released Nov 17th
from the album - Make Me
YouTube - Make Me - Janet Jackson (Official Video- Full Length)
Few celebrity siblings can emerge from the shadows of their already famous relations to become superstars in their own right and with their own distinct personalities. That's exactly what Janet Jackson did in becoming one of the biggest female pop and R&B stars of the '80s and '90s. Since her breakthrough in 1986 with the album Control, Jackson's career as a hitmaker has been a model of consistency, rivaling Madonna and Whitney Houston in terms of pop chart success over the long haul. A big part of the reason was that Jackson kept her level of quality control very high; her singles were always expertly crafted, with indelible pop hooks and state-of-the-art production that kept up with contemporary trends in urban R&B. Once established, her broad-based appeal never really dipped all that much; she was able to avoid significant career missteps, musical and otherwise, and successfully shifted her image from a strong, independent young woman to a sexy, mature adult. With a string of multi-platinum albums under her belt, she showed no signs of slowing down in the new millennium.
Janet Damita Jo Jackson was born May 16, 1966, in Gary, IN. She was the youngest of nine children in the Jackson family, and her older brothers had already begun performing together as the Jackson 5 by the time she was born. Bitten by the performing bug at a young age, she first appeared on-stage with the Jackson 5 at age seven, and began a sitcom acting career at the age of ten in 1977, when producer Norman Lear selected her to join the cast of Good Times. She remained there until 1979, and subsequently appeared on Diff'rent Strokes (1981-1982) and A New Kind of Family. In 1982, pushed by her father into trying a singing career, Jackson released her self-titled first album on A&M; a couple of singles scraped the lower reaches of the charts, but on the whole, it made very little noise. She was cast in the musical series Fame in 1983; the following year, she issued her second album, Dream Street, which sold even more poorly than its predecessor. Upon turning 18, Jackson rebelled against her parents' close supervision, eloping with a member of another musical family, singer James DeBarge. However, the relationship quickly hit the rocks and Jackson wound up moving back into her parents' home and having the marriage annulled.
Jackson took some time to rethink her musical career, and her father hired her a new manager, John McClain, who isolated his young charge to train her as a dancer (and make her lose weight). McClain hooked Jackson up with producers/writers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, whom she'd seen perform as members of the Minneapolis funk outfit the Time. Jackson collaborated with Jam and Lewis on most of the tracks for her next album, Control, which presented her as a confident, tough-minded young woman (with a soft side and a sense of humor) taking charge of her life for the first time. In support of Jackson's new persona, Jam and Lewis crafted a set of polished, computerized backing tracks with slamming beats that owed more to hard, hip-hop-tinged funk and urban R&B than Janet's older brother Michael's music. Control became an out-of-the-box hit, and eventually spun off six singles, the first five of which "What Have You Done for Me Lately," the catch phrase-inspiring "Nasty," the number one "When I Think of You," the title track, and the ballad "Let's Wait Awhile" hit the Top Five on the pop charts. Jackson was hailed as a role model for young women and Control eventually sold over five million copies, establishing Jackson as not just a star, but her own woman. It also made Jam and Lewis a monstrously in-demand production team.
For the hotly anticipated follow-up, McClain wanted to push Jackson toward more overtly sexual territory, to which she objected strenuously. Instead, she began collaborating with Jam and Lewis on more socially conscious material, which formed the backbone of 1989's Rhythm Nation 1814 (the "1814" purportedly stood for either the letters "R" and "N" or the year "The Star-Spangled Banner" was written). Actually, save for the title track, most of the record's singles were bright and romantically themed; four of them "Miss You Much," "Escapade," "Black Cat," and "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" hit number one, and three more "Rhythm Nation," "Alright," and "Come Back to Me" reached the Top Five, making Jackson the first artist ever to produce seven Top Five hits off of one album (something not even her brother Michael had accomplished). Aside from a greater use of outside samples, Rhythm Nation's sound largely resembled that of Control, but was just as well crafted, and listeners embraced it enthusiastically, buying over six million copies. Jackson undertook her first real tour (she'd appeared at high schools around the country in 1982) in support of the album and it was predictably a smashing success. In 1991, Jackson capitalized on her success by jumping from A&M to Virgin for a reported $32 million, and also secretly married choreographer and longtime boyfriend Renι Elizondo.
