Quincy Jones is the man to thank for loads of classic records. By crafting hits with iconic artists like Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, and countless others, his track record speaks for itself. But even at 77, Jones isn’t slowing down a bit. Two weeks ago his book with intimate stories studio experiences, The Quincy Jones Legacy Series: Q on Producing, hit stores. And next week (Nov. 9) he’ll release Q: Soul Bossa Nostra, an album featuring today’s pop stars covering their favorite Quincy cuts. The Music Mix caught up with Jones to chat about why his unreleased Michael Jackson songs will stay that way, what he thought of the reclusive Amy Winehouse’s “It’s My Party” cover, and why he’s not paying haters any mind.Legendary producer
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You were known to hold some pretty huge talent searches for musicians and singers decades ago. What do you think of shows like American Idol?
QUINCY JONES: I think the attraction of American Idol is about the basic human nature attitude that is, “We can put you up there. But we can take you down.” That’s been around a long time. If you’re asking me what the one component that gets them millions of viewers, that’s it. Even more than the songs, I think it’s to see that the audience can control the popularity of the artist.
Would you ever be a judge on one of those…
No, that’s not what I do. I’ve got too much to do. That’s getting up every day at seven in the morning. That’s not my thing. But it has got its value. It gets people to pay attention to songs. It’s ironic because I hear songs on there like Moody’s “Mood For Love.” Which the first vocalese record James Moody did in Sweden in 1949, man. So it’s exposing people to music they’ve never heard before. That’s the good part. It’s a double-edged sword there.
When the track listing for this album came out, people were excited to hear how Amy Winehouse would cover “It’s My Party.” That was a huge record for you almost 40 years ago. How do you think she did?
I did the first one in 1963 with Lesley Gore. She was 16. They said that I couldn’t do rock & roll. I love challenges, man. And we had 18 hits with her. “It’s My Party” was the first hit. Amy, at first, was going to do “You Don’t Own Me.” She hadn’t recorded in four years. And then she decided to record “It’s My Party.” Everybody just went with what they wanted to go with.
Did you like Amy’s?
Check out the rest of the interview after the jump.