On this day in music history: November 8, 1989 – “Back On The Block”, the twenty ninth album by Quincy Jones is released. Produced by Quincy Jones, it is recorded at Oceanway Record One, Lighthouse Studios and Westlake Audio in Los Angeles, CA, Digital Recorders in Nashville, TN and Tarpan Studios in San Rafael, CA from Early – Mid 1989. After spending much of the 80’s producing hit albums for Michael Jackson, Patti Austin and James Ingram as well as co-producing and writing the score for the Oscar nominated film “The Color Purple”, Quincy Jones sets his sights on delivering his first album for Warner Bros. Having established his own Qwest Records imprint through the label in 1980, owes his former label A&M Records one more album before his contract is fulfilled. That album is multi Grammy winner “The Dude”, released in March of 1981. However, the multitude of other projects Jones is busy with following it, keep him from recording another new album himself for many years. By 1988, Quincy begins pre-production on his long awaited studio album, also having formed a multi-media alliance with Warner Communications, which also includes developing film and television projects under Quincy Jones Productions. For his album, Jones enlists the assistance of songwriters Rod Temperton, Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard to write material for the project. “Back On The Block” also features a who’s who of musical talent including Ray Charles, Chaka Khan, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Barry White, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Ice-T, Big Daddy Kane, James Ingram, El DeBarge and Take 6 are among the artists featured. The resulting album is an artistic and commercial triumph, spinning off three chart topping R&B singles including “I’ll Be Good To You”, “The Secret Garden” and “Tomorrow (A Better You, Better Me)”. The album sweeps the 33rd Annual Grammy Awards in 1991 winning in seven categories including Album Of The Year. Footage from the recording sessions is included in the documentary film “Listen Up: The Lives Of Quincy Jones”, released in 1990. “Back On The Block” spends twelve weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, peaking at number nine on the Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
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