Quincy Jones – The Dude (1981): Review


Produced by Quincy Jones
Label – A&M

Quincy was already a renowned producer of jazz and soundtrack material by the turn of the 70s, but his amalgamation with top Soul/Pop artists of the time brought him enormous commercial recognition and critical acclaim. For example, both Michael Jackson and George Benson owed much of their success to the skills of Jones, particularly on Jackson’s “Off The Wall” and Benson’s “Give Me The Night”. Jones was now a highly sought after pop producer and along with running his own record label (“Qwest”), found it tough to find time to record his own material. He had a long standing contract with A&M, of which he owed one more recording to fulfil. One would naturally assume that the more lucrative jobs he was undertaking would have led to something that took little time to record and required minimal commitment. Not so, and in fact “The Dude” is far from a throwaway recording. Superbly constructed and extremely polished, the album would spawn three hit singles, make the Billboard top 10 albums, and pave a route to success for James Ingram and Patti Austin.


The lead off track; the Chas Jankel penned “Ai No Corrida” is as perfect a slab of catchy floor stomping disco one can find from the era. Its crisp sound and studious harmonic melody combined with wonderfully crafted percussive elements and superb horn arrangements make the song truly memorable. There’s further quality dance/soul moments that include Patti Austin’s “Razzamatazz” and the closer “Turn On The Action”, with other highlights including the samba style rhythms of “Betcha Wouldn’t Hurt Me”, and the smooth “Somethin’ Special”. The ballads however, don’t work as well as the rest. “Just Once” and “One Hundred Ways” feel slightly sterile by comparison, and although performed well, sound like melodies everyone has heard before.

“The Dude” is a record shot through with class, a timeless nugget of Soul/Pop


Track Listing
1 Ai No Corrida
2 The Dude
3 Just Once
4 Betcha Wouldn’t Hurt Me
5 Somethin’ Special
6 Razzamatazz
7 One Hundred Ways
8 Velas
9 Turn on the Action

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