We had the kind of night where morning comes too soon..
20 years ago, on this very same week, Pop Icon and Queen of Everything Relevant Janet Jackson’s 5th studio album ‘janet.’ (pronounced janet, period) was released. Of course, as they say, the rest was history, as an unsuspecting world watched in awe as Janet transcended all boundaries to unveil a masterpiece that would blaze a trail for generations to follow. EVERYTHING else was rendered irrelevant. Madonna’s ‘Erotica‘ released 7 months ago was comparatively basic. Many, many unmentionable fantasies were fulfilled when Janet posed topless for the album cover as well as Rolling Stone magazine with a pair of hands (belonging to her then husband Rene Elizondo) cupping her super-ample bosom. And many a musical career was birthed, including that of Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lopez and Ciara – all from one album.
By the end of the week, the brazenly ambitious album launched at # 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart – the first album by a female artist to do so in the Nielsen SoundScan era. During the same week, the album’s first single, ‘That’s The Way Love Goes‘ was in the middle of an 8-week run at # 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart. Flaws? None found in 20 + years. You mad?
The album was a jaw-dropping transformation for Janet Jackson, who transformed from a Jackson youngin to a triumphant sex-charged pop-goddess who was ready to take no prisoners in the game.
Through spoken word interludes, Janet embraced her womanhood, and her agenda was clear – I have breasts, DEAL WITH IT.
20 years down the line, musical references from ‘janet.’ have begun popping up all over the place lately – from Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Poetic Justice‘ (sampling the classic baby-making jam ‘Anytime, Anyplace‘), to How To Dress Well’s cover of the Academy Award nominated Billboard # 1 ‘Again‘, to Moon Boot’s ‘Sugar‘ (sampling the epic ‘If‘), British Singer MNEK’s cover of ‘That’s The Way Love Goes‘ – the list goes on. Everyone from Rolling Stone to Billboard Magazine to the best blogs out there including Idolator have been paying their tributes to a legendary album that has clearly stood the test of time, 20 years after its release.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of an album that spawned 6 top 10 singles (including 2 Billboard # 1’s), 21 million in worldwide album sales, a Grammy Award, as well as a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination – today we give a shout-out to a trail blazing, genre bending, pioneering album that changed the face of music forever.
So without further ado,
DROP YOUR CLOTHES AND GET NAKED.
With the sex-drenched refrain ‘Like a moth to a flame burned by the fire, my love is blind can’t you see my desire‘, Janet Jackson launches into the biggest hit of her career in the US, a silky smooth flirt-fest that can set any house-party on fire – as depicted in the Rene Elizondo-directed golden-hued video featuring a then-unknown Jennifer Lopez cozying up to choreographer Omar Lopez looking all cool right next to Janet, who, incidentally sports abs that desperately deserve the Nobel Prize or something. THOSE ABS DAMN IT!
The Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis/ Janet Jackson production is a supreme baby-making extravaganza – incorporating Jam and Lewis’ smooth Minneapolis sound with Janet’s slinky soul drenched vocals. As Janet sensually coos ‘Don’t mind if I light candles, I’d like to watch us play, baby I’ve got on what you like…‘, it’s really, REALLY hard not to think about getting it on y’all.
Check out the legendary ‘That’s The Way Love Goes‘ right here :