Janet Jackson (album)

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Janet Jackson
Studio album by Janet Jackson
Released September 21, 1982
Recorded May–August 1982
Genre Pop, R&B[1]
Length 38:50 (CD)
37:22 (vinyl)
Label A&M
Producer René Moore, Angela Winbush, Foster Sylvers, Bobby Watson, Jerry Weaver
Janet Jackson chronology
Janet Jackson
(1982)
Dream Street
(1984)
Singles from Janet Jackson
  1. "Young Love"
    Released: July 7, 1982
  2. "Come Give Your Love to Me"
    Released: January 10, 1983
  3. "Say You Do"
    Released: April 29, 1983
  4. "Love and My Best Friend"
    Released: May 16, 1983
  5. "Don't Mess Up This Good Thing"
    Released: July 18, 1983

Janet Jackson is the self-titled debut album by American recording artist Janet Jackson. It was released on September 21, 1982 by A&M Records. Jackson's career as a recording artist was established by her father and manager Joseph Jackson, who arranged her recording contract with her recording company. Prior to her rise to fame, the singer had no interest in pursuing a musical career. Despite this, she was motivated to pursue a career in entertainment, and considered the idea after recording herself in the studio. After acting in the variety show The Jacksons, she began starring in several TV series and commenced recording her debut album. Its artwork decipts Jackson submerged in a swimming pool.

Janet Jackson contains Pop and R&B-influenced tracks. Songwriters Angela Winbush and René Moore contributed to much of the album's lyrics. Moore and Winbush share production credits with Foster Sylvers, Jerry Weaver, and Bobby Watson. Janet Jackson received mixed reviews from music critics who found its content bland, although highlighted some tracks. It also managed to chart on the Billboard 200 and in New Zealand. Three singles from the album had little impact on Billboard charts, among them "Young Love", "Come Give Your Love to Me" and "Say You Do". In order to promote Janet Jackson, she performed the song on American TV shows American Bandstand and Soul Train in 1982.

Background and artwork[edit]

Janet Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana, the youngest of ten children. Jackson had initially desired to become a horse racing jockey or entertainment lawyer, with plans to support herself through acting. Despite this, she was anticipated to pursue a career in entertainment, and considered the idea after recording herself in the studio. At age seven, Jackson performed at the Las Vegas Strip at the MGM Casino and began acting in the variety show The Jacksons in 1976. The year after, she was selected to have a starring role as Penny Gordon Woods in the sitcom Good Times. She later starred in A New Kind of Family before joining the cast of Diff'rent Strokes, portraying Charlene Duprey for two years.[2] Jackson also played the recurring role of Cleo Hewitt during the fourth season of Fame, but expressed indifference towards the series.[3][4] When Jackson was sixteen, she was arranged a contract with A&M Records and began recording her debut album with the assistance of her father, working with a number of songwriters and producers such as René Moore, Angela Winbush and Bobby Watson.[2]

The album's artwork was photographed by Harry Langdon in the swimming pool of the Jackson family's home, which she described as "the sweetest man imaginable". She took inspiration from a photograph of actress Elizabeth Taylor taken early in her career. In it, she was submerged in a swimming pool. It could be seen nothing but her face above the water; her body was hidden beneath the surface. Jackson thought the pose was dramatic and loved the fact that she could do the same thing, and not to have to reveal anything except for her face. With the photographer, his assistant and other people around the pool, she was still reluctant to take off her robe, and stand there in her bathing suit. She waited until everybody got distracted to slip into the pool. After they took the photos, she waited until everybody was gone to get out of the pool.[5]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]
Baltimore Afro-American (favorable)[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2/5 stars[7]

Janet Jackson received mixed reviews from music critics. The Baltimore Afro-American gave it a favorable review, commenting that "the eight songs simply feature the poised voice of a dynamic individual."[6] Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic gave it two out of five stars, providing a mixed review saying "On her eponymous debut album, Janet Jackson demonstrates no distinctive musical personality of her own. If her producers had concocted a sharper set of songs and more interesting beats, Janet Jackson might have been a pleasant set of sunny dance-pop", highlighting "Young Love" as the only song which "stands out among the undistinguished, sub-disco thumpers and drippy ballads".[1]

