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
(1981)
Back on the Block
(1989)
Q's Jook Joint
(1995)
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.

Overview[edit]

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

Credits[edit]

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

  • Ella Fitzgerald - Lead Vocals (Tracks 6, 8-9)
  • Take 6 - Background Vocals (Tracks 1, 6, 10)
  • Chaka Khan - Lead Vocals (Tracks 4, 7)
  • Bobby McFerrin - Vocals, Additional Percussion (Track 6)
  • Melle Mel - Rap (vocals) (Track 2)
  • Ray Charles - Lead Vocals (Track 4)
  • Big Daddy Kane - Rap (Tracks 2, 8)
  • Ice-T - Rap (Track 2)
  • Luther Vandross - Sampled Background Vocals (Track 7)
  • Sarah Vaughan - Lead Vocals (Tracks 6, 8-10)
  • Al Jarreau - Vocals (Track 6)
  • Dionne Warwick - Sampled Background Vocals (Track 7)
  • Barry White - Lead Vocals (Track 14)
  • Syreeta Wright - Sampled Background Vocals (Track 4)
  • Al B. Sure! - Lead Vocals, Background Vocals (Track 14)
  • Tevin Campbell - Lead Vocals (Tracks 2, 12)
  • Alvin Chea - Background Vocals (Tracks 1, 6, 10)
  • Andraé Crouch - Vocal Arranger, Choir Conductor, Background Vocals (Tracks 2, 7)
  • Kool Moe Dee - Rap (Tracks 2, 8)
  • Nadirah Ali - Background Vocals (Track 3)
  • Maxi Anderson - Sampled Background Vocals (Track 7)
  • Peggie Blu - Sampled Background Vocals (Track 7)
  • McKinley Brown - Background Vocals (Track 12)
  • Sandra Crouch - Choir Conductor (Track 2), Background Vocals (2, 7)
  • Voncielle Faggett - Background Vocals (Tracks 2, 7)
  • Geary Lanier Foggett - Additional Background Vocals (Track 7)
  • Kenneth Ford - Background Vocals (Track 12)
  • Jania Foxworth - Background Vocals (Track 12)
  • Siedah Garrett - Lead Vocals (Tracks 3, 6-7, 11), Background Vocals (Tracks 3-4, 7, 11, 14), Choir Director (12)
  • Tammie Gibson - Background Vocals (Tracks 2, 7)
  • Rose Banks - Choir Director (Track 12), Background Vocals (2, 7)
  • El DeBarge - Lead Vocals, Background Vocals (Track 14)
  • Cedric Dent - Background Vocals (Tracks 1, 6, 10)
  • Chad Durio - Background Vocals (Track 12)
  • Jim Gilstrap - Sampled Background Vocals (Track 4)
  • Jackie Gouche - Additional Background Vocals (Track 7)
  • Alex Harris - Background Vocals (Track 12)
  • Howard Hewett - Sampled Background Vocals (Track 7)
  • Reginale Green - Background Vocals (Track 12)
  • Jennifer Holliday - Sampled Background Vocals (Track 7)
  • Pattie Howard - Sampled Background Vocals (Track 7)
  • James Ingram - Lead Vocals (Track 14), Additional Background Vocals (4), Sampled Background Vocals (7)
  • David Thomas - Background Vocals (Tracks 1, 6, 10)
  • Mervyn Warren - Background Vocals (Track 1, 6, 10), Talking Voices (5)
  • Charity Young - Background Vocals (Track 12)
  • Shane Shoaf - Background Vocals (Track 12)
  • Alfie Silas - Background Vocals (Tracks 2, 7)
  • Perry Morgan - Background Vocals (Tracks 2, 7)
  • Phil Perry - Additional Background Vocals (Track 4)
  • Tyren Perry - Background Vocals (Track 12)
  • Derrick Schofield - Additional Background Vocals (Track 7)
  • Mark Kibble - Background Vocals (Tracks 1, 6, 10)
  • Edie Lehmann - Additional Background Vocals (Track 6), Sampled Background Vocals (7)
