George Benson's 10 best songs, ranked

12 January 2022, 17:49

George Benson
George Benson. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

George Benson is one of the greatest soul singers and guitarists of his generation.

He was a former child prodigy and first performed jazz in the 1960s, before launching a hugely successful solo career in the 1970s and 1980s with his unique mix of pop, soul and R&B.

Here are just a handful of George Benson's very best and most famous songs, to kick off a perfect playlist:

  1. Love X Love

    This song was written and composed by Heatwave's keyboard player Rod Temperton (who also wrote Michael Jackson's 'Thriller') and produced by Quincy Jones.

    While not a hit in the States, it reached number 10 in the UK in 1980.

  2. Breezin'

    This track was originally an instrumental song composed by American singer Bobby Womack and recorded alongside influential Hungarian jazz guitarist Gábor Szabó.

    Five years later, the smooth jazz song became even better known for a successful cover by George, which became the title track of his next album.

  3. Lady Love Me (One More Time)

    This track was co-written by Toto singer David Paich and Grammy Award-winning film composer James Newton Howard. Impressive!

    It was a bigger hit in the UK than the US, reaching a peak of 11 in 1983.

  4. Turn Your Love Around

    Yet more amazing songwriters for this one: it was written by Bill Champlin of Chicago, Steve Lukather of Toto and producer and guitarist Jay Graydon.

    The original inspiration for the song came to Graydon in a unique place: "I was in the bathroom when I came up with the melody, and I was sitting down, if you get my drift.

    "Well, I got off the can as fast as I could and got to a cassette machine so I wouldn't forget it. George Benson was coming in town Tuesday, so I had four days to come up with a song. And then bang!"

  5. On Broadway

    Written by songwriting icons Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil alongside Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, this standard became best known as a song by The Drifters in 1963.

    Many artists have covered it since, including this version by George Benson in 1978 as a smooth jazz track.

    George's performance of the song was used in the 1979 film All That Jazz in a scene that featured dancers auditioning for a musical similar to Chicago.

  6. The Greatest Love of All

    George was the first to release this ballad back in 1976, reaching the top 30 in both the UK and US. It was written to be the main theme of the 1977 film The Greatest, a movie about boxer Muhammad Ali.

    Eight years later, Whitney Houston released her own version of the song, and it became a humongous hit as part of her debut album.

  7. Give Me the Night

    Taken from his 1980 album of the same name, this was another Rod Temperton-composed track.

    Patti Austin also provided backing and scat vocals heard throughout the song.

    It was a top 10 hit in the UK and US, and was arguably one of the last disco singles to be a success.

  8. Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You

    Written by Masser and Gerry Goffin, George scored a mild hit with it in 1985.

    However, it is perhaps better known as a cover by Glenn Medeiros, who hit number one with it in the UK in 1988.

  9. In Your Eyes

    This love song was co-written by Michael Masser and 'Sometimes When We Touch' singer Dan Hill.

    It was another decent hit in the UK for George, reaching number 7 in 1983.

  10. Never Give Up on a Good Thing

    Amazingly, this 1982 pop classic only peaked at number 14 in the UK charts, and only 52 in the States!

    The track was included on his Greatest Hits compilation The George Benson Collection, and became one of his best-known songs.