Once on Virgin, Jackson set about revamping her sound and image. Her 1992 duet with Luther Vandross from the Mo' Money soundtrack, "The Best Things in Life Are Free," was a major R&B hit, also reaching the pop Top Ten. The following year, she also resumed her acting career, co-starring in acclaimed director (and former junior high classmate) John Singleton's Poetic Justice, along with rapper Tupac Shakur. But neither really hinted at the sexy, seductive, fully adult persona she unveiled with 1993's janet., her Virgin debut. Jackson trumpeted her new image with a notorious Rolling Stone cover photo, in which her topless form was covered by a pair of hands belonging to an unseen "friend." Musically, Jam and Lewis set aside the synthesized funk of their first two albums with Jackson in favor of warm, inviting, gently undulating grooves. The album's lead single, the slinky "That's the Way Love Goes," became Jackson's biggest hit ever, spending eight weeks at number one. It was followed by a predictably long parade of Top Ten hits "If," the number one ballad "Again," "Because of You," "Any Time, Any Place," "You Want This." janet.'s debut showing at number one made it her third straight chart-topping album, and it went on to sell nearly seven million copies.
Number Ones replaces Design of a Decade, released 14 years prior. Excepting the new song "Make Me" (hard neo-disco/funk excellence), each song here was indeed a number one hit on Billboard's various charts, though "Got 'Til It's Gone" sneaks through a side door via the Japanese charts. One number one, oddly, is missing: "So Excited," a perfectly fine, 2006 single which topped the club chart. This set is more thorough with 1986-1996, too, adding Herb Alpert's "Diamonds" which would not have been out of place on Control, given Jam & Lewis' production and Janet's precedence over Alpert's trumpet as well as "The Best Things in Life Are Free" (with Luther Vandross) all the smashes off janet., and "Scream" (with her brother). Say what you want about Janet peaking with Jam & Lewis during the latter half of the '80s to be fair, the argument is valid but she did rack up a career's worth of solid hits during the years that followed. Even if they were not as sonically innovative and lacked the same amount of pop appeal of the Control/Rhythm Nation-era singles, they clearly made a significant impact and have aged well. Four of the songs first compiled on Design of a Decade appear in slightly different forms, which could make a minor difference for the fans that are most hardcore. This includes the 7" video version of "Alright," the album version of "Control," the "short solo single version" of "Black Cat," and what is likely the single edit of "Rhythm Nation."
1 What Have You Done for Me Lately Jackson, James Harris III ... 4:43
2 Nasty Jackson, James Harris III ... 4:03
3 When I Think of You Jackson, James Harris III ... 3:55
4 Control Jackson, James Harris III ... 5:54
5 Let's Wait Awhile [Single Remix Version] Andrews, Jackson ... 4:37
6 The Pleasure Principle Moir 4:13
7 Diamonds Jam, Lewis 4:53
8 Miss You Much James Harris III, Lewis 4:12
9 Rhythm Nation Jackson, James Harris III ... 5:29
10 Escapade Jackson, James Harris III ... 4:45
11 Alright Jackson, James Harris III ... 4:58
12 Come Back to Me Jackson, James Harris III ... 5:35
13 Black Cat Jackson 4:31
14 Love Will Never Do (Without You) James Harris III, Lewis 4:34
15 The Best Things in Life Are Free Bivins, DeVoe ... 4:36
16 That's the Way Love Goes Bobbit, Brown, Jackson ... 4:25
17 If Jackson, James Harris III ... 4:32
18 Again Jackson, James Harris III ... 3:47
19 Because of Love Jackson, James Harris III ... 4:17
20 Any Time, Any Place Jackson, James Harris III ... 5:11
21 Scream Jackson, Jackson ... 4:01
22 Runaway Jackson, James Harris III ... 3:34
23 Got 'Til It's Gone Jackson, James Harris III ... 3:36
24 Together Again Jackson, James Harris III ... 4:07
25 I Get Lonely Jackson, James Harris III ... 4:01
26 Go Deep Jackson, James Harris III ... 4:43
27 What's It Gonna Be?! Allamby, Roberson, Smith 4:02
28 Doesn't Really Matter Jackson, James Harris III ... 4:56
29 All for You Garfield, Jackson ... 4:31
30 Someone to Call My Lover Bunnell, Jackson ... 4:14
31 All Nite (Don't Stop) Birgis, Hancock, Jackson ... 3:27
32 Call on Me Austin, Dupri, Hayes ... 3:35
33 Feedback Daniels, Emile, Jerkins, Yasin 3:55
34 Make Me Jackson, Jerkins, Lumpkins ... 3:38