Quincy Jones: 20 Great Productions

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

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George Benson, 'Give Me the Night' (1980)

Like Jones, George Benson crossed over from jazz to pop. After making his name as a guitarist for Brother Jack McDuff and Miles Davis in the Sixties, Benson rode the fusion wave for his breakthrough album, 1976's Breezin'. Unlike Michael Jackson or the Brothers Johnson, Benson was a fully formed artist before teaming up with Jones for the 1980 album Give Me the Night, which won three Grammys and went platinum, thanks largely to the smooth, groovy title song. As experienced as Benson already was going into Give Me the Night, he still deferred to Jones's immaculate instincts in the studio. "He sent me the mixes after he'd done them so I could make comments – up to a certain degree," he told the New Musical Express with a laugh. "Some people call it nitpicking, but the slightest thing ... a touch too sweet, or not quite enough sugar. ... I lost 'Love Ballad' because of that. It's just too slow. ... Melody, performance, won a Grammy, the whole thing ... but we lost it! You couldn't dance to it!"

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