You're right about Quincy Jones being the man behind the mojo. But you gotta give Mike some credit, because none of the other talent that Q worked with over the years had "it" quite like Mike did.
No one should be ashamed about liking 80s Mike. It's the 90s Mike that I'd be a little wary about. I'm a fan of all of his albums. Obviously, Thriller is in a class by itself, but I like them all. I'm probably a bigger fan of Dangerous than most people simply because when I was younger and my family would go on any excursion that meant being in the car for longer than 1 hour, usually my dad would playing Dangerous.
I did say Pudge, that I wasn't "taking anything away from MJ". But I am a little biased as I do adore Quincy Jones and the skill which he transformed talent into something special. MJ was struggling when Quincy took him under his wing, casting him in the "Wiz" and giving him the confidence and contacts to create his special niche in music.Without Quincy, there would have been no "Off the Wall", or "Thriller". His ability to take a person and transform them through his incredible production skills are legend. He did it with Sinatra , Miles Davis and a ton of other Jazz fellows.
As i have discussed here before, my Father-in-Law in France has had access to all the great Jazz musicians in the late 40's until the late-eighties, when most had died off. We've had the privilege of having dinner with Lionel Hampton,Dizzy and Quincy...and the stories they could tell...lol...MJ was an incredible talent, but without the guiding hand of Quincy and others he never would have risen to the heights he did.
I might disagree here, BB. I dont see how in the world MJ was 'struggling' when he was 5 years old he had 7 top 10 singles and travelled the world.. Yes, QJ did help MJ. BUt it's not like he took this raw, rough product and shined it up. You are forgetting that
for all his terrible traits, maybe Papa Joe hand more of a hand in this creation. Much like Ike had 'helped' Tina Turner so did Papa Joe. In all 'art' there is an element of pain and humiliation. I agree that QJ was a fantastic producer, but the product was already there, IMHO. All QJ did was look into it and put the pieces in place. Not to diss QJ, that man is a true artist and a musical genius. A marketing magnate...BUt you cant just take some 'American Idol' contestant and hand them over to QJ and reproduce what he did with MJ. Just my 2 cents.
On a side note, perhaps it's my middle aged butt talking, but I had to learn all the jazz standards in performing arts HS and college. Back then I hated them. I was wearing parachute pants and zippered jackets and thought that old crap was so 'uncool'. Now I have to play it alot, and I love it. And as uncool as it may seem, a fat middle aged guy in parachute pants aint cool, but a jazz musician is.
A short aside: I travelled to the Czech repub in 2000 on an 'artist exchange' for Dixieland Jazz. I went there, and 2 guys came to New Orleans...I met many guys in thier 50,60, and 70's that were forbidden to play that evil western music. They used to have to smuggle in the records from East Germany and perform them in speakeasies. THAT"S dedication. An old guy looked at me with broken english and tears in his eyes after one gig, and said 'this music, it give me the goose pimples', and pointed to his arm...NOw, I used to get and still receive no small amount of grief for playing such a 'corny' music, but I dont care..That guy taught me more about jazz then I had learned in 20 years.