As much as their respective fan-bases would like to state otherwise the female Pop throne is dually occupied by two powerful divas: Madonna and Janet Jackson.
This week From The Vault salutes the Queen of the Jackson dynasty and what we deem one of her most iconic songs and videos to date, 1993’s ‘If’.
After the phenomenal chart performance of ‘That’s The Way Love Goes’ – which was a significant change of pace, theme as well as style for the singer – the pressure was on for Janet to deliver something as exciting as the launching single of her eponymous fifth effort. All doubts were silenced when ‘If’ was selected as the follow-up single.
Another Janet, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis concoction, the Rock-infused track skilfully fused the the sound of the star’s preceding album ‘Rhythm Nation‘ with her newfound sexy.
Chart wise, it was another Billboard Top 5 for the artist, reached the 4th position of the Canadian charts and peaked at #14 in the UK.
What undoubtedly etched ‘If’ in the Pop Culture history book is its iconic music video – most especially the sickening choreography it showcases courtesy of the legendary Tina Landon. Directed by frequent collaborator Dominic Sena, the visual is set in a kinky Japanese nightclub where Janet performs seductively for a captivated crowd.
Oh…and did we mentioned “that” dance-break? Beyond being a visual exclamation mark for the song, video and MTV era, it’s widely regarded as one of the most groundbreaking pieces in the world of dance. And for reasons it simply justifies itself.
What better day than International Women’s Day to highlight how much this artist and video have been influential for Women in Pop. Indeed, by being herself – fearless and fly, by not being afraid to express her fantasies, and by exhibiting precision in her dancing and the conviction she puts in her craft, Jackson managed to change the Pop landscape for the better. She became an ambassador for female empowerment and birthed a whole new generation of performers – both female and male.
While we wait for the Queen to return to the charts, we urge you to press play and reminiscence with us about this classy classic which is still as sexy, innovative and edgy today as it was 23 years ago.