All Nite (Don't Stop)

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"All Nite (Don't Stop)"
Single by Janet Jackson
from the album Damita Jo
B-side
Released May 29, 2004
Format
Recorded 2003
Genre
Length 3:26
Label Virgin
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
Janet Jackson singles chronology
"I Want You"
(2004)
"All Nite (Don't Stop)"
(2004)
"R&B Junkie"
(2004)

"All Nite (Don't Stop)" is a song by American recording artist Janet Jackson for her eighth studio album, Damita Jo (2004). It was released May 29, 2004 by Virgin Records as the second single from the album. It was written and produced by Jackson and Swedish duo BAG & Arnthor, with additional writing from Jam and Lewis. "All Nite (Don't Stop)" fuses dance-pop with influences of electropop, funk, and house. It uses varied instrumentation, such as funk guitars, with samba, grime, and latin music. Jackson performs the song in a breathy falsetto, with lyrical metaphors comparing various actions to the addictive nature and persuasion of dancing.

The song's chart performance was massively affected by the blacklisting of Jackson's singles and music videos on many radio formats and music channels worldwide, regarding conglomerates fined by the FCC after her controversial Super Bowl halftime show incident. However, it peaked atop Hot Dance Club Songs and reached number eight on Hot Dance Airplay; peaked within the top twenty in the United Kingdom and charted within numerous other countries. Its music video was directed by Francis Lawrence and portrays Jackson and her dancers rehearsing in an abandoned hotel during a power outage. The music video received nominations for Best Dance Video at the International Dance Music Awards and Best Choreography at the MVPA Awards, which also awarded Francis Lawrence a directorial award for his work with Jackson.

Jackson performed "All Nite (Don't Stop)" during several appearances, including Saturday Night Live, On Air with Ryan Seacrest and Top of the Pops, in addition to the 2004 Video Music Awards Japan and Rock Witchu Tour. It won a BMI London Award for Best Pop Song.

Background[edit]

"All Nite (Don't Stop)" was written and produced by Jackson and Swedish producers BAG & Arnthor of Murlyn Music, with additional writing from Jam and Lewis. It was released as the third single from Damita Jo, following "Just a Little While" and "I Want You," although it was initially a contender for the album's lead release. The song was among several songs Jackson recorded with the duo, in addition to "SloLove", "I'm Here", and "Put Your Hands On." It was recorded at Murlyn Studios in Stockholm, Sweden and The Village in Los Angeles, California. The duo specifically desired to work with Jackson prior to their collaboration, with Anders Bagge stating, "She's the one I would give anything to work with. The ultimate female artist," and Arnthor Birgisson adding, "let's just say we will definitely be prepared if and when that happens."[1]

The song was later included on Jackson's second hits compilation Number Ones. An edited version which omits several lines appears on the clean version of Jackson's Damita Jo album. A dancehall influenced remix known as the So So Def remix features Elephant Man and was produced by L'Roc and Jermaine Dupri. It was initially intended to be sent to urban and rhythmic radio formats. It won the award for Best Pop Song at the 2005 BMI London Awards.[2]

Composition[edit]

"All Nite (Don't Stop)" is a dance-pop song with elements of funk, electropop, and jazz influences.

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"All Nite (Don't Stop)" was regarded as innovative and experimental for its stylistic nature, combining dance pop with elements of electropop, funk, and house. It also incorporates flourishes of samba, grime, latin, ambient, dancehall, and jazz throughout its production.[3][4][5][6] It briefly samples Herbie Hancock's "Hang Up Your Hang Ups." Jackson's vocals are delivered in a breathy falsetto over an "impossibly lithe bassline" described as "a bitch slap" to the senses.[7][8]

Lyrically, "All Nite (Don't Stop)" discusses being addicted to dancing in a club setting, using metaphors to describe the intense feelings experienced. The song opens with Jackson announcing "Attention it's time to dance," before comparing various situations with frenetic movement, such as earthquakes, masturbation, pole dancing, a corkscrew, and computer hacking with jerking, popping, breakdancing, shaking, and twerking. Veronica Heffernan of The New York Times said the lyrics presented Jackson as "a demanding choreographer" with "drill-sergeant attitude," complimented by Jackson's "sweetheart voice."[9]

