Where To Start With... Janet Jackson
Seven years after her last full-length LP Discipline emerged Janet Jackson is back with a brand new album Unbreakable. The first album to released under her independent label Rhythm Nation Records, the album has been written with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the pair who helped the singer pen many of her biggest hits and features guest appearances from both Missy Elliott and rapper J. Cole.
The album hits shelves today (it’s available to pre-order and purchase on the right-hand side of the page, complete with a number of tracks exclusive to hmv!), but this being Jackson’s 11th studio album and all, we thought we’d give you a little guide to her career so far. With that in mind, here is where to start with Janet Jackson…
Released in 1982 when Jackson was just 16 years old, her self-titled debut album owes much to Motown and classic disco, this is probably its finest moment. It’s doe-eyed and sugary sweet, but will stick in your head just the same.
This is a gem from Jackson’s 1986 Control, despite being one of only two tracks that weren’t released as singles from the album, it’s the album’s highlight. Catchy as hell, with a slinky hook and an incredible saxophone solo, it’s a real treat.
The lead-off single from 1989’s Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814, this is perfect slick of funk-pop with a brilliant video. You can hear the influence of the song’s glorious groove in so many of today’s hits.
From 1998’s The Velvet Rope this is Jackson at her most R’n’B with a bouncy beat and a slick chorus, you can hear TLC, early Mariah and all the divas you dominated the airwaves during the late 90s. Jackson was up there with the best of them.
This one is an oddity in the careers of both Michael and Janet Jackson. As well as featuring the most expensive music video ever made (It was $7 million in 1995, so that’s more like $11 million in today’s money), ‘Scream’ was the first time Janet and brother Michael had worked together since her debut album and is probably the angriest thing either ever recorded. Stills sounds great though.
Janet Jackson’s new album Unbreakable is out now