Saturday, May 18, 2013


Janet Jackson signed one of the biggest record deals of all time, stepped out of her family shadow, and took control of her music with the eccentric and expansive pop experiments of this liberated landmark.  In the wake of the massive critical and commercial success of her 'Rhythm Nation 1814' album, she was at the heart of a bidding war between major record companies as her contract with A&M expired.  She signed a forty million dollar deal with Richard Branson and Virgin Records, which at the time was the biggest ever.  The lyrics of the album deal with a more open and personal sensuality.  Jackson would reveal in an interview in Rolling Stone:     "I can't fake it, I can't do it if I don't feel it. It's genuine. You could say I've entered a happy phase of sexuality...Sex has been an important part of me for several years. But it just hasn't blossomed publicly until now. I've had to go through some changes and shed some old attitudes before feeling completely comfortable with my body. Listening to my new record, people intuitively understand the change in me...You see, sex isn't just fire and heat, it's natural beauty. Doing what comes naturally. It's letting go, giving and getting what you need. In the age of AIDS, it certainly requires being responsible. On a psychological level, though, good sex, satisfying sex is also linked with losing yourself, releasing, using your body to get out of your body. Well, for the first, I'm feeling free. I love feeling deeply sexual--and don't mind letting the world know. For me, sex has become a celebration, a joyful part of the creative process."

Before recording the album, she took part in the John Singleton film production 'Poetic Justice', in which she plays a young woman in South Central Los Angeles that writes and recites poetry (written by Maya Angelou).  Jackson says:   "When the movie was complete, I suppose I did want to shed some of Justice's physical frustration. Rhythm Nation was a heavy record, and Poetic Justice was a heavy movie. I wanted to do something lighter but also daring. Mostly, though, I wanted to do something that corresponded to my life. My concepts are never bright ideas; they're never notions I think will sell or be trendy or attract new fans. I don't think that way. All I can do is sing from my life. When I wrote the album, I was still in a poetic frame of mind, inspired by Maya's beautiful language. You can hear that inspiration or the interludes and especially on the song 'New Agenda.' This time I felt much freer expressing myself...All my records are personal, and janet, is the most personal of them all. That's why this time around it was important for me to write all the lyrics and half of the melodies."

She worked very closely with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis at at Flyte Tyme Studios in Edina, Minnesota, co-writing and co-producing everything.  She brought in guest vocalists like Public Enemy's Chuck D and opera singer Kathleen Battle and brought jazz and orchestral elements to her music.   The album was entitled 'janet.' as a deliberate move to separate her from her famous family:   "Certain people feel I'm just riding on my last name ... That's why I just put my first name on janet. and why I never asked my brothers to write or produce music for me."

'janet.' went to number forty-four in Belgium; twenty-three in Hungary; twenty-two in Italy; sixteen in France; eleven in Norway; ten in Switzerland; five in Germany and Japan; four in the Netherlands; and number one in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US.  In the US, it made its debut at number one.  Six singles went to the top ten on the US singles chart.  'janet.' has sold over twenty million copies worldwide and is the biggest selling album of her career.  Miss Jackson explains the theme of the album:    "A woman who finally feels good enough about her sexuality, to demand a man's respect. It's insulting to be seen as some object; he must call her by name. It's not brazen demand--I didn't want to be obnoxious--but I wanted to be clear. Women want satisfaction. And so do men. But to get it, you must ask for it. Know what you need. Say what you want. Sexual communication is the name of the game. Intimacy...The thing that excites me isn't becoming a bigger star but a better artist, deeper, truer to the things I find exciting. If right now, I find sex exciting, if I'm looking at physical love in a beautiful light, I put that in my art. If next year, I'm depressed or confused or angry, I hope to have the courage to express those feelings. I hope to be an honest artist--no more, no less."

"That's the Way Love Goes"  samples "Papa Don't Take No Mess" by James Brown.  The single went to number fifteen in France; eleven in Switzerland; nine in Germany; five in the Netherlands; two in the UK; and number one in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and on several US charts.  It won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song.  

Janet Jackson - That's the Way Love Goes [1993... by OldschooloveGermany

Janet Jackson - That's The Way by hushhush112

"You Want This"  hit number eight on the US pop chart.  
samples "Love Child" by Diana Ross & the Supremes and "Jungle Boogie" by Kool & the Gang.

Janet Jackson & MC Lyte - You Want This by welcomeback

"If"  samples "Someday We'll Be Together" by Diana Ross & the Supremes.  The single hit number four on the US pop chart and number one on the US dance chart.

"Throb"  went to number two on the US dance chart.

"What'll I Do" charted at number fourteen in Australia.  

"Because of Love"  went to number ten on the US singles chart. 

"Again"   was a number one smash hit.  It was written for 'Poetic Justice' and nominated for the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Janet Jackson - Again by clips2000

"Any Time, Any Place"  went to number two on the US pop chart and number one on the US R&B chart.  

hidden track 
"Whoops Now" was a number one hit in New Zealand.


full album:

All for You/Janet from Janet Jackson on Myspace.

1. "Morning"   0:31
2. "That's the Way Love Goes"   Janet Jackson James Harris III Terry Lewis
Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Jackson  4:24
3. "You Know..."   0:12
4. "You Want This"  Jackson Harris III Lewis  Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Jackson  5:05
5. "Be a Good Boy..."   0:07
6. "If"  Jackson Harris III Lewis  Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Jackson  4:31
7. "Back"   0:04
8. "This Time"  Jackson Harris III Lewis   Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Jackson  6:58
9. "Go on Miss Janet"   0:05
10. "Throb"  Jackson Harris III Lewis     Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Jackson  4:33
11. "What'll I Do"  Jackson Steve Cropper Joe Shamwell    Jackson Jellybean Johnson  4:05
12. "The Lounge"   0:15
13. "Funky Big Band"  Jackson Harris III Lewis   Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Jackson  5:22
14. "Racism"   0:08
15. "New Agenda"  Jackson Harris III Lewis Chuck D   Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Jackson  4:00
16. "Love Pt. 2"   0:11
17. "Because of Love"  Jackson Harris III Lewis    Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Jackson  4:20
18. "Wind"   0:11
19. "Again"  Jackson Harris III Lewis   Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Jackson   3:46
20. "Another Lover"   0:11
21. "Where Are You Now"  Jackson Harris III Lewis   Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Jackson  5:47
22. "Hold On Baby"   0:12
23. "The Body That Loves You"  Jackson Harris III Lewis   Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Jackson  5:32
24. "Rain"   0:18
25. "Any Time, Any Place"  Jackson Harris III Lewis   Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Jackson  7:08
26. "Are You Still Up"   1:36
27. "Sweet Dreams"   0:14
28. "Whoops Now"   5:17

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