Legendary music producer Quincy Jones dished on what he really thinks of some of his most famous collaborators in an interview full of eyebrow-raising comments with Vulture.
After calling The Beatles the “worst musicians ever”, Jones had plenty more to say about Michael Jackson.
He has famously produced many of Jackson’s albums, including 1982’s record-shattering Thriller. Jones described his late pal as a “Machiavellian” and “greedy” man who swiped tracks from other artistes without credit.
“I hate to get into this publicly, but Michael stole a lot of stuff. He stole a lot of songs… The notes don’t lie, man. He was as Machiavellian as they come,” said the 84-year-old music veteran.
He cited Billie Jean as an example, and said that the riff came straight from the 1982 Donna Summer track ‘ State of Independence’, which Jones had produced and on which Jackson sang backup. Few listeners would immediately associate the two songs, although both songs open and are built on unusually lengthy synthesised bass lines.
The producer also referenced a similar situation with the song ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’, crediting keyboardist Greg Phillanganes for writing the song’s c section, who also deserved royalties.
“Greedy, man. Greedy. Michael should’ve given him 10% of the song. Wouldn’t do it,” Jones said.
When Jackson died in 2009 at age 50 of an ‘acute propofol intoxication’, Jones said he sympathised over Jackson’s personal issues, saying he had expressed concern over Jackson’s plastic surgery and blamed abuse by the singer’s father for the King of Pop’s poor self-image.
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