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Music

TGJ Replay: Janet Jackson – ‘Rhythm Nation 1814′

rhythm nation janet jackson thatgrapejuice TGJ Replay:  Janet Jackson   Rhythm Nation 1814

After a lengthy break on the bench, ‘TGJ Replay’ is back!

Designed much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ features, ‘Replay’ is That Grape Juice‘s newest retrospective segment - a written quest, if you will, to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday.

Unlike its ‘Rewind’ and ‘Vault’ predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase entire albums (and eras) from a library of pop and Urban pop music hits.  As this week marks the 25th anniversary of the release of ‘Rhythm Nation’ – the now legendary fourth album from pop superstar Janet Jackson, we are set to deliver our biggest ‘Replay’ yet in homage to the Queen.

It all awaits below:

janet jackson rhythm jackson thatgrapejuice TGJ Replay:  Janet Jackson   Rhythm Nation 1814


Yes, we read  you brag about the stats of your faves on a daily basis.  But, if you want to talk stats, let’s talk the yet-outranked stats attributed Janet Jackson’s ‘Rhythm Nation’ album and accompanying era.

In a nutshell:

  • First album in history to achieve 7 top 5 singles
  • First and only album to score #1 singles over three different calendar years
  • Tied for 2nd place of ‘most #1 singles from one album’ – a feat shared by Paula Abdul
  • ‘Rhythm Nation’ tour still ranks as the most successful debut world tour (a feat challenged by Lady Gaga)
  • On the hems of ‘Rhythm Nation,’ Janet Jackson became the first woman in Grammy history to be nominated for ‘Producer of the Year’
  • First artist to have a #1 hit on ‘Mainstream Rock’ chart and ‘Billboard Hot 100′ simultaneously with ‘Black Cat’

The aforementioned only tip the iceberg of the accolades and recognition afforded to ‘Rhythm Nation’ – an album considered by critics across the board to be one of the greatest ever produced.  Birthed from 1989 studio sessions with Jackson and her longtime collaborators Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the album – much like its predecessor ‘Control’ – was designed to be a statement piece.  Unlike ‘Control,’ ‘Rhythm’s statement was more of an extrospective examination of the ‘state of the world’ (all pun intended).  Much to the group’s chagrin, the success of ‘Control,’ however, prompted pressure from the label to deliver an album with a similar sonic formula.  Jackson, on the other hand, had other plans.

In a world where the time’s leading pop stars –  Madonna, Whitney Houston, former choreographer Paula Abdul, and even her brother, Michael Jackson, were more fixated on making the world dance, Janet opted to take a risky move and create a socially conscious body of work.  Filled with a melting pot of sounds from new jack swing to R&B, pop, and rock, the feat would prove itself even more of a challenge as the then 23 year old continued to try to remove herself from the shadow of her wildly successful, yet controversial older brother.


Interestingly, borrowing a page from her older brother, Jackson introduced the concept album with a short film.  Comprised of three music videos – ‘Miss You Much,’ ‘The Knowledge,’ and title track ‘Rhythm Nation,’ the film’s black-and-white theme were reportedly used to demonstrate ‘racial harmony.’  Chock-full of high octane dance moves delivered with military precision, the films would not only launch her most successful era to date – but take the music world by storm and become the year’s top seller.

While ‘Miss You Much’ skyrocketed to #1 on the Hot 100 (her third best performing single there to date), ‘Rhythm Nation’ marched to #2 alongside a music video still influencing today’s crop of female stars.

Opting to take a lighter approach for succeeding singles, Jackson entered 1990 by tapping fan favorites ‘Escapade’ and ‘Alright’ to follow the mega successes of ‘Miss You Much’ and ‘Rhythm Nation.’  The move would prove itself lucrative.  Accompanied by music videos with cinematic quality rivaled only by her brother Michael, Janet would exceed and set the mark for female videos to follow.

Landing her two more top 5 singles (with ‘Escapade’ peaking at #1), it was becoming more and more evident that she was the new face of female pop music.

With four heavy dance-laden tracks to kick off the album, Jan sought to display the project’s sonic versatility with the follow-up singles ‘Come Back To Me’ and ‘Black Cat.’  The former, a heart-wrenching R&B slow jam decorated in an innocence all but mastered by the youngest Jackson, the latter would be just the opposite – an angry, guitar drenched number reminding listeners of the attitude oft-referenced in the “Miss Jackson if you nasty” days of ‘Control.’

