The album includes 19 stellar tracks including the Top 10 smashes "This Masquerate", "Give Me The Night", "Turn Your Love Around" and "Love All The Hurt Away," a duet with Aretha Franklin. Co-produced by the artist himself. Handpicked archival photos plus liner otes from renowned music journalist and jazz expert Don Heckman. 75 plus minutes of remastered magic.
Q - 10/03, p.1244 stars out of 5
- "...This single volume picks the best from the string of million-selling albums he cut between 1976 and 1986..."
Personnel: George Benson (vocals, electric guitar); Aretha Franklin (vocals);
Claus Ogerman, Quincy Jones, Mike Mainieri (arranger); Gary Herbig (saxophone, flute); Jerry Hey, Chuck Findley (trumpet); Bill Reichenbach (trombone); Greg Phillinganes (Fender Rhodes piano, synthesizer); Ronnie Foster (electric piano, synthesizer, keyboards); Herbie Hancock (electric piano); Earl Klugh (acoustic guitar); Phil Upchurch (guitar, bass); Lee Ritenour, Paul Jackson, Jr. (guitar); Stanley Banks, Robert Popwell, Jr., Abraham Laboriel, Marcus Miller (bass); Narada Michael Walden (drums, programming); Harvey Mason, Steve Gadd (drums); Ralph MacDonald, Paulinho Da Costa (percussion); Patti Austin, Diva Gray (background vocals).
Producers include: Tommy LiPuma, Michael Masser, Quincy Jones, Narada Michael Walden, Preston Glass.
Compilation producers: George Benson, Scott Galloway, David McLees.
Recorded between 1976 & 1998. Includes liner notes by Don Heckman.
Personnel: George Benson (vocals, guitar); Aretha Franklin (vocals); Jay Graydon (guitar, synthesizer); Lee Ritenour , Mike Sims, Andy Bloch, Steve Lukather, Howard "Buzz" Feiten (guitar); Earl Klugh (acoustic guitar); Jerry Hey (strings, trumpet, flugelhorn, horns); Larry Williams , Gary Herbig, Kim Hutchcroft (flute, saxophone); Eddie Daniels (alto saxophone); Chuck Findley (trumpet); William Frank "Bill" Reichenbach Jr. (trombone); Jai Winding (piano, electric piano); Jorge Dalto (piano, Clavinet, keyboards); Michael Omartian (piano, synthesizer); Michael Masser (piano); Ronnie Foster (electric piano, keyboards, synthesizer); David Foster (electric piano, synthesizer); Herbie Hancock, Robbie Buchanan (electric piano); Danny Sembello (Fender Rhodes piano, bass synthesizer); David Paich, James Newton Howard (keyboards, synthesizer); Wayne Lewis (keyboards, drum programming); Tim Heintz, Walter Afanasieff (keyboards); Jonathan Lewis (synthesizer, programming); Preston Glass, Randy Goodrum (synthesizer, drum programming); Gene Page, Michael Boddicker, Randy Waldman (synthesizer); Richard Tee (bass synthesizer); Wells Christy (Synclavier, programming); Rob Mounsey (Synclavier); Greg "Gigi" Gonaway (drums, cymbals); Narada Michael Walden (drums, drum programming); John "J.R." Robinson , Harvey Mason, Sr. , Jeff Porcaro, Steve Gadd , Carlos Vega (drums); Dave Weckl, Mike Baird (cymbals); Lenny Castro, Paulinho Da Costa, Ralph MacDonald (percussion); Steve Dubin (programming); Steve Kipner (drum programming, sequencer); Michael Sembello (drum programming, background vocals); Bryan Lee Janszen (drum programming); Claytoven Richardson, Diva Gray, Carmen Twilley, Genobia Jeter, Suzanne Valentine, Mark Stevens, Hamish Stuart , Kitty Beethoven, Venette Gloud, Jocelyn Allen, James Taylor , Jennifer Hall, Jim Gilstrap, Marcy Levy, Patti Austin, Audrey Wheeler, Babi Floyd, Tom Bahler, Zachary Sanders, Bill Champlin, Vaneese Thomas (background vocals).
Audio Remasterer: Daniel Hersch.
Photographers: Kwaku Alston; Tom Bert.
Arrangers: David Paich; Jay Graydon; Arif Mardin; Steve Dubin.
Basically, this "greatest hits of all" is simply that: the highest-charting tracks in George Benson's long career -- highest-charting pop and adult contemporary tracks, that is. Benson had been on the scene over a decade before signing with Warner Bros., and many of his jukebox and R&B hits were recorded for Creed Taylor's CTI label. Some of Benson's recorded work that held those hits has been reissued in the past two years. Of the Warner material, they have gauged success by chart placement -- not sales, not radio play, not artist choice. Therefore, while the stellar tracks from Breezin', namely "This Masquerade," which charted at number one on pop and R&B in Billboard, and its follow-up, the album's title track, kick the album off along with "On Broadway" and "The Greatest Love of All." But there are many stops along the way to the present from that 1976 issue, such as Benson's singularly beautiful read of "Unchained Melody," "Never Give Up on a Good Thing," and his duet with Aretha Franklin, which stormed through the radios of literally millions of lovers, "Love All the Hurt Away." Benson's streak is remarkable in that he consistently recorded tracks of similar weight, length, and dynamic with essentially the same timeless production that took him to the top in the first place. Thus, cuts such as "I Just Wanna Hang Around You," "Kisses in the Moonlight," "Never Give Up on a Good Thing," "Shiver," "Love X Love," and "Let's Do It Again," while being very different songs, come across in exactly the same way. The formula is a winning one even today. The Greatest Hits of All may not truly have Benson's great material, but the album does tell a story of one man's ability to consistently conquer the charts for a long period of time. And that, in this day and age, is an accomplishment realized by few. Benson virtually defined the quiet storm format with his slick, sheeny, lights-down-low approach to recording, and as this collection evidences, this made him an enduring artist. For those who dig the Warner material, this is the collection to have. ~ Thom Jurek