Critical reception[edit]

"“All Nite (Don’t Stop”) puts the listener in the middle of the frenzy as the latest club hit plays. The strength is in how it’s paced. It begins fast, then gradually slows down, picks up again, etc., until the end of the song. Instead of trying to tire the listener, the single allows them to stop, take a breath, and enjoy it with the same amount of energy as before. Jackson is at her most sensual and commanding as she sings. The sexuality is not forced. Instead, it’s subtle, despite the orgasm heard at the end and left to the imagination."

——Langston Wertz Jr. from The Charlotte Observer[10]

"All Nite (Don't Stop)" received praise for its innovation and fusion of multiple genres generally not present in pop music. Mike Trias of Radio and Records stated, "All Nite" is a track that should not be ignored, especially on the dance floor. Its sexy, midtempo groove is perfect for kicking a part into after hours."[11] Billboard commended it as a "beat-bangin' number" with "infectious allure," affirming "Jackson steps back into her signature groove line with this bass-driven party jam." Opening with a "sultry reading," its chorus and "relentless beat" were thought to have "no trouble finding traction on dancefloors," remaining "embedded in your consciousness long after the last note has sounded." It was also called among Jackson's strongest material and candidate for the album's lead single.[12] Tareck Ghoneim of Contact Music considered it an "interesting" and "infectious" blend of "upbeat samba/dance rhythms and definite funk influence," in addition to "Electro samples, latin percussion and some groans and breaths to give it a sexy ambience." Its aura "on a house tip" was considered to have "loads of crossover potential" for several airplay formats. Ghoneim exclaimed, "it certainly doesn’t strike me as a typical Janet record," citing it as another evolution from "those ‘Nasty’ days" in "maintaining that dance-pop influence but making it slightly more cool."[3] Live Nation called it a "popular club hit," also described as a "hypnotic house number" by People's Chuck Arnold.[13][14] The New York Times praised its "clubby, big-room beats," analyzing its production as "strictly machine-made, with Jackson's sweetheart voice protected by layers of effects." Its "bossy" lyrics were likened to being "spoken by a demanding choreographer or a bullying boyfriend," which transitions from "1-900 confessionalism" to "drill-sergeant attitude."[15] Digital Spy regarded it as "suitably lewd," as well as "criminally overlooked" and "an absolute banger."[16][17][18]

Spence D. of IGN heralded the song as "a bitch slap" of electro funk which effectively "gets the blood pumping and the booty primed for shaking."[8] Alexis Petridis of The Guardian noted the song's "impossibly lithe bassline," praising it as "not only inventive, but brilliantly constructed."[7] The publication also called it "a nervy tune" with guest production by "Swedish pop architects Murlyn."[19] Slant Magazine called it a "pulsating club track."[20] The San Francisco Chronicle regarded it as "the best song on "Damita Jo," where Jackson whispers "This is sick" just before a crazy Chic rhythm kicks in and the whole thing just blows up into the best dance song since "Bizarre Love Triangle." MusicOMH declared the opening line "ups the ante a bit," underpinned by "a funky bass guitar," "quite grimy" basis and "understated" vocals.[4]

Jackson performing "All Nite" on Number Ones, Up Close and Personal.