‘Come Back To Me’ may have been blocked from the #1 spot by Mariah Carey‘s ‘Vision of Love’ during its tenure on the charts, but ‘Cat’ would claw its way to the tally’s perch and the history books.  The rise gave her the 3rd #1 single and 6th consecutive top 5 single from one album. In addition, it became the first song in history to top the ‘Mainstream Rock’ and ‘Hot 100′ charts simultaneously – an all the more impressive feat for an African American female artist.

 

By fall 1990, the stats that accompanied ‘Rhythm Nation’ seemed almost insurmountable.  In true Jackson fashion, however, she opted to continue to push the envelope by using the platform of music video as a way to segue into her next era.  With the now classic ‘Love Will Never Do Without You’ visual, Janet shed her all black-clad/key earring wearing/cookie cutter image by unveiling a svelte physique with bare midriff to boot.

The move – yet again – would prove itself devoid of misstep.  Giving the album its last #1, the feat would cement Jackson in history books as the first and only artist to have a #1 single in three different calendar years from one album.

Miss Rhythm Nation janet jackson 32504247 1086 724 TGJ Replay:  Janet Jackson   Rhythm Nation 1814

As if recollecting chart stats was not exhausting enough, it might take help from TGJ staff in its entirety to recount accolades.

In a nutshell:

  • 1 Grammy
  • 2 MTV Video Music Awards
  • 4+ American Music Awards
  • 7+ Billboard Music Awards
  • A number of other industry awards, accolades

To date, ‘Rhythm Nation’ remains cited as Janet’s quintessential, must hear album.  The era would prove itself without flaw and set ablaze a path of inspiration for female artists to come including Beyonce, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Ciara, and many more.  On any given day, it’s not a thing for you to hear ‘Come Back To Me,’ ‘Love Will Never Do Without You,’ or ‘Lonely’ blasting from speakers here at TGJ HQ.

Now, we will charge you with the task of answering:

Your thoughts?

Dont Forget To Share

37 Comments

  • September 18, 2014 at 1:51 pm
    Rach says:
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    hmm who is this? Ive never heard of her before..is she related to the KING Michael Jackson?

    Reply

    Missy Replied:

    EITHER YOUR STUPID OR DUMB: probably both. JANET started the beyonce trend; her tours were EPIC showcases. The energy was explosive. The songs were s*** and groundbreaking. LEGEND LEGEND LEGEND; know as the black Madonna but a better dancer. JANET is an ICON and all these girls adore her and do they should

    Reply

    Rach Replied:

    I’ve only heard one song from her… together again.. i think its called, i like it. All i know about her is that her t*tty popped out at the Super Bowl and she’s Michaels sister…

  • September 18, 2014 at 2:06 pm
    BionicGlam says:
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    Yesterday I saw someone say Good Girl Gone Bad is the Control of this generation. I am still laughing today.

    Reply

    Missy Replied:

    JANET is the ICON and she and Madonna should be mentioned in the same sentence as these new crop of girls.

    Reply

    Mark111 Replied:

    I said that and I stand by it. Both artist previous two albums weren’t very successful and the 3rd album made them icons in pop music. Both merged the R&B, Pop and dance genres and set the tone for the following years for other artist.

    Reply

  • September 18, 2014 at 2:15 pm
    b**** I Can't Even Spell Welfare says:
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    Undeniable CLASSIC!

    Folks, THIS is what we mean when we say something is a classic.

    Reply

    ChanteWantsMore Replied:

    I can’t think one classic album other than 21 to have come out in Pop in the last decade. The only other one is Back to Black.

    Reply

    b**** I Can't Even Spell Welfare Replied:

    You are absolutely right about “Back To Black.” Stunning album!

  • September 18, 2014 at 2:16 pm
    BeyBeyKing says:
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    The political message on this album is still relevant to this day 2bh. I wish Beyonce would take more risks and speak about issues that interest in her songs cos at the moment all she’s ever given us is s**, heartbreak, superficial revenge and more s**. There’s more to the world than d*** sis.

    Reply

    Robin'sThicke Replied:

    Beyonce doesn’t have much of a world view because she’s been so sheltered. Janet was the same but worked with people who had a wealth of experiences they could pull from when they wrote for her which is why she’s always been so good about talking about social issues. Beyonce only talks about serious issues on a surface level, like she’ll talk about feminism but ONLY the parts that relate to s**. Nothing about economic power, nothing about birth control, nothing about education, only s** and how her being a woman affects her relationships with men.

