Back on the Block

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Back on the Block
Quincy Jones - Back On The Block-front.jpg
Studio album by Quincy Jones
Released August 8, 1989 (1989-08-08)
Recorded 1988-1989
Oceanway Record One
Lighthouse Studios
Westlake Audio
(Los Angeles, California)
Digital Recorders
(Nashville, Tennessee)
Tarpan Studios
(San Rafael, California)
Genre R&B, Hip hop, New Jack Swing, Jazz
Length 57:54
Label Qwest
Producer Quincy Jones
Quincy Jones chronology
The Dude
Back on the Block
Q's Jook Joint
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B+[2]
Ebony favorable[3]

Back on the Block is a 1989 studio album produced by Quincy Jones.[4] The album features legendary musicians and singers from across three generations, including Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Joe Zawinul, Ice-T, Big Daddy Kane, Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Luther Vandross, Dionne Warwick, Barry White, Chaka Khan, Take 6, Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau, Al B. Sure!, James Ingram, El DeBarge and Ray Charles.


Multiple singles were lifted from the album and found success on Pop and R&B radio, including "I'll Be Good To You", "I Don't Go For That", "The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)", and "Tomorrow (A Better You, Better Me)" which was originally an instrumental track on The Brothers Johnson's Look Out for #1 set. "Tomorrow" is also noteworthy for introducing a young Tevin Campbell to the music scene. Back on the Block won the 1991 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Jones' track, Setembro (Brazilian Wedding Song) was featured on the soundtrack of the 1991 film, Boyz n the Hood. Back on the Block topped the R&B Albums chart at number-one for twelve weeks, and topped the Contemporary Jazz Albums chart as well.

Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan[edit]

Back on the Block featured the last studio recordings of jazz singers Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan.

Fitzgerald and Jones had previously worked together on her 1963 album with Count Basie, Ella and Basie!. Jones had produced three albums with Sarah Vaughan when they both worked for Mercury Records.

Grammy Awards[edit]

At the 33rd Grammy Awards, Back on the Block won seven Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

In arranging, Jerry Hey, Quincy Jones, Ian Prince and Rod Temperton won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement for "Birdland", and Glen Ballard, Hey, Jones and Clif Magness won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal(s) for "The Places You Find Love".

Jones also won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Fusion Performance for "Birdland", and the Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical.

Bruce Swedien won the Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical for his work on the album.

Ray Charles and Chaka Khan won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "I'll Be Good To You".

The Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group went to Big Daddy Kane, Ice-T, Kool Moe Dee, Melle Mel, Quincy Jones III and Jones for Back on the Block.

Track listing[edit]

# Title Writer(s) Time
1 "Prologue (2Q's Rap)" Big Daddy Kane, Jones 1:04
2 "Back on the Block" Jones, Rod Temperton, Siedah Garrett, Caiphus Semenya, Ice-T, Melle Mel, Kane, Kool Moe Dee 6:34
3 "I Don't Go for That" Ian Prince 5:11
4 "I'll Be Good to You" George Johnson, Louis Johnson, Sonora Sam 4:54
5 "The Verb To Be (Introduction to Wee B. Dooinit)" Mervyn Warren 0:29
6 "Wee B. Dooinit (Acapella Party by the Human Bean Band)" Jones, Garrett, Ian Prince 3:34
7 "The Places You Find Love" Glen Ballard, Clif Magness, Caiphus Semenya 6:25
8 "Jazz Corner of the World (Introduction to "Birdland")" Kane, Dee 2:54
9 "Birdland" Joe Zawinul 5:33
10 "Setembro (Brazilian Wedding Song)" Ivan Lins, Gilson Peranzzetta 5:05
11 "One Man Woman" Garrett, Ian Prince, Harriet Roberts 3:44
12 "Tomorrow (A Better You, Better Me)" George Johnson, Louis Johnson, Garrett, 4:46
13 "Prelude to the Garden" Jorge Calandrelli 0:54
14 "The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)" Jones, Temperton, Garrett, El DeBarge 6:41

Chart history[edit]

This is the history of the Billboard Music Charts (North America) for Back on the Block.

Year Music Chart Position
1989 Billboard 200 #9
Top Contemporary Jazz Albums #1
Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums #1


Recorded in Winter 1988 and early 1989, in Hollywood, Los Angeles, the credits include:

See also[edit]