When I Think of You

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For the Lee Ryan song, see When I Think of You (Lee Ryan song).
"When I Think of You"
Single by Janet Jackson
from the album Control
B-side "Pretty Boy", "Come Give Your Love to Me"
Released July 28, 1986
Format 7" single, 12" single, CD single
Recorded October 1985
Length 3:55
Label A&M
Writer(s) James Harris III, Terry Lewis, Janet Jackson
Producer(s) Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Janet Jackson singles chronology
"When I Think of You"

"When I Think of You" is the third single from Janet Jackson's third studio album, Control (1986). Written by Jackson and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and produced by Jam and Lewis, the song is about a person who finds relief and fun in a lover. It is Jackson's first number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100, and also peaked at number ten in the United Kingdom.

The song was resurrected in 1995 when released on two limited-edition CD single formats in the United Kingdom, one containing remixes by Deep Dish and Heller & Farley, and the other containing remixes by David Morales. That same year these remixes were included on certain releases of "Runaway".

Chart performance[edit]

The single became Jackson's first number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it stayed for two weeks.[1] After "When I Think of You" reached number one, it made Jackson and her brother Michael Jackson the first, and so far, only siblings to both have solo number-one hits on the Hot 100. At the time she was 20 years old, making Jackson the youngest artist since Stevie Wonder to top the Billboard Hot 100. It also reached number three on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and number one on the Hot Dance Club Play in 1986. "When I Think of You" was the 32nd biggest Hot 100 single of 1986, as well as the 47th biggest Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs single of 1986 and the 22nd biggest Hot Dance Club Play single of 1986.

Music video[edit]

The music video finds Jackson going around a neighborhood. Each location she visits has the same mysterious man in different costumes saying a brief statement to her and then vanishing as she turns around. The director of "When I Think of You", Julien Temple, would later direct Jackson's "Alright" video, and both videos have a similar style. Some scenes were staged by veteran Hollywood choreographer Michael Kidd.[2] "When I Think of You" has only five cuts. The video is quite similar to the opening segment of Temple's 1986 film Absolute Beginners, which stars David Bowie and Sade Adu. The style is that the video is assumed to be one long take, but in fact it is five smaller takes. Although fluid in nature, obvious differences can be seen in the edits, especially when she comes out of the back door of the club, and a photographer takes her picture, with the flash acting as an edit. Two of Jackson's nephews, TJ and Taryll Jackson, make a cameo in the video.[3] The video was choreographed by Paula Abdul, who also appears in the video.

The video is also based on an edit of the 12" Dance Remix version of the song, instead of the album version.

In February 2007, the video was made available on the iTunes Store. Jackson would later repeat the same type of format for her video "Rock with U" from 2008's Discipline.

Live performances[edit]

Jackson has performed the song on all of her 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.

Track listings[edit]

US/Canada/European/Japan 7" vinyl (1986)
  1. "When I Think of You" – 3:56
  2. "Pretty Boy" – 6:32
UK 7" vinyl (1986)
  1. "When I Think of You" – 3:56
  2. "Come Give Your Love to Me" – 5:03
Spain/France/Germany 12" vinyl (Dance remix vinyl) – 1986
  1. "When I Think of You" (dance remix) – 6:12
  2. "When I Think of You" (instrumental) – 4:00
  3. "When I Think of You" (extra beats) – 2:00
  4. "When I Think of You" (dub version) – 3:15
US/Canada/Philippines/Australia & New Zealand 12" vinyl (1986)
  1. "When I Think of You" (dance remix) – 6:12
  2. "When I Think of You" (instrumental) – 4:00
  3. "When I Think of You" (extra beats) – 2:00
  4. "When I Think of You" (dub / a cappella) – 3:15
UK 12" vinyl (1986)
  1. "When I Think of You" (dance remix) – 6:25
  2. "When I Think of You" (instrumental / a cappella / extra beats) – 9:17
  3. "Come Give Your Love to Me" – 5:03
UK CD 1 single / 12" double promo single – Deep Dish/Heller & Farley Mixes (1996)
  1. "When I Think of You" (Deep Dish Chocolate City Mix) – 9:35
  2. "When I Think of You" (Deep Dish Quiet Storm Dub) – 7:52
  3. "When I Think of You" (Deep Dish Dished Out Bums) – 11:22
  4. "When I Think of You" (Heller & Farley Project Mix) – 10:46
  5. "When I Think of You" (Junior Trackhead Joint) – 7:08
UK CD 2 single / 12" double promo single – The David Morales Remixes (1996)
  1. "When I Think of You" (Morales Extended House Mix) – 7:43
  2. "When I Think of You" (Morales Drum Mix) – 5:10
  3. "When I Think of You" (Morales Jazzy Mix) – 10:19
  4. "When I Think of You" (Morales Crazy Love Mix) – 8:45
  5. "When I Think of You" (Morales Classic Club Mix) – 6:57
  6. "When I Think of You" (Morales Incredible Boss Dub) – 7:12

Official versions/remixes[edit]

  • Album version – 3:56
  • Instrumental – 4:00
  • Dance remix – 6:25
  • Dub version – 3:15
  • Extra beats – 2:00


Chart (1986-2015) Peak
Australian Kent Music Report[4] 53
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders)[5] 8
Canadian Singles Chart[6] 6
Dutch Top 40[7] 3
German Singles Chart[8] 36
Irish Singles Chart[9] 10
New Zealand Singles Chart[10] 23
Spanish Singles Chart[11] 24
UK Singles Chart[12] 10
US Billboard Hot 100[13] 1
US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[13] 3
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs[13] 1
US Billboard Adult Contemporary[13] 10

End-of-year charts[edit]

End-of-year chart (1986-2015) Position
US Billboard Hot 100[14] 32

Chart procession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
"Down and Counting" by Claudja Barry
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
September 20, 1986 – October 4, 1986
Succeeded by
"Gotta See You Tonight" by Barbara Roy
Preceded by
"Stuck with You" by Huey Lewis and the News
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
October 11, 1986 – October 18, 1986
Succeeded by
"True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper


  1. ^ http://www.billboard.com/articles/6281503/janet-jackson-first-no-1-hit-when-i-think-of-you
  2. ^ Tobias, Patricia Eliot (24 December 2007). "Michael Kidd, Choreographer, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Janet in Australia". MJJ Charts. Retrieved February 22, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Janet in Belgium". MJJ Charts. Retrieved February 22, 2009. 
  6. ^ "RPM weekly magazine". RPM. Retrieved February 22, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 41 – 1986". Radio 538 (in Dutch). Top 40. Retrieved February 22, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Musicline.de – Chartverfolgung – Janet Jackson – When I Think Of You". Media Control (in German). Musicline.de. Retrieved February 22, 2009. 
  9. ^ "The Irish Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. irishcharts.ie. Retrieved February 22, 2009. 
  10. ^ "charts.org.nz – Janet Jackson – When I Think Of You". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. charts.org.nz. Retrieved October 24, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Janet in Spain". MJJ Charts. Retrieved February 22, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Chart Stats – Janet Jackson – When I Think Of You". The Official Charts Company. Chart Stats. Retrieved February 22, 2009. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Control > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved February 22, 2009. 
  14. ^ Billboard Top 100 - 1986. "Billboard Top 100 - 1986 - Longbored Surfer - Charts". Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 2012-03-14. 

External links[edit]