In between producing chores on the twin Michael Jackson juggernauts Off The Wall and Thriller, uber-producer Quincy Jones orchestrated George Benson's move into pop with Give Me The Night and started his own label Qwest. In the middle of all this activity, Jones found time to release his own album, 1981's The Dude.
The cover of 'Ai No Corrida' starts the album strong. It may be the standout of the whole album, featuring Jones's unique ability to soup up songs with tight, cinematic arrangements. Here, he turns a song about a woman killing her lover (inspired by the film In The Realm Of The Senses) into a dance track. Of course it became a big hit.
The title track, with its infectious beat and backing chorus, sounds like the theme to an awesome blaxploitation movie crossed with an eighties rap tune.
'Just Once' and 'A Hundred Years' feature lead vocals from James Ingram. Their success helped launch Ingram as a solo star.
While Ingram is the name, Patti Austin, a session singer, takes the lead for 'Betcha Wouldn't Hurt Me', 'Something Special', 'Razzamatazz' and 'Turn On The Action'. She is the real star here.
'Betcha Wouldn't Hurt Me' and 'Something Special' are personal favourites. Jones was able to enlist Stevie Wonder on the former and Michael Jackson provided backing vocals for the latter (he may have also helped out on a few of the other tracks, but I could not be sure).
It may be pushing forty, but The Dude has still got it.