Well, this isn't good. Before I even get started on this week's installment I already have a furrowed brow. The reason: I'm wondering exactly what grounds Quincy Jones had to insist that this Top 20 hit from 1981 was his song when he didn't write it, he didn't sing it, and he may not have even played any instruments on it. I mean, since when does a producer get top billing for a piece of music anyway? The only way I can explain why Jones relegated smooth adult contemporary singer and legitimate R&B/soul artist James Ingram to a mere footnote that persists to this day is to refer to a word average people don't get to use too often: svengali.
My brow remains furrowed still because that's not actually what I wanted to write about in this space, and I'm a bit angry that I can't seem to stop myself from ranting about it. But really I have a personal reason for choosing this somewhat bland love song for this weekly feature rather than any kind of great admiration for it. The melody is catchy enough, but mainly what I remember about "Just Once" is that it came out at a time in my life, before I hit double digits in age, when I still felt completely safe in the world. I guess I cling to the memory of this tune because I haven't experienced such an idyllic comfort zone in my life since and probably never will. To complete this stream-of-consciousness musing appropriately, I'll mention but refrain from getting deeply into why I was convinced as a child that this tune was about sports rather than a rocky romantic relationship.
- Sample or download "Just Once" here.
- Compare prices on James Ingram CDs here.
- Compare prices on Quincy Jones CDs here.
Album Cover Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros/WEA Records