February 1982: George Benson Hits Top 5 with "Turn Your Love Around"

 George Benson performs on stage at the Saratoga Jazz Festival on July 04, 1982. (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)
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(David Redfern/Redferns)

When it came time for George Benson to put together 1981 greatest hits album The George Benson Collection, he thought it might be a good idea to add a couple of new songs.

Producer Jay Graydon came up with the main melody of "Turn Your Love Around" in a flash of inspiration while he was in the bathroom.

"Well, I got off the can as fast as I could and got to a cassette machine so I wouldn't forget it," Graydon joked to Songfacts. "George Benson was coming in town Tuesday, so I had four days to come up with a song for The George Benson Collection. And I was gettin' nothing. And then bang, I just came up with this melody for the chorus when I was in the bathroom."

Calling over co-writer Steve Lukather of Toto, they tapped Bill Champlin for lyrics.

"And that's how 'Turn Your Love Around' came about," Graydon said. "We demoed it that night, George came over the next day, the record company got a copy, everybody loved the song, we recorded it, and that was it."

With Toto's Jeff Porcaro and David Paich also playing on the session, the song would serve as the opening track of The George Benson Collection. Released as a single in October 1981, the track would march up the charts, peaking at #5 on the Hot 100 on February 6, 1982. The #1 song in America that week: the J. Geils Band's "Centerfold."

Drummer Porcaro would use a Linn Electronics LM-1 drum machine on the track, marking one of the first occasions it would be employed on a pop music tune.

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