Happy Birthday Janet Jackson! TGJ’s Favorite Rare Miss Jackson Gems

Published: Saturday 16th May 2020 by Sam

Today brings with it the 54th birthday of Pop queen Janet Jackson!

Boasting an illustrious career that spans over four decades, the Rock and Roll Hall Of Famer has etched her name into the fabric of music history with classics such as ‘Rhythm Nation,’ ‘Nasty,’ and ‘All For You.’

But on a momentous day like this (and while she readies new album ‘Black Diamond’), we see no better time than the present to celebrate some of Miss Jackson’s lesser known jams.

Join us after the jump…

Every Time (1997)

Issued as the sixth and concluding single from the commercially and critically successful ‘Velvet Rope’ album, this haunting ballad flew under the radar of most. Which is no surprise given that it followed colossal hits such as ‘Together Again,’ ‘I Get Lonely,’ and ‘Got ‘Til It’s Gone’ – most of which were still in heavy rotation when ‘Every Time’ received the single treatment.

Still, the Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis number stands out for being lyrically raw, melodically rich, and stunningly sung. And that key change crescendo is just as resonating today as it was on initial listen.


R&B Junkie (2004)

Housed on ‘Damita Jo,’ this funkified bop packed a sweet infectiousness that really should have rendered it an indisputable single. Hard-hitting, yet easy to digest, ‘Junkie’ still knocks today and has thankfully been woven into Jackson’s live shows of late.


Night (2015)

After a seven year hiatus, the superstar singer triumphantly returned to the music landscape in 2015 with chart-topping album ‘Unbreakable.’ A set that was well-received by fans and critics alike. And it’s tracks such as ‘Night’ that highlight why.

Despite being anchored in the moody, the mysterious, and the mature, the song builds into all-out dance diva anthem. One which benefits in earnest from its Euro-Pop influence. Delicious!


Rollwitchu (2006)

Even the stiffest of Pinocchios has no choice but to hip-roll to this seductive cut.

Residing on JJ’s ninth studio album ’20 Y.O,’ this featured as a Japanese bonus track. We’re in the spirit of celebration, so won’t probe that oh-so-odd decision. But instead we’ll spotlight the brilliance embedded in this scintillating slow jam.


Rock With U (2008)

Pop, Disco, House, this dynamite ‘Discipline’ anthem fused them all.

Sonically and visually, the Ne-Yo and Jermaine Dupri produced number delivered everything one would want from a seasoned diva.

Again, today isn’t the day for shoulda, woulda, coulda’s. That said, we’d love for Janet to re-engage with this sound and aesthetic. As both define well-suited.


What do you think of our list? And what are some of your favorite rare Janet Jackson gems? As ever, let us know…

Your thoughts?

Comments 15

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  1. Pat May 16, 2020

    Empty. China love Truly
    So ahead of her time lyrically sonically melodically
    HAppy Birthday to the Greatest Female Entertainer. Doing this since 7 years old

  2. Ropeburn May 16, 2020

    My favorite rare cuts from Janet are:
    Put Your Hands On
    Pillow Talk

  3. 1988 May 16, 2020

    Happy Birthday to a Queen. 🙂 Your music has made such a huge positive impact in my life and I celebrate you! Your beautiful, deep and clever lyrics are a staple to my soul. Your voice is soothing. Taught me what love is when I was too young to have a clue, taught me to stand in the face of racism, taught me how to take control of my life, taught me how to love myself before you can love another, to search for a partner with inner beauty, taught me the best things in life are free, taught me there is nothing wrong with being exactly who you are and even taught me there is nothing wrong with catering to your sensuality! A true Taurus woman in every way. You are so beautiful. Hope you have the best birthday!!! 🙂

  4. Clarks0o0ñ May 16, 2020

    Love janet but she had the worst album covers.

    • Johny5 May 17, 2020

      Uhm the Janet album is literally the most iconic and most recreated album cover of all time.

  5. eric May 16, 2020

    She’s doing great things at 54. I hope the tour can still happen without being postponed too long, and on the same scale as she originally intended.

  6. Antincia+foster May 16, 2020

    I love all 9f Janet Jackson song happy birthday jj

  7. Darren May 16, 2020

    *discipline still isnt in Spotify

    My rare gems
    *Broken hearts heal
    * Luv
    * Days go by ( bonus track)
    * 20 foreplay
    * Clap your hands ( unreleased from shelved rodney jerk ins produced albüm)
    * Get it out me

    • AJ May 16, 2020

      Discipline is on the UK spotify…

  8. Nuh May 16, 2020

    Clap Your Hands was actually produced by Rich Harrison, who did a couple of other unreleased Janet tracks too. He produced Beyonce’s Crazy in Love and Amerie’s 1 Thing. You can hear the similarities in all the songs sonically.

  9. Theelusive1 May 16, 2020

    ENJOY …is the song

  10. Keith May 16, 2020

    Clap Your Hands
    And On and On
    Twenty Foreplay
    Love Me (ft. just blaze)
    Pops Up
    When We Ooo
    Happy Birthday, Ms. Jackson!!!!!!

  11. AJ May 16, 2020

    LUV from Discipline should have been a hit. There was also that track she did with Darkchild and Michael Montano – Heartbeat Love

  12. Okay? May 16, 2020


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