This Masquerade

This Masquerade - George Benson.jpg

"This Masquerade" is a song written by American singer and musician Leon Russell. It was originally recorded in 1972 by Russell for his album Carney the same year. The song was not released as a single but was inserted on the B-side of Russell's hit single "Tight Rope". Also in 1972, the song appeared on Helen Reddy's I Am Woman LP. The following year, "This Masquerade" was re-recorded by American vocal duo The Carpenters, who released it on their album Now & Then in 1973. It was inserted as the B-side of The Carpenters's single "Please Mr. Postman". Three years later, "This Masquerade" was recorded by American singer and guitarist George Benson, who released it on his 1976 album, Breezin'. Benson's version, featuring Jorge Dalto on piano, was released as a single and became the first big hit of his career.

George Benson version

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.

Track listing

Year Side Song Length Interpreter Writer/Composer Producer Album
1976 A-side "This Masquerade" 3:17
(Edit single)
George Benson Leon Russell Tommy LiPuma Breezin'
1976 B-side "Lady" 5:56 George Benson Ronnie Foster Tommy LiPuma Breezin'

Music video

George Benson recorded an official music video for "This Masquerade" in 1976. In the video, the song has the same length as the song's single (3:17).

Chart history

Chart (1976–77) Peak
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 3
US Adult Contemporary 6
US Billboard Hot 100 10


  • Lead Vocal – George Benson
  • Lead Guitar – George Benson
  • Conductor, Arranged By – Claus Ogerman
  • Piano [Soloist] – Jorge Dalto
  • Rhythm Guitar – Phil Upchurch
  • Bass – Stanley Banks
  • Drums – Harvey Mason
  • Percussion – Ralph MacDonald
  • Producer – Tommy LiPuma


  • Leon Russell's original 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.
  • The Carpenters's version was also performed on TV with Ella Fitzgerald; the medley in which it was sung was subsequently released on the compilation As Time Goes By.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2015-08-22.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Archived from the original on 2016-03-14. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  3. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Archived from the original on 2016-10-11. Retrieved 2016-10-11.

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