The Times lauded the song as "superb," demonstrating Jackson "getting X-rated over the vibrations of the bass." Pitchfork's Chris Ott called it "genius" and rated it three and a half out of four stars, qualifying it as part of the "mashup craze" in which artists were "dreaming up new, ear-catching juxtapositions to dazzle radio," such as Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" and Eminem's "Lose Yourself." Ott declared it "a notable standout from the latter class," using Timbaland-styled beats over the "improbable counterweights" of Herbie Hancock and "ambient-techno keyboards" likened to Moby or Future Sound of London. The track's "borderline dancehall/Latin club rhythms" were hailed, comparing Britney Spears's "Toxic" to the song for its sonic innovation.[5] BBC UK's Top of the Pops website exclaimed the track "hits you with about three different basslines and a bonafide booty-quaker of a beat," transitioning into one of her "classic Jackson key-changes" during the chorus. The website added "before you know it, your neck aches and your neighbours are banging on the walls," questioning "where the hell was this when we needed it?"[21] It was called a "stand-out track" which "has "hit" written all over it" by UKMix, in addition to "a bright spot" for the climate of pop music, using "a certain funk/jazz energy to it that works."[6][22] The Baltimore Sun labeled it a "get-on-up dance cut" which "rides a looping funk guitar line."[23] Asian entertainment outlet Fridae qualified it as "chart-friendly," "bass-line driven," and "burning from the explicit references."[24][25] Tracy E. Hopkins of Barnes & Noble called it "frenetic," capturing Jackson "enjoying leisure time at the club."[26] Entertainment Scene 360 considered the "streamlined, funky jam" to contain "a beat that won’t quit"; a remedy to "anyone who doubted Janet."[27]

Tom Moon of The Philadelphia Inquirer called it a moment "when everything clicks," adding its "primal quality" ultimately "juxtaposes Jackson's ethereal yearning against agitated synthesizers."[28] It was ranked as "really fantastic" and a "tight, funky production" using "sharp samples" and "chopped up loops" by The Sunday Herald.[29] E! Online exclaimed it to be "every bit as explicitly delicious" as the title suggests, while The Scotsman considered its composition a "school of male fantasy suggestiveness," also thought to be "downright dirty" by Metro Weekly.[30][31] In 2011, MTV Buzzworthy commended the song for being a "classic '00s earworm,"[32]

Chart performance[edit]

The song's chart success was largely affected by the blacklist of Jackson's singles and music videos which followed her controversial Super Bowl halftime show incident. It peaked at number thirty-three on Billboard's Pop Songs chart, number nineteen on Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles, and number one on Hot Dance Club Play. It also reached number eight on Hot Dance Airplay.[33] Internationally, it was released as a Double A-side with "I Want You". It reached number thirteen in Spain, top twenty in the United Kingdom, top twenty-five in Australia, Belgium, and Romania, and top thirty in Japan, Italy, and Ireland. It peaked at number twenty-two on the World Chart Show. Following the success of "Feedback," the single re-entered the Hot 100 Singles Sales chart at number forty, giving it a new peak four years after its initial release.

Blacklist[edit]

Following her Super Bowl halftime show incident, Jackson's songs and music videos were blacklisted worldwide by many major radio formats and music channels owned by conglomerates such as Viacom and CBS, including MTV, Clear Channel Communications, and Infinity Broadcasting, after they were heavily fined by the FCC. In January 2014, Rolling Stone disclosed "CBS and MTV’s parent company Viacom, angered that an unannounced addition to the Super Bowl performance has now cost them all future halftime shows, hits back at Janet by essentially blacklisting her, keeping her music videos off their properties MTV, VH1, and radio stations under their umbrella. The blacklist spreads to include non-Viacom media entities as well", adding "Thanks to the radio and music television blacklist, the LP underperforms compared to Janet’s previous releases."[34] Glenn Gamboa of Newsweek commented "Jackson has been put in the pop culture penalty box. The result is that despite some initial backing for "Just a Little While," radio and TV support for her music has withered, as the conglomerates worry about angering the FCC and Congress," in fear of receiving fines for supporting Jackson.[35] Langston Wertz Jr. of Charlotte Observer stated Jackson became one of the "most villified female artists of all time" in the media, adding due to the blacklist, "radio wouldn't play it and MTV wouldn't play her videos for "I Want You" and "All Nite," two songs that would've been out-of-the-park hits at any other point in Jackson's career."[36] Billboard explained the album's three singles "were blacklisted by pop radio—they were also the albums biggest highlights," notably the "funky, heavily dance orientated "All Nite (Don't Stop)."[37]

