What Have You Done for Me Lately

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"What Have You Done for Me Lately"
Single by Janet Jackson
from the album Control
B-side "He Doesn't Know I'm Alive", "Young Love"
Released January 13, 1986 (U.S.)
March 10, 1986 (UK)
Format 7" single, 12" single
Recorded September 1985;
Flyte Tyme Studios
(Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Genre
Length 4:59
Label A&M
Writer(s) James Harris III, Terry Lewis, Janet Jackson
Producer(s) Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Gold (ARIA)
Gold (MC)
Silver (BPI)
Janet Jackson singles chronology
"Dream Street"
(1984)
"What Have You Done for Me Lately"
(1986)
"Nasty"
(1986)

"What Have You Done for Me Lately" is the lead single from Janet Jackson's third studio album, Control (1986). It is also widely regarded as the singers breakthrough single which helped establish her as a global star.

Song information[edit]

The song was written by Jackson and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and produced by Jam and Lewis. Jackson helped with the lyrics of the song and was credited as a "co-producer", although she is not given official credit as a producer. The song deals with a relationship that has gone bad because the man is not doing enough to please Jackson, prompting her to ask the title question. It received nominations for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song at the 1987 Grammy Awards, where Jackson performed the song live. Jackson has performed the song on all of her concert tours, Rhythm Nation 1814 Tour, janet. Tour, The Velvet Rope Tour, All for You Tour, Rock Witchu Tour and Number Ones: Up Close and Personal.

In popular culture[edit]

The song, in particular its title, is referenced in the 1987 film Eddie Murphy Raw, as a common question that women ask their partners prior to breaking up.

The famous "LatelyBass" preset on the Yamaha TX81Z (used extensively on house and techno songs of the late 1980s and 1990s) was based on the bass tone of this song, and subsequently named after it as well.

Prince interpolated the song in performances of his top twenty hit "Partyman" during his 1990 Nude Tour.

Janet sister La Toya Jackson sampled the song on her song "Wild Side" off her 1991 album No Relations.

The song was interpolated for a medley sung in the 1993 comedy Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, and was covered by the American soul/funk band Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings in 2002 for their debut album, Dap Dippin' with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings.

"What Have You Done for Me Lately" ranked number three hundred and forty-one on Blender's list of The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born.[1]

The song is featured in the 1989 made-for-television Disney film The Parent Trap III.

Critical reception[edit]

Rolling Stone's Rob Hoerburger expressed that "What Have You Done for Me Lately" erased the former "pop-ingénue image" of Jackson's first two albums.[2] According to William Ruhlmann of Allmusic, Jackson was an "aggressive, independent woman" on the song.[3] Connie Johnson from Los Angeles Times gave the song a positive review, emphasizing her "spunky authority."[4] Eric Henderson of Slant Magazine praised the song, calling it "female-empowering" and wrote, "'What Have You Done for Me Lately' predates TLC's 'No Scrubs' by over a decade.[5] "What Have You Done for Me Lately" was compared favorably to similar recordings of female empowerment released by black women, such as "New Attitude" by Patti LaBelle, "Better Be Good to Me" by Tina Turner and "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves" by Aretha Franklin. Oprah Winfrey commented: "What you're seeing in all the areas of arts and entertainment is black women internalizing the idea of black power and pride ... Black women started listening to their inner cues, rather than society or even the black community's idea of what they are supposed to be and can be."[6] "What Have You Done for Me Lately" ranked number three hundred and forty-one on Blender's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born."[7] For the 29th annual Grammy Awards of 1987, "What Have You Done for Me Lately" received one nomination for Best Rhythm & Blues Song but lost to Anita Baker's "Sweet Love".[8]

Chart performance[edit]

"What Have You Done for Me Lately" was released on January 13, 1986 and became a breakthrough single. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 95. The song climbed moderately and peaked at number four on the Billboard issue dated May 17, 1986.[9] It spent twenty-one weeks on the chart and became the first top ten single for Jackson. The song charted well in Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Dance Club Songs where it reached number one and number two respectively.[10] "What Have You Done for Me Lately" became her first number-one single on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[10] It placed at position 43 for the Billboard Year-End chart for 1986.[11] The song was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for the shipments of 500,000 copies.[12]

"What Have You Done for Me Lately" also achieved international success. In Canada, the single entered the RPM Singles Chart on March 29, 1986 at number 92.[13] It peaked at number six on June 14 and became Jackson's first top ten hit and spent twenty-four weeks on the chart.[14][15] It placed at position 53 on the RPM Year-end chart for 1986.[16] In United Kingdom, "What Have You Done for Me Lately" debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number 67 and peaked at number three on May 3, 1986.[17] It spent fourteen weeks on the chart and was certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for the shipments of 200,000 copies.[17][18] In New Zealand, the song entered and peaked at number 27 on the New Zealand Singles Chart and spent nine weeks on the chart.[19] In Australia, the song debuted at number 38 and peaked at number six on the Kent Music Report, the song spent a total of 12 weeks on the chart.[20] In the Netherlands, the song became her first number-one single, topping the Dutch Top 40 for three weeks.[21] Across Europe, the song reached the top ten in Belgium, Germany, Ireland and Switzerland.[22][23][19][24]

Music video[edit]

Jackson dances for the camera in the "What Have You Done for Me Lately" video.

