Sunday, August 20, 2017

Janet Jackson – Escapade (A&M)

Classics: Janet Jackson – Escapade (A&M)

The Minneapolis sound was not only Prince. It also happened to be the one of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis who’d been jamming with him as The Time. And this, before he fired them as they wanted to produce their own material.

Their choice would be successful, delivering the sound of 80’s/90’s R&B. Therefore contributing to get artists/groups such as S.O.S. Band, Alexander O’ Neal and Janet (Jackson) to the forefront.

We catch them back on the bouncing ‘Escapade’ delivered with remixes courtesy of Shep Pettibone. A cut taken from her 1989 ‘Rhythm Nation 1814’ album.

Overview
Gary, IN native Janet Jackson is the youngest of probably the famous family of artists in the world. She admittedly first thought of becoming a horse racing jockey or entertainment lawyer. But she ended up following the path of her brothers and sisters. She started acting at the age of 10 in the variety show ‘The Jacksons’ in 1976. Six years later, her father and manager, Joseph Jackson, arranged a contract for her with A&M Records.

Janet Jackson released her eponymous debut-album soon after. Collaborating with producers such as Angela Winbush, René Moore and Leon F. Sylvers III among others. Two years after she delivered its follow-up – ‘Dream Street’ – without generating any greater following. This leading her soon after to take her distance from her dad and team up with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. This would marked the start of a fruitful relation. Beginning with the release of ‘Control’, her third album which sold over 10 million copies worldwide. Meanwhile achieving cross-over Pop appeal, but also establishing a strong foundation within the urban market. ‘Control’ spawned five top 5 singles. From ‘What Have You Done for Me Lately’ to ‘When I Think of You’among others. Meanwhile, ‘When I Think Of You’ became her first number 1 hit on the Hot 100.

‘Rhythm Nation 1814’ saw the light in September 1989. It sold over 20 million copies. It became the only album to achieve 7 top 5 singles. Eventually producing number one hits in 3 different calendar years. Featuring gems such as ‘Escapade’, ‘Miss You Much’ and ‘Rhythm Nation’ among others.

With her recording contract with A&M Records coming to an end 1991, Jackson signed a multi-million dollar deal with Virgin. Meanwhile, she teamed up the year after with Luther Vandross, Ralph Tresvant and Bell Biv Devoe. Delivering the memorable ‘The Best Things In Life Are Free’ from the ‘Mo’ Money’ OST.

‘Janet’, her fifth album, marked her debut on her new label in May 1993. It sold over 14 million copies. Lead single ‘That’s The Way Love Goes’ won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song, toppin’the Billboard Hot 100 during 8 consecutive weeks. Among its highlights, ‘Again’, ‘If’ and ‘Any Time, Any Place’. Meanwhile, Janet made her film debut in ‘Poetic Justice’ two months later.

Janet, who’d started suffering for depression, released her sixth album – ‘The Velvet Rope’, in 1997. ‘Together Again’ spent a 46 weeks record on the Hot 100. Meanwhile other cuts such as ‘Got ‘Til It’s Gone’, ‘I Get Lonely’ and ‘Together Again’ strenghtened her high selling artist status. Not to mention ‘Go Deep’ which received various remixing treatments, beginning with the memorable one of Masters At Work.

On the heels of her ‘The Velvet Rope World Tour’, Janet collaborated with various artists. From Shaggy to BlackStreet and Busta Rhymes (on ‘What’s It Gonna Be?!’). She appeared in her second film, ‘Nutty Professor II: The Klumps’, in July 2000. The year after, she delivered her seventh album by the likes of ‘All For You’. Its title track, built upon a sample of Change‘s ‘The Glow Of Love’, setting a record for the highest debut by a single that was not commercially available at the time. Among its other highlights, ‘Son Of A Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)’. A track which borrowed elements of Carly Simon‘s ‘You’re So Vain’, it featured the latter, with remixing work courtesy of Missy Elliott.

Titled after her middle name, Janet‘s eighth studio, ‘Damita Jo’, came up in March 2004, right after the Super Bowl XXXVIII controversy. Regarded as one of the most controversial television events in history after Janet‘s right breast got exposed to a 140 million viewers, it had a huge negative impact. Affecting the sales of not only ‘Damita Jo’, but also the other albums that followed. Nothing would be the same anymore for her from then.

Janet has released 4 extra albums since then. With her latest, ‘Unbreakable’ (featuring ‘No Sleeep’), back in 2015.
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