Quincy Jones: 20 Great Productions

From "It's My Party" to 'Thriller' and beyond, we survey an iconic career

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Donna Summer, 'Donna Summer' (1982)

"As a matter of fact, Quincy produced that album with almost no help from me – which is unlike me, but at the time I was pregnant, so it's really more his album." So said Donna Summer to New Musical Express, talking about her self-titled album from 1982. Summer, the undisputed Queen of Disco, desperately needed a musical makeover in the disco-is-dead era of the early Eighties. No one was more qualified than Jones, so he took the reins of Donna Summer and helped the singer deliver a clean break from her Giorgio Moroder–produced albums up to that point. It wasn't the comeback she'd hoped, but it featured several excellent songs, including the Grammy-nominated single "Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)" and a cover of Jon and Vangelis' reggae-accented "State of Independence." The latter also boasted backing vocals by an all-star cast that included Michael Jackson, Dionne Warwick, Kenny Loggins and Stevie Wonder. When asked by NME if she used her own star power to collect that formidable choir, Summer said, "Um. No, Quincy did. When Quincy calls, people drop what they're doing." That's a superpower Jones would put to the test three years later when assembling the biggest celebrity team-up of all time, USA for Africa.

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