". But few people know that the song found its audience thanks to another jazz vocalist - King Pleasure. King Pleasure himself has repeatedly stated that it was Eddie Jefferson who had a great influence on him and was almost the main source of his inspiration ... But that's another story. As for Jefferson, it remains to add that in addition to "Moody's Mood for Love" in his song piggy bank there were two more well-known hits: "Parker's Mood" and "Filthy McNasty".

…but would Moody's Mood for Love have become such a resounding success without the efforts of another participant in the events - James Moody? Of course not! Moody composed his legendary improvised solo in the late 1940s while in Sweden. Later, he and Jefferson (the author of the text) teamed up, and only then did the light see what was called "Moody's Mood for Love" ...

The song became famous after it was recorded and released by King Pleasure. However, it was not without lawsuits ... Jimmy McHugh, who wrote the melody for the very first ballad from the movie "Every Evening at Eight", accused King Pleasure of plagiarism! By the way: the court was on his side, but McHugh partially won. To leave out the unnecessary details, suffice it to say that in the end King Pleasure and Jimmy McHugh came to a general agreement - to share the proceeds from the sale of any versions of the tune. Pretty smart decision! But why did King Pleasure take on this song in the first place? How, exactly, did he know about her? After all, he was the first to write it down ...

According to some sources, Pleasure once personally attended a performance by Jefferson, who performed "Moody's Mood for Love" in a jazz club. He allegedly asked permission to record the track, and Jefferson allegedly agreed. This is a really confusing story...

George Benson version...

George Benson
George Benson

But real success fell on this song (and in particular on its performer) in the summer of 1980: it was at this time that George Benson, an American jazz and R&B guitarist and vocalist, released his cult album Give Me the Night! By the way: the record was produced not by anyone, but by Quincy Jones himself! Unfortunately, it was the first and last result of their joint collaboration ... The album quickly became the leader of the top charts, including the Billboard Pop Albums (yes, this time Benson moved away from the classic sound towards pop music ...) In many ways, a resounding success The album was due to the title hit track of the same name.

However… the composition “Moody's Mood” played a significant role in promoting the album. Benson recorded this track with Patti Austin, a famous R&B singer. As a result, the song won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Performance…

Overall, the album itself won three Grammys and was also certified platinum in the States. And now, after so many years, this record is still popular... And all thanks to two bright hits - "Give Me the Night" and, of course, "Moody's Mood". But it is worth adding that the old jazz hit is popular not only abroad ...

Other Popular Covers!

Mikhail Zhitov, participant of the show "Voice" (season 5)
Mikhail Zhitov, participant of the show "Voice" (season 5)

After the release of the King Pleasure recording, the composition "Moody's Mood for Love" gained wild popularity both among listeners and among other performers ... Among the artists who performed their own version of the jazz hit are such famous people as Aretha Franklin, Chuck Brown, Amy Winehouse and many, many others...

And yes: it was this song that served as the basis for the track "Mood for Love" by hip-hop artist Prince Paul! But, as it turned out, the legendary classic is a success not only among the foreign audience ... Mikhail Zhitov, a participant in the fifth season of the popular musical television project "Voice" in Russia, performed a legendary work, which struck the audience and judges on the spot ... Let's look at this performance:

By the way: today Mikhail is a very successful performer! And the composition "Moody's Mood for Love", apparently, will be popular for a long time to come (and among more than one generation ...)

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