Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Janet Jackson - Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989)
Note: this release was originally purchased as a cassette, later replaced by a CD.
This was fun to listen to back in 1990; not so much twenty years later. But it was available in the $1 bin, so why not? I've got to hand it to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, though. They were awesome producers back then. Janet's messages of social injustice are a little heavy-handed and preachy, but the music was fun in a new jack swing kinda way. Probably Janet's best CD, it's the only Janet Jackson CD I own.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #1 (4 weeks, Oct 28 - Nov 18, 1989)
Peak on Billboard's R&B albums chart: #1
Tracks: I could do without any of the 8 "interludes" on this 20 track CD. There aren't any hidden gems here, but I like the hits Miss You Much, Come Back to Me, and Love Will Never Do (Without You). My favorite cut is Rhythm Nation, but that may just because it samples Sly Stone's Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin). And when I say "samples" I mean that the funky bass line lifted from Sly is the basis for the whole song. Poor Sly didn't get any writing credit or even a mention anywhere in the liner notes; I hope he got his royalties.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: This music reminds me of teaching at Newman Smith High School in Carrollton in 1989-90. In particular, I am reminded of teaching the drum line at that school. Below is a picture of me and some students from the drum line and my jazz band from the band banquet in May, 1990. I'm the one in the center holding the big stick.