Similarly, Wilson & Alroy's Record Reviews commented that "Listening to Jackson's child-like, personality-challenged voice on this disc, you'd never dream what a commercial juggernaut she would become". On its first side, they deemed "You'll Never Find (A Love Like Mine)" and "Young Love" as the standouts, but criticized the ballad "Love And My Best Friend", saying it is nearly unendurable. He considered the second side's sound "up-to-the-minute", but said "Unfortunately, [the producer's] taste in tunes is abysmal".[8] The The Rolling Stone Album Guide book stated that the album and its follow-up Dream Street (1984) sound like bland dance-music ready-mades.[7]

On the US Billboard 200, Janet Jackson had its peak at number 63.[9] In New Zealand, the album peaked at number 44 on the New Zealand Albums Chart, during its only-week chart on April 17, 1983.[10] As of 2003, Janet Jackson sold 82,000 copies through BMG Music Club in the United States.[11] Worldwide, the album has sold 300,000 copies, considered a failure at the time.[5]

Promotion[edit]

Five singles were released from the album. "Young Love" was the first. It received little notoriety on the principal singles chart, the Billboard Hot 100; it was able to reach a peak of number 64. However, on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, the single managed to reach number six.[9] In New Zealand, "Young Love" reached a peak of number 16.[12] The second single from Janet Jackson was "Come Give Your Love to Me" peaked at number 58 on the Hot 100. It became her last single to appear on that chart until 1986, when she released Control. The follow-up, "Say You Do", only managed to appear on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and the Hot Dance Club Songs charts, peaking at numbers 15 and 11, respectively.[9] The last singles from the album, "Love and My Best Friend" and "Don't Mess Up This Good Thing" did not appear on any chart worldwide.[9] In order to further promote Janet Jackson, she performed "Young Love" and "Say You Do" on American TV shows American Bandstand and Soul Train in 1982.[13][14]

Track listing[edit]

Standard/Vinyl/CD/Cassette/MP3 download
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Say You Do"   René Moore, Angela Winbush Bobby Watson, Moore, Winbush 6:48 (CD)
5:20 (vinyl)
2. "You'll Never Find (A Love Like Mine)"   Moore, Winbush Bobby Watson, Moore, Winbush 4:09
3. "Young Love"   Moore, Winbush Bobby Watson, Moore, Winbush 4:56
4. "Love and My Best Friend"   Moore, Winbush Bobby Watson, Moore, Winbush 4:47
5. "Don't Mess Up This Good Thing"   Wardell Potts, Jr., Barry Sarna, Dana Meyers Foster Sylvers, Jerry Weaver 3:53
6. "Forever Yours"   Phillip Ingram, Attala Zane Giles Weaver, C. Sylvers 4:57
7. "The Magic Is Working"   Dorie Pride, Gene Dozier Weaver, F. Sylvers 4:09
8. "Come Give Your Love to Me"   Glen Barbee, Charmaine Sylvers F. Sylvers, Weaver 5:03

Charts[edit]

Chart (1982) Peak
position
New Zealand Albums Chart[10] 44
US Billboard 200[9] 63
US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[9] 6

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "allmusic ((( Janet Jackson > Overview )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-07-21. 
  2. ^ a b Cornwell, Jane (2002), Janet Jackson, Carlton Books, pp. 2, 10, 24, ISBN 1-84222-464-6 
  3. ^ Fox, Norman, Indian Summer, tv.com, retrieved September 3, 2008 
  4. ^ Saunders, Michael (October 3, 1996), "The 3 Divas Janet Jackson turns her focus inward", The Boston Globe (Affiliated Publications): 13 
  5. ^ a b "True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself". Books.google.com.br. 2011-12-13. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  6. ^ a b "Janet Jackson". Baltimore Afro-American. October 12, 1982. p. 13. Retrieved 2010-07-21. 
  7. ^ a b Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 411. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  8. ^ http://www.warr.org/janet.html
  9. ^ a b c d e f "allmusic ((( Janet Jackson > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  10. ^ a b "charts.org.nz - Janet Jackson - Janet Jackson". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  11. ^ http://www.mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=47877
  12. ^ "Janet Jackson - Young Love". New Zealand Singles Chart. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 17, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Janet Jackson / Laura Branigan - American Bandstand" (in English). American Bandstand. Season 26. October 30, 1982. 90:00 minutes in. ABC.
  14. ^ "Michael McDonald / Janet Jackson - Soul Train" (in English). Soul Train. Season 12. December 18, 1982. 45:00 minutes in. Syndication.

External links[edit]