Sunday, July 10, 2011

Blast from the Past: Classic Janet Jackson

Well, I've done three weeks on Madonna, so I suppose it's only fair that I give Janet Jackson a shot. In 1986, she was just Michael's cute little sister, most notable for her appearances on Good Times and Fame. She had release an album or two with little to no impact. But Control changed all that. She hit the charts with a huge bang, and her run of hits started like a freight train. What Have You Done for Me Lately? was up first, followed by her feisty Nasty ("No, my first name ain't baby, it's Janet. Miss Jackson if you're nasty"). Paula Abdul makes an appearance in the latter.

Janet kept going, with When I Think of You, a tricky video with only two or three possible cuts in an otherwise continuous shot. The title track, Control was next. The lyrics speak of a young person breaking free from their parents, and setting out on their own, which really spoke to me at the time.

After four major hits, most albums peter out. But Control produced more, with Let's Wait Awhile (with the confusing lyric, "Let's wait awhile, before it's too late") and The Pleasure Principle.

A year or so later, Janet was back with Rhythm Nation 1814, which was even bigger. Miss You Much and Rhythm Nation set up a whole new militaristic look to Janet's wardrobe and dance style.

There were five more hits on Rhythm Nation, my two favorites being Black Cat and Love Will Never Do Without You, with a newly svelte and pinup sexy Janet, helped out by the sexier Antonio Saboto, Jr.

Janet Jackson - Love Will Never Do Without You by jpdc11

Never again would Janet Jackson have the simultaneously sexy but innocent image. After this album, she went overtly erotic, not that there's anything wrong with that. But the classic Janet will always be special to me.

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