Producer opens up about record-breaking collaboration with the late singer
Quincy Jones has talked about his time working with Michael Jackson, saying they came together by accident.
In an interview with Billboard to mark his 80th birthday and forthcoming induction to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, the celebrated producer, who worked with Jackson on his albums ‘Off The Wall’, ‘Thriller’ and ‘Bad’, says he met the fledgling solo artist while making 1978 ‘Wizard Of Oz’ adaptation ‘The Wiz’. Jackson initially asked Jones if he’d help him find a producer.
“I said, ‘Michael, look, you don’t even have a song in the picture yet. I don’t want to think about that. Let’s get you a song’. He was only on ‘Ease On Down The Road’, that’s all we had. He was so curious, inquisitive. He knew everybody’s dialogue [in the film].”
Of their collaborations, which led to the best-selling album of all time in ‘Thriller’, which has sold around 110 million copies, Jones says he was looking to do something that had never been done before. “I was thinking about the range of his voice. That’s the stuff you do, the architecture of your production. Michael was so smart and intuitive. He just hooked onto everything and watched everybody. Fred Astaire, Sammy Davis Jr, James Brown. We put our backgrounds together and we did it.”
Jones, who has been nominated for a record 79 Grammys, winning 27 of them, will be inducted into the Rock And Hall Of Fame on April 18. He said: “It’s too early. I’m too young. My age may be 80 but I feel 35.”