Quincy Jones: 20 Great Productions

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

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The Brothers Johnson, "Strawberry Letter #23" (1977)

Jones stumbled across guitarist George Johnson and bassist Louis Johnson when he heard their work an a demo by Taka Boom, sister of Chaka Khan. Loving what he heard, he hired the siblings for his backing band, tapped them for his soundtrack for Roots and produced a stunning funk debut for their group the Brothers Johnson, Look Out for #1, in 1976. But the Brothers didn't see massive success until 1977 and the release of "Strawberry Letter #23." Their cover of Shuggie Otis' slow, sensual 1971 soul song seduced audiences in a year when disco and punk where rattling the world. "We didn't want to get stuck into one groove, and it would have been easy for us just to have come through with another album which just stuck with the funk," the siblings told Blues & Soul. "That's really where Quincy comes in as our producer. We all talked about what the second album should be about, and he pointed out that we had to be aware of what was happening in music in general out there, where it was going." In that regard, Jones was still just getting started.

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