This Masquerade

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"This Masquerade"
Single by George Benson
from the album Breezin'
B-side "Lady"
Released June 1976
Format 7" single
Genre R&B/Jazz
Length 8:03 (album version)
3:18 (single edit)
Label Warner
Writer(s) Leon Russell
Producer(s) Tommy LiPuma
George Benson singles chronology
"This Masquerade"
George Benson's "This Masquerade" from Breezin'

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"This Masquerade" is a song written by Leon Russell. The song appeared on the B-side of the single for Russell's 1972 hit "Tight Rope" and on his Carney album. The song has also been recorded by many other artists, most notably George Benson.

George Benson cover[edit]

In 1976, "This Masquerade" was a top-ten pop and R&B hit for jazz guitarist/vocalist George Benson, who recorded it on his 1976 signature album Breezin'. It was his first single release. Benson's rendition is the only charting version of the song in the U.S. It reached number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number three on the Hot Soul Singles chart. On the Cash Box Top 100 it reached #12.[1] "This Masquerade" was most successful in Canada, where it reached number 8 on the Pop Singles chart as well as the Adult Contemporary chart.[2][3]

In 1977 Benson's version won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year, while it was nominated for Song of the Year and for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male.

Other cover versions[edit]

  • Helen Reddy included it on her 1972 I am Woman album, and also included a live version on her 1978 Live in London album.
  • The Carpenters recorded a version of the song and released it on their album Now & Then in 1973, as well as on the B-side of "Please Mr. Postman" in 1974. The Carpenters version was also performed on TV with Ella Fitzgerald; the medley in which it was sung was subsequently released on the compilation album As Time Goes By.
  • Rahsaan Roland Kirk's version of the song appears on his 1977 album Kirkatron.
  • Shirley Bassey has also recorded this song, first released on her 1982 album All By Myself.
  • Italian singer Mina covered it in her 1988's album Ridi Pagliaccio.
  • Mia Martini recorded a live version of "This Masquerade" in 1991.
  • Saxophonist David Sanborn also recorded the song on his 1995 "Pearls" project.[4]
  • The band Widespread Panic opened their Austin, TX 2009 Halloween encore with "This Masquerade."
  • Ukrainian vocal band ManSound has recorded a trilogy starting with this song in the album "If It’s Magic", 2004.[5]
  • Croatian soul diva Radojka Šverko released this song on her concert album with Big Band of Croatian Radiotelevison in year 2009.
  • In 2016, Dami Im recorded a version for her album Classic Carpenters.

Other artists to perform it include, Hagood Hardy, Willie Nelson, Sérgio Mendes & Brasil '77, No Mercy, Robert Goulet, Bob Berg, Gene Harris and Kenny Rogers.

In popular culture[edit]

Leon Russell's version is part of the soundtrack for the Exorcist director William Friedkin's psychological thriller film Bug. The Bug Soundtrack was released on May 22, 2007. It also appeared in the movie The Pursuit of Happyness.


External links[edit]