Let's Wait Awhile

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"Let's Wait Awhile"
Single by Janet Jackson
from the album Control
B-side "Pretty Boy",
"Nasty" (Cool Summer Mixes)
Released January 6, 1987
Recorded 1985
Length 4:37
Label A&M
Certification Silver (BPI)
Janet Jackson singles chronology
"Let's Wait Awhile"

"Let's Wait Awhile" is a song recorded by American singer Janet Jackson, released as the fifth single from her third studio album, Control. It was written and produced by Jackson and Jam & Lewis, being the first song she had co-produced. Its lyrics speaks of abstinence and postponing intimacy within a relationship. The song reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts, also reaching number three in the United Kingdom and four in Ireland, in addition to charting in numerous other countries. The song is considered among Jackson's signature ballads.

It was covered by Justin Timberlake on the 20/20 Experience Tour and performed on the fifth season of Glee.[1][2]

Song information[edit]

Written by Jackson, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, and Melanie Andrews, and produced by Jackson, Jam and Lewis, the song talks about abstinence and waiting until the right moment to have sex. It was the first single which Jackson was involved in production. In addition to serving as an anthem to sexual abstinence, it also became a hit during the height of the AIDS pandemic. The first few bars sound similar to and may have been sampled from the 1975 ballad, "Daisy Jane" by soft rock group America.

The song was a precursor to a sexually liberated Jackson who emerged on the Rhythm Nation 1814 track "Someday Is Tonight", which can be looked at as Jackson's readiness to go further in their relationship. On her album janet., several songs revolve around the theme of sexual intimacy. On 20 Y.O., the track "With U" was written as a follow-up to "Let's Wait Awhile". "With U" takes place after the act of intimacy the two have put off, which results in "romantic confusion."

Jackson has performed the song on the Rhythm Nation 1814 Tour, janet. Tour, The Velvet Rope Tour, All for You Tour, Rock Witchu Tour, and Number Ones: Up Close and Personal.

Chart performance[edit]

The single peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, behind Club Nouveau's "Lean on Me." It became Jackson's fifth consecutive top five hit on the chart. It also reached number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for one week, her fourth single to top the chart.[3] "Let's Wait Awhile" was the 48th biggest Hot 100 single of 1987 and the 42nd biggest single on the year's R&B chart. The single also peaked at number two on the Hot Adult Contemporary charts.[4]

In the United Kingdom the song was released in March 1987 and peaked at number three on the UK Singles Chart a month later, spending ten weeks on the chart.

In Brazil, the song became a successful international theme for the soundtrack of the telenovela "Brega Chique" (Tacky and Chic) from Globo TV in 1987.

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Dominic Sena, is set in New York City. When Jackson and her boyfriend (played by actor and martial artist Taimak Guarriello) go out for a romantic night on the town, her boyfriend wants to end the evening by taking their relationship a step further, but Jackson wants to wait until they are both ready.

Track listings[edit]

U.S. 7" single
A. "Let's Wait Awhile" (remix) – 4:30
B. "Pretty Boy" – 6:32
UK and European 7" single
A. "Let's Wait Awhile" (remix) – 4:30
B. "Nasty" (Cool Summer Mix Part 1 edit) – 4:10
UK 12" single
A1. "Let's Wait Awhile" (remix) – 4:30
A2. "Nasty" (Cool Summer Mix Part 1) – 7:57
B1. "Nasty" (Cool Summer Mix Part 2) – 10:09
UK 7" single – limited edition picture disc
A. "Let's Wait Awhile" (remix) – 4:30
B. "Nasty" (Cool Summer Mix Part 1 edit) – 4:10
C. "Nasty" (edit of remix) – 3:40
D. "Control" (edit) – 3:26

Official versions/remixes[edit]

  • Album version – 4:37
  • Remix – 4:37
  • Remix edit – 3:57


Chart (1987) Peak
Australian Kent Music Report[5] 21
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders)[6] 15
Canadian Singles Chart[7] 11
Dutch Top 40[8] 16
German Singles Chart[9] 34
Irish Singles Chart[10] 4
New Zealand Singles Chart[11] 26
Swiss Singles Chart[11] 27
UK Singles Chart[12] 3
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[13] 2
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[13] 1
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary[13] 2

End-of-year charts[edit]

End-of-year chart (1987) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[14] 48

Chart procession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
"Slow Down" by Loose Ends
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs number-one single
March 14, 1987
Succeeded by
"Looking for a New Love" by Jody Watley

Cover version[edit]


  1. ^ "Is Justin Timberlake Ready to Apologize to Janet Jackson? - UPTOWN Magazine". Ward, M.L. Uptown. 2013-11-11. Retrieved 2014-04-20. 
  2. ^ "Glee on Fox - "Let's Wait Awhile" (Full Performance)". Fox. 16-04-14. Retrieved 2014-04-20. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 282. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 123. 
  5. ^ "Janet in Australia". MJJ Charts. Retrieved February 23, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Janet in Belgium". MJJ Charts. Retrieved February 23, 2009. 
  7. ^ "RPM weekly magazine". RPM. Retrieved February 23, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 17 – 1987". Radio 538 (in Dutch). Top 40. Retrieved February 23, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Musicline.de – Chartverfolgung – Janet Jackson – Let's Wait Awhile". Media Control (in German). Musicline.de. Retrieved February 23, 2009. 
  10. ^ "The Irish Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. irishcharts.ie. Retrieved February 23, 2009. 
  11. ^ a b "Janet Jackson – Let's Wait A While – swisscharts.com". swisscharts.com. Retrieved February 23, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Chart Stats – Janet Jackson – Let's Wait Awhile". The Official Charts Company. Chart Stats. Retrieved February 23, 2009. 
  13. ^ a b c "Control > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved February 23, 2009. 
  14. ^ http://longboredsurfer.com/charts/1987.php
  15. ^ "Playing for Keeps overview". Allmusic.com. 

External links[edit]