  • Tiffany Johnson - Background Vocals (Track 12)
  • Clif Magness - Sampled Background Vocals (Track 7)
  • Donovan McCrary - Background Vocals (Track 12)
  • Howard McCrary - Background Vocals (Tracks 2, 7)
  • Claude McKnight - Background Vocals (Tracks 1, 6, 10)
  • Jean Johnson McRath - Background Vocals (Tracks 2, 7)
  • Miles Davis - Trumpet Solo (Tracks 8-9)
  • Dizzy Gillespie - Trumpet Solo (Tracks 8-9)
  • Gary Grant - Trumpet (Track 9)
  • Bill Reichenbach Jr. - Trombone (Track 9)
  • Jerry Hey - Trumpet (Track 9), Arranger (9, 12, 14), Additional Keyboards (7)
  • James Moody - Alto saxophone solo (Tracks 8-9)
  • Gerald Albright — Alto saxophone solo (Tracks 10, 12)
  • Paul Jackson, Jr. - Sampled Guitar (Track 7)
  • Michael Landau - Sampled Guitar (Track 7)
  • Steve Lukather - Guitar (Tracks 12, 14)
  • George Benson - Guitar Solo (Tracks 8-10)
  • George Johnson - Guitar (Track 4), Sampled Background Vocals (4)
  • Neil Stubenhaus - Bass guitar (Tracks 12, 14)
  • Louis Johnson - Bass Guitar (Tracks 2, 4), Sampled Bass Guitar (7), Sampled Background Vocals (4)
  • Nathan East - Bass Guitar (Track 9)
  • Ollie Brown - Percussion (Track 12)
  • Harvey Mason, Sr. - Drums (Track 4)
  • Paulinho Da Costa - Percussion (Track 10), Sampled Percussion (7)
  • J.C. Gomez - Percussion (Track 2)
  • Skye Aspen
  • John Robinson - Drums (Tracks 12, 14), Sampled Drums (7)
  • Bruce Swedien - Recording Engineer (All Tracks), Mixing (All Tracks), Kick & Snare Drums (Tracks 4, 14)
  • Brad Sundberg - Technical Director, additional engineering
  • Bill Summers — Percussion (Tracks 2, 7-8), hindewhu
  • Michael Boddicker - Drum Machine (Track 2), Synthesizer (4, 7, 9)
  • Jorge Calandrelli - Synth Strings (Track 13)
  • Randy Kerber - Keyboards (Track 12), Sampled Keyboards (7), Sampled Synthesizer (7)
  • Rhett Lawrence - Sampled Synthesizer (Track 7)
  • David Paich - Keyboards (Tracks 4, 7, 10)
  • Michael C. Young - Synth Programming (Track 9)
  • Greg Phillinganes - Keyboards (Tracks 2, 4, 10-11), Fender Rhodes (12, 14)
  • Ian Underwood - Handclaps (Tracks 2, 6, 9), Synth Programming (3-4, 10)
  • Steve Porcaro - Synth Programming (Tracks 2, 4, 7, 10)
  • Joe Zawinul - Synthesizer Solo (Tracks 2, 8), Sampled Synthesizer (9)
  • Larry Williams - Keyboards (Tracks 9, 13-14), Sampled Keyboards (7), Saxophone (9), Sampled Synthesizer (7), Synth Programming (3-4, 11, 13-14)
  • George Duke - Keyboard Solo (Track 11), Fender Rhodes Solo (Track 10)
  • Herbie Hancock - Keyboard Solo (Tracks 3, 7, 10), Synthesizer Pads (10)
  • Sheila E. - Timbales Soloist (Track 11)
  • Glen Ballard - Rhythm Arranger (Track 7)
  • Rod Temperton - Arranger (Tracks 2, 6, 9, 12, 14), Handclaps (2, 6, 9), Drum Machine (1-2)
  • Jesse Jackson - Narrator (Track 2)
  • Quincy Jones - Arranger (Tracks 2, 4, 6-12, 14), Choir Conductor (7), Drums (6), Drum Machine (2), Handclaps (2, 6, 9), Lead Vocals (1), Korg M1 (10)
  • Ian Prince — Arranger (Tracks 3, 6, 9, 11), Keyboards (3-4, 9-11), Vocoder (6)
  • Caiphus Semenya — Background Vocals (Track 2), Vocal Arrangement (7), African Lyrics (7)
  • Morris Michael
  • Laurie Rox (Record One)

See also[edit]

References[edit]