Janet Jackson made a transformation in the ’80s and ’90s, from the girl next door to a pop music icon.
Janet Jackson made a transformation in the ’80s and ’90s from the girl next door to a pop music icon.
Janet, or Miss Jackson if you’re nasty, possesses an unprecedented list of achievements. She’s the only artist to earn Grammy nominations in categories including dance, pop, rap, rock and R&B. She has more gold singles than any other artist.
It doesn’t stop there. She’s an artist, singer, songwriter, dancer, actor, producer and humanitarian, covering the worlds of music, film, entertainment, fashion, TV and philanthropy.
To achieve success of that magnitude, Janet had to take control. She managed to do just that in 1986 with the release of her third album, “Control,” the one that helped her to step out from behind the shadows of her famous siblings, primarily Michael.
Since then, there’s been no stopping her. Her latest CD, “Number Ones,” proves that. The two-disc set features 34 tracks, of which 33 topped at least one singles charts. The album also contains her new single, “Make Me.”
Finally we have an artist who got it right: a greatest hits collection that truly encompasses all their hits. In her case, it shouldn’t have been that difficult, considering most of her songs hit No. 1. But Madonna’s most recent hits package, “Celebration,” left out some key moments of her career, including “Evita.”
“Number Ones” covers the tongue-in-cheek pop side of “Control” with “When I Think Of You,” “Nasty” and “Pleasure Principle,” to the political consciousness heard throughout “Rhythm Nation,” especially the title track. Janet’s sensual side saw the light on “Janet” with tracks like “If,” “That’s The Way Love Goes” and “Again.”
“The Velvet Rope” revealed her spiritual enlightenment through songs like “Together Again” and “I Get Lonely.” The “All Four You” album was a combination of all of those things, coincidentally becoming her fifth straight album to debut at No.1.
This decade, she has continued to release albums, each with their own successes, including “Damita Jo,” “20 Yr. Old,” and her 10th studio album, last year’s “Discipline,” which also debuted at No. 1.
She even included “Diamonds,” a track with Herb Alpert that topped the jazz charts. “Runaway," which originally appeared on her first hits package in 1996, “Design Of A Decade,” is also included here.
I’m also happy to see that her only duet with Michael, “Scream,” found a home on her collection. Janet has always been an artist to watch. I’m happy to see her so well-represented in this collection.
Sometimes you can’t really appreciate an artist’s work until it’s packaged together like this.
David T. Farr is a correspondent for the Sturgis Journal in Sturgis, Mich. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.