Friday, May 31, 2013

George Benson - In Your Eyes

Today (May 31st) marks the thirtieth anniversary of In Your Eyes, the eighteenth studio album from American jazz/R&B guitarist George Benson. This record from 1983 went to number 63 on the US Billboard Hot 200, number 28 on the US Billboard R&B chart, and number 1 on the US Billboard Jazz chart. It was produced by eleven-time Grammy Award winning Turkish-American Arif Mardin, who worked with the Bee Gees, Queen, Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack, Chaka Khan and many more.

Side one opens with a cover of Roberta Flack’s 1974 number 1 hit “Feel Like Making Love”; Benson’s version went to number 28 on the UK charts. I really like how he changed this one up by going with an up-tempo, danceable beat; it really makes the song fresh and fun.

“Inside Love (So Personal)” was co-produced by American musician Kashif. As a single, it went to number 43 on the UB Billboard Hot 100 and number 57 in the UK. The syncopated guitars give it a smooth groove.

The single for “Lady Love Me (One More Time)” went to number 30 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 11 in the UK. In the lyrics, the man pleads with his lover for one more intimate moment before she departs.

Closing out a strong first half, “Love Will Come Again” gives the promise that a broken heart will find, in time, someone new to mend it. It appeared on the B-side of a three-song twelve-inch single.

Side two begins with “In Your Eyes”, a love ballad that went to number 7 in the UK.

“Never Too Far To Fall” was a single B-side. I like the acapella harmony opening that bounces from audio channel to audio channel, followed by a mid-tempo rhythm with saxophone accents.

The instrumental “Being With You” was also the B-side of one of the singles. Benson’s guitar playing is spotlighted here on this slower tempo jazz tune.

On “Use Me”, a loving husband offers to help his wife out around the house in any way she needs.

“Late At Night” was released as a single in the UK only, where it went to number 86. Vicki Randle sings vocals on this duet with Benson; she would become the first female member of the Tonight Show Band in 1992.

The final track, the mid-tempo jazz instrumental “”In Search of a Dream”, also appeared on the B-side of one of the singles.

While I knew of George Benson from earlier hits in the 70’s and early 80’s, most of In Your Eyes completely passed by my radar undetected. I found it to be a good R&B album with a musical mix - an upbeat first side and a relaxing overall mood for the second side.

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