The Music of Janet Damita Jo (Janet appreciation thread)

ElectricEyes2

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Anyone else see the Alright tribute they did on Strictly? Janet even tweeted about it.
 

83magic

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I think Janet’s best years were between 1986-1992. though most of my favourite songs are from the ‘control’ album/era. I think she gave her best vocals, visuals, and overall creative concepts when she was on the a&m record label.

here’s my current Janet playlist (mostly single/radio edits where available)

1. ‘what have you done for me lately (single edit)

2. ‘when I think of you’ - one of the few times where I prefer the original album version over the single/video mix. the production was cleaner and the song had more of a sweetness to it. love the way it progresses from lone piano chords, to bass line, then the beat drops.. sounds like something Michael and Quincy would arrange..

3. ‘control (‘7 edit) edited album version which appears on the uk compilation ‘design of a decade 1986-1996’. crisp, compact, and bursting with funk (though I’m usually not a fan of the genre). straightforward lyrics about gaining independence. innovative and intricate production. perfect 👍🏽

4. ‘let’s wait awhile (album version)

5. ‘the pleasure principle (edited album version - see ‘control’) - these lyrics dig deeper than ‘control’. I interpret them to be about recognising a potentially bad situation, and removing yourself before it manifests. most likely refers to her previous marriage, although she didn’t write it. love the metaphor of the meter running up in a taxi. her delivery is robotic and soaring at the same time. one of the first instances of her blending with herself. impressive overall 👍🏽

6. ‘he doesn’t know I’m alive’ - could have easily fit in on her debut album (same could also be said for ‘when I think of you’). lovely bright innocent song with great vocals, melody, groove, and storytelling. all the hallmarks of a classic pop song. she sounds like she’s having fun here 💜could have been a single. I wonder if she ever performed it?

7. ‘diamonds (herb alpert feat. Janet and Lisa Keith - cool summer mix edit) - this is the only version I listen to. I guess it was made too late to be considered for the ‘control’ album? has a cold elegance that matches the tongue in cheek materialistic lyrics. depending on my mood, they could bother me..

8. ‘alright promo radio edit no rap’ - a decent compromise between the overlong album version and the single version. neither one knew how to end the song. this choice could be removed..
9. ‘the best things in life are free‘ - Janet and Luther vandross (uk cj mcintosh 7’ edit no rap) - my favourite version of the song. this unlikely pairing have a great chemistry, and manage to match each other vocally. bouncy house classic for sure 💜
*honourable mention *
escapade’ - missed the cut by being too long. also has those punchy snare drums that I dislike. otherwise a decent pop hit. could have replaced ‘alright’ on my list..
 
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