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.
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!
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…