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George Benson - The Greatest Hits of All
Rhino Records
By MuzikMan
(more articles from this author)
2003-08-07
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Artist: George Benson (www.georgebenson.com)
Title: The Greatest Hits of All
Label: Rhino Records (www.rhino.com)
Genre: Jazz /Contemporary, Crossover, Rock, Pop

I clearly remember George Benson's song "Breezin'" playing on AM radio stations back in the ‘70s and how much it sounded different from anything else I was listening to at the time. I genuinely liked it. I never realized that I was listening to crossover jazz and I never gave it another thought, until now. Back then, I was interested in only one type of music, rock. If you had told me that I would come to know jazz and love it, I would have laughed. It is funny how certain music sparks memories and coaxes realizations about yourself and who you once were.

The Greatest Hits of All is the very best of Benson's Top-40 jazz crossover oriented career encapsulated on one CD. Essentially what this compilation does is highlight his output from 1976-1988. There are 19 tracks of dynamite guitar playing, expressive and articulate vocals, and most of all…music that everyone will enjoy hearing. Yes, this is music for the entire family. If other people surround you in your household, all of them will enjoy this music. If it is just you listening, the effect is the same.

This man had a ton of hits. The other songs that always rocked my soul were "On Broadway (live)" and "Turn Your Love Around." Both tunes constantly caught my ear with their irresistible hooks and melodies. There have been many versions of "On Broadway" but the one I remember is on this collection. That is saying a lot considering how many great artists have covered the song. I have always felt that Benson was an equally talented vocalist and guitar player, and that is more than evident when you listen to each track on this CD. His history goes back to 1964 when he played with the great Jack McDuff. Unquestionably, Mr. Benson has been a major influence on many musicians since his inception as a recording artist. When you look at the list of credits on this album, it is truly amazing.

To have the respect of your peers and adoration of your fans as a guitar player is one thing, but to have that same kind of respect as a vocalist is something special. Benson did it all and although this is only one segment of a long and productive career, it covers the most commercially successful time that he had.

This CD will get common rotation in your stereo for a long time before you decide to move on to something else. With the combination of jazz, rock, and pop all here with one of the most distinctive voices in music history telling the stories, this is a can't miss collection well worth the price of admission.

1. This Masquerade- 3:21
2. Breezin' - 5:40
3. The Greatest Love of All- 3:34
4. On Broadway (live) - 5:13
5. Love Ballad - 4:19
6. Unchained Melody - 3:56
7. Give Me the Night - 3:42
8. Love X Love - 3:50
9. Turn Your Love Around - 3:51
10. Love All the Hurt Away - 4:08
11. Never Give Up on a Good Thing - 4:05
12. Being With You - 3:54
13. Lady Love Me (One More Time) - 4:01
14. 20/20 - 4:05
15. I Just Wanna Hang Around You - 3:54
16. Kisses in the Moonlight - 3:55
17. Shiver - 3:35
18. Let's Do It Again - 3:40
19. Standing Together - 4:08

Credits:
Patti Austin - Vocals (bckgr)
Aretha Franklin - Vocals
James Taylor - Vocals (bckgr)
Larry Williams - Flute, Saxophone
George Benson - Guitar, Vocals, Compilation Producer
Jorge Dalto - Piano, Keyboards, Clavinet
Ronnie Foster - Synthesizer, Keyboards, Piano (Electric)
Herbie Hancock - Piano (Electric)
Tim Heintz - Keyboards
James Newton-Howard - Synthesizer, Keyboards, String Arrangements
Quincy Jones - Rhythm
Earl Klugh - Guitar (Acoustic)
Rob Mounsey - Synclavier
Phil Upchurch - Bass, Guitar (Rhythm)
Audrey Wheeler - Vocals (bckgr)
David Foster - Synthesizer, Piano (Electric), String Arrangements
Bill Champlin - Vocals (bckgr)
Steve Kipner - Drum Programming, Sequencers
Marcy Levy - Vocals (bckgr)
Ralph MacDonald - Percussion
Gene Page - Synthesizer
Jennifer Hall - Vocals (bckgr)
Vaneese Thomas - Vocals (bckgr)
Michael Sembello - Vocals (bckgr), Drum Programming
Jocelyn Allen - Vocals (bckgr)
Tom Bahler - Vocals (bckgr)
Mike Baird - Cymbals
Stanley Banks - Bass
Kitty Beethoven - Vocals (bckgr)
Michael Boddicker - Synthesizer
Robbie Buchanan - Piano (Electric)
Lenny Castro - Percussion
Wells Christy - Programming, Synclavier
Claus Ogerman - Conductor, Orchestral Arrangements
Paulinho Da Costa - Percussion
Eddie Daniels - Sax (Alto)
Nick DeCaro - String Arrangements
Nathan East - Bass
Howard Buzzy Feiten - Guitar
Chuck Findley - Trumpet
Babi Floyd - Vocals (bckgr)
Steve Gadd - Drums
Jim Gilstrap - Vocals (bckgr)
Alan Glass - Guitar (Rhythm)
Preston Glass - Synthesizer, Sequencing, Associate Producer, Drum Programming
Venette Gloud - Vocals (bckgr)
Greg "Gigi" Gonaway - Cymbals, Drums
Randy Goodrum - Synthesizer, Drum Programming
Diva Gray - Vocals (bckgr)
Jay Graydon - Synthesizer, Guitar, Arranger, Producer
Gary Herbig - Flute, Saxophone
Jerry Hey - Strings, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Horn, String Arrangements, Brass Arrangement
Lee Holdridge - Conductor, Orchestration
Kim Hutchcroft - Flute, Saxophone
Paul Jackson Jr. - Guitar (Rhythm)
Anthony Jackson - Bass
Abraham Laboriel - Bass
Will Lee - Bass
Wayne Lewis - Keyboards, Producer, Drum Programming
Steve Lukather - Guitar
Mike Mainieri - Conductor, Orchestration
Marty Paich - String Arrangements
Harvey Mason, Sr. - Drums
Michael Masser - Piano, Producer, Rhythm Arrangements
Narada Michael Walden - Drums, Producer, Drum Programming
Marcus Miller - Bass
Michael Omartian - Synthesizer, Piano
David Paich - Synthesizer, Bass, Arranger, Keyboards
Jeff Porcaro - Drums
Claytoven Richardson - Vocals (bckgr)
Lee Ritenour - Guitar
Zachary Sanders - Vocals (bckgr)
Danny Sembello - Fender Rhodes, Synthesizer Bass
Mike Sims - Guitar
Neil Stubenhaus - Bass
Hamish Stuart - Vocals (bckgr)
Richard Tee - Synthesizer Bass
Suzanne Valentine - Vocals (bckgr)
Carlos Vega - Drums
Randy Waldman - Synthesizer
Dave Weckl - Cymbals
Jonathan Lewis - Synthesizer, Programming
Mark Stevens - Vocals (bckgr)
Walter Afanasieff - Keyboards
Genobia Jeter - Vocals (bckgr)
Andy Bloch - Guitar
Jai Winding - Piano, Piano (Electric)
Carmen Twilley - Vocals (bckgr)
Bill Reichenbach - Trombone
John "4 Daddman" Robinson - Drums


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