The song was released shortly prior to the dawn of YouTube, when music videos from major stars required heavy rotation on music outlets, specifically MTV, to receive promotion. A senior executive for Viacom, which owns MTV, VH1, and many radio formats, said the company was "absolutely bailing on the record. The pressure is so great, they can't align with anything related to Janet. The high-ups are still pissed at her, and this is a punitive measure."[38] Roger Friedman of Fox News stated "One thing is certain, however: Janet is being scapegoated for her Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction." [...] Imagine that MTV, where illiteracy and lewdness thrive most of the day, would banish Janet's new video because of her "reputation." Who are they trying to kid? Of course, MTV is a corporate cousin of CBS, where the original snafu happened. But that's just a coincidence!"[39] Virgin Record's marketing director Elizabeth Nordy stated MTV's lack of support was "a major catalyst" in the album and single's performance.[40]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "All Nite (Don't Stop)" was directed by Francis Lawrence, who previously directed "Someone to Call My Lover" and several of Jackson's other videos, and edited by Dustin Robertson. It was filmed from April 16–17 and premiered online on May 13, 2004.[41] The video was filmed at the abandoned El Dorado Hotel in the Skid Row neighborhood of Los Angeles, California during a power outage. It took a minimal approach in comparison to Jackson's prior clips, focusing heavily on intricate choreographed routines as well as pro-gay themes amongst several of Jackson's dancers. A separate music video for the song's So So Def remix featuring Elephant Man was initially planned.[42] After Jackson's Super Bowl halftime show incident, MTV and many other music channels owned by companies involved in producing the event blacklisted her videos from rotation.[34] However, a slightly edited version was shown on channels such as MuchMusic and BET. The video was choreographed by Gil Duldulao. Various styles of dance are portrayed, including snapping, jerking, jazz, hip-hop, and yoga-influenced moves, which quickly transition from group to solo routines.[15]

Reception[edit]

Jackson dances in an abandoned hotel during a blackout in the music video, with power restored during the finale (pictured).

Virginia Heffernan of The New York Times published a detailed analysis of the video, praising it as "clever," "brave," and "sexually restless." The video's theme of "orgiastic dancing by candlelight" was compared to the Northeast blackout of 2003, using the "civics lesson" of a dancer winding a copper wire from a stereo system around a car battery to generate power in an abandoned building. The video begins with Jackson's dancers "sprawled on bordello furniture in a derelict building," set in "a cavernous ballroom where the air is cloudy with sawdust or dance chalk." Jackson's face is covered with a hat and long bangs, with Heffernan commenting her "adventures in exhibitionism often seem to involve relatively small patches of skin, coupled with raunchy gyrations." The video's choreography was analyzed as "lo-fi," although Jackson switches between isolated and group dancing frequently, in opposition of making "a gaudy show of her rapport with her dancers" in contrast to Madonna. Backed up against a wall, Jackson simulates masturbation as her dancers perform similar suggestive moves. The video closes with a neon Damita Jo logo illuminated, used to "turn the makeshift studio into a real stage set, and remind everyone who's in charge."[9]

Kiki Von Glinow of PopEater said "Janet rocks 'All Nite' in this video, doing what she does best—showing off her rock hard abs and breaking it down in the dark. And according to Janet, she can keep it going "as long as it's funky."[43] The New York Blade considered it "certainly provocative," as "Jackson and her dancers get hot and heavy with one another to the song’s thumping, infectious beat."[44] The video's choreography was considered "world class," "brilliant," and "fantastic".[27] King Magazine ranked it at number three on their list of Jackson's top ten videos, described it as "lots of writhing."[45]