    Reply

    FAF Replied:

    Well today music doesn’t sell as well so Beyonce wants success

    Janet carved her own lane

  • September 18, 2014 at 2:16 pm
    There once was a pimp and his h**.... says:
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    Now that’s what you call slaying.The rhythm nation era is iconic as it is legendary.
    #Queen

    Reply

  • September 18, 2014 at 2:22 pm
    LB says:
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    Sam, give Rashad a raise; this is a well researched, well presented, well articulated piece, well done.

    Imma grab a cup of coffee, sit down a minute and enjoy this piece once more, this is very good. More of this please.

    To answer you’re question, my favorite song from Rhythm Nation is “escapade”.

    Reply

    DMoney Replied:

    Here here! Rashad is amazing.

    Reply

    LB Replied:

    I agree

    LB Replied:

    *your

    Reply

  • September 18, 2014 at 2:29 pm
    J Creweup says:
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    Thank you TGJ for profiling this landmark of an album. Brilliant/Iconic/Legendary.

    The Atlantic also did a wonderful write up about this album: “The Nation That Janet Jackson built.”

    She has made a significant impact with her work.

    Reply

  • September 18, 2014 at 2:39 pm
    Stephy says:
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    Yas Gawd! Now, THIS is a post worth clicking on. This album is legendary. She slayed. Every video, performance & song was perfect. To bad, EUROPE did not give this woman a chance.
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    Even tho she did score many top 10 hits in the UK (which is basically like US). It still does not take away the fact that Europe completely ignored Janet. I guarantee, that if that certain WHITE WOMAN did this album. It would’ve sold 40,000,000+ & been deemed her best album to date. Anyways, Janet Jackson gave us 5 perfect era’s.
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    Not many pop stars did that. And, don’t get me started on the so called “artist” these days. Also, LovelyBird is RIGHT! Please, give Rashad a RAISE for this post. And, let RASHAD do more writing. Cause Chile…

    Reply

  • September 18, 2014 at 2:43 pm
    Raj says:
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    The Empress of Music!! All female entertainers of today has taken and learned from this album! This album has changed lives! This album is still relevant till this day and what is going on in this world now! Can we say ahead of her time? People can try to talk down to her and hate, but at the end of the day there will NEVER be another JANET JACKSON! She path the way for all your faves and people need to respect that. Without Janet there wouldn’t been no Beyonce, J. Lo, Britney, Aaliyah, Rihanna, etc… They all looked up to her.

    Reply

  • September 18, 2014 at 2:56 pm
    Florida Evans says:
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    This album is 25 years old and still packs an emotional, musical, lyrical, and visual punch. Janet’s art has lived.

    When looking at the current musical landscape, we have to wonder whose art will live like Janet’s? It hard to say but one thing that I’m certain about is that Janet is a benchmark. When you think about the pinnacle of pop music, Janet is there.

    It is long overdue that we pay her the respect that she has more than earned.

    Reply

  • September 18, 2014 at 3:10 pm
    Stephy says:
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    OMGOD! I did not know Mariah’s “Vision Of Love” blocked “Come Back To Me”! DAMN YOU MARIAH & that Payola! Sik naw, “Vision Of Love” was actually one of MCs REAL #1′s. So, oh well. Honestly, RHYTHM NATION should have produced 6 number 1 hits & broken MJ’s record.
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    Rhythm Nation
    Love Will Never Do Without You
    Miss You Much
    Escapade
    Come Back To Me
    Black Cat
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    All those songs SCREAMED #1 hit. Legendary videos for each song. Gosh, I miss albums jammed packed with hits like this. To bad, our generation is NOT like this at all. Smh… Rihanna is probably the only pop star that delivers jammed packed hit albums nowadays. tbh…

    Reply

  • September 18, 2014 at 3:19 pm
    Greg_N_Greed says:
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    Who would have taught Janet would have over topped RN and that whole era only by out doing herself with the following era, The “Janet” album. What a blueprint and yet ppl luv to knock her off even when she have accomplished so much and have certified receipts. The original Queen.

    Reply

  • September 18, 2014 at 3:24 pm
    FutureCIARA says:
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    BRAVO BRAVO!!!!!!
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    http://sftheaterpub.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/tumblr_inline_mso8auuuyb1qz4rgp-1.gif
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    MAKE THESE CHILDREN KNOW IT!!!!!!
    Well written RASHAD! iLive for you and this post!
    Thanks for paying Homage to the real QUEEN!!!
    -
    MS.JACKSON

    Reply

  • September 18, 2014 at 3:27 pm
    FutureCIARA says:
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    Mariah TRIED her that round…..
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    But ESCAPADE >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Reply

  • September 18, 2014 at 3:31 pm
    King says:
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    This album is one of my favorites of all time! It’s incredible, Love Will Never Do Without You will be my first dance song at my wedding.

