The Brothers Johnson: George "Lightnin' Licks" Johnson, Louis "Thunder Thumbs" Johnson.
Light Up the Night marked the end of an era for the Brothers Johnson -- it was the last of four albums that Quincy Jones produced for the Los Angeles siblings, and it was the last time a Brothers Johnson album was truly excellent instead of merely decent. When Jones was producing the Brothers Johnson's albums from 1976-1980, he gave them something their subsequent albums lacked -- consistency. Even though George and Lewis Johnson recorded some decent material after Light Up the Night, none of their post-Jones albums had the type of consistency that Jones gives this 1980 release. The album gets off to an impressive start with the major hit "Stomp!" (a definitive example of the smooth, sleek brand of funk that was termed sophisticated funk in the late '70s and early '80s), and the tracks that follow are equally memorable. From the sleek sophisti-funk of "You Make Me Wanna Wiggle," "This Had to Be" (which was co-written by Michael Jackson and employs him as a background vocalist), and the title song to the tender R&B/pop ballads "Treasure" and "All About the Heaven," Light Up the Night is without a dull moment. ~ Alex Henderson