ARTIST: Janet Jackson
YEAR RELEASED: 1986
CHART ACTION: #1 US, #1 R&B, #8 UK
SINGLES: What Have You Done for Me Lately (#4 US, #1 R&B, #3 UK), Nasty (#3 US, #1 R&B, #19 UK), When I Think of You (#1 US, #3 R&B, #10 UK), Control (#5 US, #1 R&B, #42 UK), Let’s Wait Awhile (#2 US, #1 R&B, #3 UK), The Pleasure Principle (#14 US, #1 R&B, #24 UK), Funny How Time Flies (When You’re Having Fun) (#59 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: That’s seven of nine tracks right there.
LINEUP: Janet Jackson, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Spencer Bernard, Monte Moir, and other session players
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: After two sentimentally goopy pop albums, Janet Jackson breaks away from the family dynasty and asserts herself.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Track one is all about taking control of one’s self and career. Track two is about asserting one’s self as not taking sexist crap from men. Track three is about putting that bad boyfriend in his place. Janet Jackson has basically flipped the bird, strongly, towards anyone doubting her.
Working with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Jackson and the producers constructed a mid-80’s soundtrack for women’s empowerment. Yes, there are love songs (and those slow ones get treacly), but the dance numbers shine, and Jackson uses the strengths of her voice, and Jam and Lewis’s production, to get the message out there.
The production is of the time, but the message is still of our time. The only bad thing is the sequencing, putting the two slow jams at the end allows the record to run out of steam.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: She had two solo records in the early 80’s before she broke away from the family management. Those are better left in the dust.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A Japanese bonus track.
GRADE: A-: The downgrade is for the closing two tracks.