Lifted Licks: The Dude, by Quincy Jones
Every week here on Elegant Stoner, we highlight one album that is worth listening to with a little bit of cannabis. Whether you're smoking an indica and dropping back into the couch or grabbing a sativa and pouring over every note and phrase, every week we'll point out one album (sometimes obscure, sometimes popular) that is a great listen while you're high. This week, we're going with a throwback for sure.
First of all, you absolutely have to go read this interview by Vulture with none other than 84-year-old Quincy Jones. It's incredible -- he clearly doesn't care what anyone thinks, and he's just interested in straight up talking truth about his incredible career in producing music. The interview is making news for what he's saying about other celebrities, but what's most interesting about the interview is how confident he is about when music works and when it doesn't. Hype be damned -- Quincy knows what he likes and what he doesn't, and his passion for good music is evident. At one point in the interview, he says that, "I have never in my life made music for money or fame. Not even 'Thriller.' No way. God walks out of the room when you’re thinking about money."
Of course, Jones made a ton of money from Thriller, but he's exactly right: If you don't have a passion for something (from painting to playing a sport to, you know, cannabis), it's never going to be something special.
In respect for that passion, we're spotlighting Jones' album The Dude today. Released one year before Michael Jackson's Thriller, Jackson does appear on the album (along with Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, and more), but rather than a list of hits, this is Quincy, as he says in his interview, "making a band play like a singer sings." There's plenty of jazz in here, along with disco, R&B, and a few other new (at the time) sounds Jones has always had a talent for finding.
This is just cool music, man. It's not quite as timeless, charismatic, or as polished as Michael Jackson's work (there's a slow funk rap in the title song that's a little cringey), but it's a very fun listen, especially under the influence (surely parts of this album were created the same way).
Definitely give Jones' interview a read if you haven't yet, and maybe use an hour this weekend to smoke up, drop the needle on The Dude, and appreciate the work of a man who, at 84, has definitely lived a life like no one else.