Album: Right On Time (1977)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Outside of the James Bond universe, the most famous Q is certainly Quincy Jones, and that's who this instrumental track is named for in tribute. Jones was the Brothers Johnson's mentor and producer, and he often used the brothers - guitarist George and bass player Louis - on sessions for other artists (that's Louis' bass on Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean").
  • Speaking with Blues & Soul, Louis Johnson explained how the song "Q" came together. "It was around four in the morning in the studio and I guess I was half-awake and half-asleep," he said. "And I just started tripping out on this particular riff. I figured I was dreaming so when I really woke up, I put it down straight away. I guess that's the advantage of falling asleep in the studio - at least you can get your ideas down right then and there! What turned out to be heavy about it was that when Quincy heard it, he said that it had some of the same structure as something he'd done for a movie years ago."

    Louis fleshed out the song with his brother George, and it was included on their second album, Right On Time. The brothers were exceptionally talented songwriters, but their biggest hit was the only cover song on the album: "Strawberry Letter 23," originally by Shuggie Otis.
  • This won the 1977 Grammy Award for the Best Rhythm & Blues Instrumental Performance. It was the only Grammy win for The Brothers Johnson, who were nominated for Best New Artist a year earlier but lost to Starland Vocal Band.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Kerry Livgren of Kansas

Kerry Livgren of KansasSongwriter Interviews

In this talk from the '80s, the Kansas frontman talks turning to God and writing "Dust In The Wind."

AC/DC

AC/DCFact or Fiction

Does Angus really drink himself silly? Did their name come from a sewing machine? See if you can spot the real stories about AC/DC.

Martyn Ware of Heaven 17

Martyn Ware of Heaven 17Songwriter Interviews

Martyn talks about producing Tina Turner, some Heaven 17 hits, and his work with the British Electric Foundation.

Movie Stars In Music Videos

Movie Stars In Music VideosSong Writing

Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Mila Kunis and John Malkovich are just a few of the film stars who have moonlighted in music videos.

Rock Revenge Songs

Rock Revenge SongsMusic Quiz

John Lennon, Paul Simon and Lynyrd Skynyrd are some of the artists who have written revenge songs. Do you know who they wrote them about?

Gary Louris of The Jayhawks

Gary Louris of The JayhawksSongwriter Interviews

The Jayhawks' song "Big Star" has special meaning to Gary, who explains how longevity and inspiration have trumped adulation.