from the album Back On The Black (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #31 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 4
The song of the day for today comes from producer Quincy Jones, whose illustrious career included coming back as a recording artist in his own right in 1989 with his Back On The Block album, his first in seven years. The lead single from the set, a cover of "I'll Be Good To You" (a song he originally produced for the Brothers Johnson), became a top-20 pop/#1 R&B hit in the winter of 1990. The second release from the Grammy-winning album Back On The Block, was an original song, "The Secret Garden". Written by Jones with Siedah Garrett, Rod Temperton, and El Debarge, the record was subtitled "Sweet Seduction Suite" for good reason. The album version, which clocks in at almost seven minutes, was a lush sensual piece of music perfect for lovemaking, with the background rhythm guitar giving in to a fluid but slower bassline, and a groove and was just the speed you need (if you get my drift). For the vocals, Jones enlisted four gifted soul singers; in addition to DeBarge, who had most recently reached the pop top-3 with "Who's Johnny" in 1986, he has newcomer Al B. Sure! (whose "Nite & Day" was a pop top tenner in 1988), James Ingram (who had gone to #2 in 1987 on his duet with Linda Ronstadt, "Somewhere Out There"), and disco icon Barry White, who hadn't been in the pop top-40 since 1978's "Oh What A Night For Dancing". It took an expert like Jones to keep the four different but equally powerful voices from crowding each other out, and with each cooing or crooning their come-ons, one finds oneself slipping into a soul orgy...
"The Secret Garden" became Quincy's second top-40 pop hit (and so far most recent as an artist) in the U.S. in April of 1990. The song followed "I'll Be Good To You" to spend a week at #1 on Billboard's R&B chart, and also crossed over to their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio list at #26. Internationally, the single was a top-40 hit in the Netherlands (#13) and Belgium (#31), and was a minor hit in the UK at #67.
The third release from Back On The Block was another Brothers Johnson cover, "Tomorrow (A Better You, A Better Me)". It introduced future R&B/pop star Tevin Campbell, and while it only got to #75 on the pop chart, it became the third consecutive #1 R&B hit from the album. That was followed by "I Don't Go For That", which Siedah Garrett sang lead, and which peaked at #15 on the R&B chart. Garrett also provided lead vocals on "The Places You Find Love" with Chaka Khan, which made it to #39 on the R&B chart. The final single from the record, "Wee B. Dooinit" which featured jazz legends Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, slipped on to the R&B list at #83.
Quincy re-emerged in 1995 with another studio album, Q's Jook Joint. Although the set had more stars than you could count, the lead single, "You Put A Move On My Heart", featuring Tamia, popped on to the pop chart at #98 (and #16), while the fourth single from the album, "Slow Jams" (a smoother number like "Secret Garden" featuring Tamia and Babyface and bringing Barry White back), got to #68 pop/#19 R&B the following year.
Jones closed out the century with a retrospective, From Q With Love, which garnered him an Adult Contemporary hit at #27 with "I'm Yours" with Siedah Garrett and El Debarge (#73 R&B). He landed a #1 dance club hit with a cover of "Stomp" (yet another Brothers Johnson tune) from the record, and his most recent minor R&B hit with "Something I Cannot Have" (#87). His most recent album was in 2010 with Q Soul Bossa Nostra. where the late Amy Winehouse sang on a cover of one of his first production successes, Lesley Gore's "It's My Party".
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On Bossa Nostra, Quincy attempted a re-do of "Secret Garden" with Robin Thicke, Usher, Tyrese, and LL Cool J along with White, but it wasn't quite the same...
But let's go back to the 90's, when Al B, Debarge, Ingram, and White knocked the socks out of the audience at the Soul Train Awards...
Up tomorrow: Seattle sisters tell a story about some salacious seduction .