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This was written by Jay Graydon, Bill Champlin and Steve Lukather. Graydon is known for producing Al Jarreau, Champlin was a member of Chicago, and Lukather was in Toto. All three of the writers played on the track, and Champlin later covered it on his solo album Through It All.
Graydon tells the story: "'Turn Your Love Around' was a gift, and it's the gift that keeps giving. 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 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. Then (Steve) Lukather came over and I said, 'Luke, I gotta come up with the song in two days. I've got a great chorus here, come up with a verse.' And I jump in the shower, I get out of the shower and I come down and he had the verse. The next day we called Champlin, and I said, 'Bill, get over here. We need a lyric, and we need a bridge. Let's get this thing done.' And that's how 'Turn Your Love Around' came about. 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. But the melody's memorable, like, so simple. You could play it with your nose on a piano. Any melody that you could play with your nose on piano will be memorable. Because you surely don't have any kind of fast technique to play melodies with your nose on piano. (laughing) If you can play it with one finger on your piano, it's gonna be a simple melody, because you can't do crazy things and do things too fast."
Jeff Porcaro and David Paich of Toto also played on this track. Porcaro used a Linn drum machine, which was one of the first uses of the device in a Pop song. They tried replacing it with real drums, but it didn't sound right.
This was a #1 R&B hit, and it won a Grammy for Best Rhythm & Blues Song.
Benson is a popular Jazz singer-guitarist, but he didn't play guitar on this song - Jay Graydon did. Graydon didn't think Benson's style fit the song.
Graydon cites this as a song with a very memorable secondary melody, which is pleasing to the ear: "'Turn your love around,' horn line and guitar line. Ba da bum dum dum dum dum… 'I can show you how.' Horn line and guitar line, da da dum dum dum da dum dum dum."
When Graydon produces a track, he's very particular about the vocals, which can cause a conflict if the singer is not dedicated to the performance. Says Graydon: "Benson was never really a problem. I told George, 'Just let me work you, man. You hired me as a producer. Let me get you sounding as good as you can sound. Because in 25 years I want you to listen to this stuff and realize how good it sounds.' And a line that I told George that he quotes back to me, I said, You know, people don't necessarily know when something's in tune that aren't musicians. But it's gotta sound better to them, it's gotta click something in their brain that it's more precise, if they have any musicality at all, the better pitch center has gotta trigger something in their brain that releases some chemical that's more satisfying to them. Every artist tells me the same thing, 'This stuff we did 25-30 years ago still holds up.' And I go, 'Thank you. Remember what I told you?' Hey, I busted my ass on this. This stuff's permanent." (read more in our interview with Jay Graydon
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