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.

1 comment:

  1. This post begs the question: Do you speak softly?

    I skipped Ms. Jackson's (cause I am Nasty) first two albums but was all over her next five (1986-2001) buying all the 12" singles that accompanied each and every one. She lost me with Damita Jo though and I don't think I have even listened to anything from her post 2001 output. Always thought she was a talented cutie and my favorite pics of her are those US flag bikini ones. Witnessed her Super Bowl kerfluffle live and was neither offended nor excited - didn't even bother rewinding DVR.

    All credit goes to Jam & Lewis - are they even active anymore?

    Favorite remix of hers is the Cool Summer Mix of "Nasty" which, if you play parts I and II back to back equals almost 20 minutes of music.

    Strongly dislike all the interludes on hers and others discs. Enjoy all the tastefully used samples in her songs and hope writers get paid. Don't have a favorite album from her mainly because of those damn interludes breaking up the flow and the mood but I burned my own mix disc of favorites, both album songs and remixes.