List of accolades for "All Nite (Don't Stop)" video
Award Nominated work Result
20th Annual International Dance Music Awards Best Dance Video [46] Nominated
King Magazine Favorite Janet Jackson Videos — #3 [45] N/A
MVPA Awards Best Choreography [47] Nominated
MVPA Awards Director of the Year — Francis Lawrence, for multiple videos including "All Nite (Don't Stop)" [48] Won
MVPA Awards Best Direction of a Female Artist — Francis Lawrence, "All Nite (Don't Stop)" [47] Nominated
PopEater Janet Jackson's Iconic Music Videos — Top 6 (2012) [43] N/A

Censorship[edit]

An edited version which removes all sexual content was occasionally aired by remaining video outlets which managed to avoid Jackson's video blacklist, such as MuchMusic and BET. The outlets faced criticism for removing a kiss between two female dancers. Speaking to The New York Blade, GLAAD's entertainment director Stephen Macias commented "I think it’s always a concern when the gay and lesbian community is not allowed to be depicted in the same way that the straight community is, and especially when that revolves around the way our relationships and romantic situations are depicted." Macias added Jackson supports gay causes and has been persistently active in portraying equality among the gay community and would not approve the edit. The excerpt concluded, "A number of networks and broadcasters have gone to a heightened state of self-censorship since the uproar over Jackson’s Super Bowl performance, for fear of being fined."[44]

Live performances[edit]

Jackson performed "All Nite (Don't Stop)" on Saturday Night Live, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, Good Morning America, The Tonight Show, CTV's Canada AM, Much Music, MSN, and the annual Wango Tango and New York Gay Pride March events. Internationally, it was performed on Top of the Pops, Italy's Festivalbar, 20H10 Pétantes, and the 2004 Video Music Awards Japan, where she was the recipient of the "Inspiration Award." It was performed on each of Jackson's subsequent tours, including the Rock Witchu Tour and several dates of Number Ones, Up Close and Personal. On Saturday Night Live, Jackson performed the song along with "Strawberry Bounce", with a pole dance routine.[49] It was also performed at the BET Awards in a medley with "R&B Junkie".[50]

Good Morning America and On Air with Ryan Seacrest aired Jackson's performances with a time delay per the FCC's guidelines due to her controversial Super Bowl incident.[51] Her hosting appearance and performances on Saturday Night Live garnered its highest ratings in over two years..[52] Radio and Records suggested the song was not performed during her appearance on Late Night with David Letterman due to its racy lyrics, in a likely attempt to avoid further controversy.[11]

Influence[edit]

Christina Milian's "I'm Sexy," produced by Tricky Stewart and The-Dream, was likened to channeling aspects of the song by Idolator.[53] British DJ and producer Switch sampled the song for "This is Sick" under the stage moniker Solid Groove.[54] Natalli Reznik, a finalist on the first season of So You Think You Can Dance Canada, was inspired by the video to pursue a dancing career in the entertainment industry, saying "When I saw that, I was so inspired and it stayed with me." Reznik later performed as a backing dancer during Jackson's performance medley at the 2009 American Music Awards, also praising her as "a legend" in dance and pop culture, saying "Everybody who was a dancer growing up watched it [her videos] off TV and copied it in their living rooms."[55] Dance troupe Fanny Pak performed the song on an episode of America's Best Dance Crew titled "Janet Jackson Challenge," which paid tribute to her iconic choreography and videos.[56] It was also performed by contestants on Oxygen's Dance Your Ass Off.[57] The song is included in the eighteenth edition of the Guinness book British Hit Singles & Albums and is mentioned in Nicole Austin's novel The Boy Next Door.[58][59]

Track listings[edit]

"All Nite (Don't Stop)" was released as a double A-side with "I Want You" in several countries.

Official remixes[edit]

House remixes by Sander Kleinenberg, Low End Specialists, and Chris Cox were released along with urban remixes by Jermaine Dupri and Kwamé.

Charts[edit]

Chart procession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
"Back N Da Day" by Frankie Knuckles featuring Jamie Principle
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
July 24, 2004
Succeeded by
"Let the Sun Shine" by Milk & Sugar featuring Lizzy Pattinson

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