    Reply

  • September 18, 2014 at 3:33 pm
    FAF says:
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    love will Neva do!!!! Neva do without u!!!!!

    SANG!!!!!!

    They say we wouldn’t last!!! We had to prove them wrOooong !!!

    Reply

  • September 18, 2014 at 4:02 pm
    PYTFROMAL says:
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    Yasss sam listing the Queens accomplishments, let em know!

    Reply

  • September 18, 2014 at 4:40 pm
    Marcus says:
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    Thank you for honoring Janet.

    Reply

  • September 18, 2014 at 5:10 pm
    Eloviano says:
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    One of the best articles I’ve rad here on grape juice in a while, honouring one of the most influential/timeless record’s in the world. Rhythm Nation 1814 was one of the records that broke down racial barriers in the late 80′s/early 90′s. #RhythmNation25 is trending on Twitter. I’m just angry this phenomenal woman is not inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Despite being eligible since 2007, she has never been nominated. Never mind that her brother Michael is in there. (Twice in fact, including one with the Jackson Five.)

    Reply

  • September 18, 2014 at 5:49 pm
    Eloviano says:
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    Speaking of phenomenal woman, I’ve just remembered the poem Maya Angelou wrote for Janet in Poetic Justice called Phenomenal Woman

    PHENOMENAL WOMAN

    Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
    I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
    But when I start to tell them,
    They think I’m telling lies.
    I say,
    It’s in the reach of my arms
    The span of my hips,
    The stride on my step,
    The curl of my lips,
    I’m a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That’s me.

    I walk into a room
    Just as cool as you please,
    And to a man,
    The fellows stand or
    Fall down on their knee’s.
    Then they swarm around me,
    A hive of honey bees.
    I say,
    It’s the fire of my eye’s,
    And the flash of my teeth,
    The swing in my waist,
    And the joy in my feet.
    I’m a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That’s me.

    Men themselves have wondered
    What they see in me.
    They try so much
    But they can’t touch
    My inner mystery.
    When I try to show them
    They say they still can’t see.
    I say,
    It’s the arch of my back,
    The sun of my smile,
    The ride of my b******,
    The grace of my style.
    I’m a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That’s me.

    Now you understand
    Just why my head’s not bowed.
    I don’t show or jump about
    Or have to talk aloud
    When you see me
    It ought to make you proud.
    I say,
    It’s the click of my heels,
    The bend of my hair,
    The palm of my hand,
    The need of my care
    Cause I’m a woman
    Phenomenally.
    Phenomenal woman,
    That’s me.

    Reply

    Eloviano Replied:

    The ride of my B-R-E-A-S-T-S, smfh at this being censored, ya’ll just like the Super Bowl (no pun intended.)

    Reply

  • September 18, 2014 at 6:25 pm
    Mark111 says:
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    This album even inspired MJ to do Dangerous. I love the message in this album. That’s what music is missing today, a message.

    Reply

    Stephy Replied:

    Yes, MJ was VERY inspired by this album.

    Reply

  • September 18, 2014 at 6:39 pm
    Chris says:
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    Funny how people try to dismiss Janet. The facts speak volumes. “Rhythm Nation” is the ONLY album to have #1 hits over 3 different calendar years. And the ONLY album ever to have 7 top 5 hits (6 of the 7 top 2). Beyoncé is lucky if she can score 3 top 5 hits per album, let alone 4 #1 hits from one album. Keep in mind it was also awarded the #1 selling album of 1990 from Billboard Magazine. #QUEEN.

    Janet scored 19 back-to-back Top 10 hits on the Hot 100. A record for a female performer. More than Beyoncé’s entire career. Janet actually has 29 in total vs. Beyonce’s 14. So if we can call Beyonce’s 14 top ten hits some massive success. What should we call Janet’s 29?!

    Reply

    Stephy Replied:

    They do that cause she did not impact Europe.

    Reply

  • September 18, 2014 at 6:44 pm
    RoyalKev says:
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    This album is the best POP album every made imo.
    The production.
    The range in topics.
    The melodies.
    The artistry.
    The quality.
    The vocals.
    Classic!
    Absolutely Brilliant!

    Reply

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