In the music video, directed by Brian Jones and Piers Ashworth in December 1985, Jackson goes to a funky diner with her friends to talk about her relationship problems. Her boyfriend shows up with his friends, and Jackson decides to give him a piece of her mind. In the video, Jackson's reality is a dark world with faded colors. In a more dreamscape world, the colors are vibrant and everything is 2-D. The "What Have You Done for Me Lately" video won a Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul or Rap Music Video in 1987. The video's choreographer was Paula Abdul, who appears in the video as Jackson's friend. The video also featured Tina Landon who would later become a choreographer and personal friend to Jackson. It was made available on iTunes on February 1, 2007.

Music video actor-dancer Rudy Huston played Jackson's boyfriend in the video and was also in numerous other videos of the era including Pebbles' top ten hits "Girlfriend" and "Mercedes Boy". Jackson met Huston on the set of the television series Fame starring Debbie Allen, in which Jackson had a co-starring role and Huston was a featured dance student along with Jasmine Guy, before the latter's A Different World fame.

Track listing[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart procession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
"Your Smile" by René & Angela
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs number-one single
March 22, 1986 – March 29, 1986
Succeeded by
"Kiss" by Prince and The Revolution
Preceded by
"Wonderful World" by Sam Cooke
Dutch Top 40 number-one single
June 21, 1986 – July 5, 1986
Succeeded by
"The Edge of Heaven" by Wham!

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Hoerburger, Rob (1986-04-24). "Janet Jackson: Control: Music Reviews: Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-06-30. 
  3. ^ Ruhlmann, William (2008), Control > Review, Allmusic, retrieved 2008-06-30 
  4. ^ Johnson, Connie (1986-02-23), "Jackson Jive", Los Angeles Times: 78, ISSN 0458-3035 
  5. ^ Henderson, Eric (2003), Slant Magazine Music Review: Janet Jackson: Control, Slant, retrieved 2008-06-30 
  6. ^ Infusino, Divina (1986-08-10), "Black Women Get R-E-S-P-E-C-T", The San Diego Union: E.1 
  7. ^ "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born". Blender. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  8. ^ Harrington, Richard (1986-02-24), "The Grammy Guide; Picking Tonight's Platters: A Handicapper's Report", The Washington Post: C.01, ISSN 0190-8286 
  9. ^ a b "The Billboard Hot 100: Week Ending of May 17, 1986". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  10. ^ a b c d "What Have You Done for Me Lately - Janet Jackson". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  11. ^ a b "Top Pop Singles". Billboard 98 (52). 1986-12-27. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
  12. ^ a b "Janet Jackson RIAA certifications". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  13. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 44, No. 1, March 29, 1986". RPM. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  14. ^ a b "Top Singles - Volume 44, No. 12, June 14, 1986". RPM. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  15. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 44, No. 24, September 06 1986". RPM. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  16. ^ a b "Top 100 Singles of '86". RPM. RPM Music Publications Ltd. 1986-12-27. Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
  17. ^ a b c "Chart Stats - Janet Jackson - What Have You Done for Me Lately?". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
  18. ^ a b "Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
  19. ^ a b c d "Janet Jackson - What Have You Done for Me Lately (song)". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
  20. ^ a b "Hits of the World". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media) 98 (28). 1986-07-12. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  21. ^ a b "Nederlandse Top 40" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
  22. ^ a b "What Have You Done for Me Lately - Songs details" (in Dutch). VRT Top 30. Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
  23. ^ a b "Chartverfolgung > Janet Jackson > What Have You Done for Me Lately". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
  24. ^ a b "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
  25. ^ What Have You Done for Me Lately (US and Canadian 7-inch Single liner notes). Janet Jackson. A&M Records. 1986. AM-2812.
  26. ^ What Have You Done for Me Lately (Australian 7-inch Single liner notes). Janet Jackson. A&M Records. 1986. K 9954.
  27. ^ What Have You Done for Me Lately (US 12-inch Single liner notes). Janet Jackson. A&M Records. 1986. SP-12167.
  28. ^ What Have You Done for Me Lately (European 12-inch Single liner notes). Janet Jackson. A&M Records. 1986. 392 079-1.
  29. ^ What Have You Done for Me Lately (Canadian 12-inch Promo Single liner notes). Janet Jackson. A&M Records. 1986. SP-12167.
  30. ^ What Have You Done for Me Lately (Australian 12-inch Single liner notes). Janet Jackson. A&M Records. 1986. X 13245.
  31. ^ What Have You Done for Me Lately (Canadian 12-inch Single liner notes). Janet Jackson. A&M Records. 1986. SP-12167.
  32. ^ What Have You Done for Me Lately (UK 7-inch Single liner notes). Janet Jackson. A&M Records. 1986. AM 308.
  33. ^ What Have You Done for Me Lately (UK 12-inch Single liner notes). Janet Jackson. A&M Records. 1986. AMY 308.
  34. ^ What Have You Done for Me Lately (European 7-inch Single liner notes). Janet Jackson. A&M Records. 1986. 390 079-7.
  35. ^ ""What Have You Done For Me Lately" on the South African Singles Chart". Springbok Radio. 31 Oct 86. Retrieved September 25, 2010. 
  36. ^ "AMR top singles of 1986" (in English). Grant, blogger. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  37. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1986" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  38. ^ Kent, David (2003). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  39. ^ http://www.musiccanada.com/GoldPlatinum.aspx

External links[edit]