|Single by Janet Jackson|
|from the album janet.|
|B-side||"Any Time, Any Place" (R. Kelly Mix), "And On and On"|
|Released||June 18, 1994|
|Format||CD single, 12" promo single|
Flyte Tyme Studios
|Janet Jackson singles chronology|
"Throb" is a song by American singer Janet Jackson from her fifth studio album, janet. (1993). It was written and produced by Jackson, James Harris III and Terry Lewis and is a house song which lyrically is about sex with a partner. It was released commercially in the Netherlands as the album's sixth single on June 18, 1994, while in the United States it was a radio-only release.
"Throb" was well received by critics who appreciated its production. While it did not chart in the Netherlands, in the United States the song peaked at number 66 on the airplay chart and number two on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. The song was performed on three of Jackson's tours.
"Throb" begins with Jackson saying "come for me", before promising to "boom, boom, boom until noon, noon, noon" with her sexual partner. "I can feel your body / pressed against my body / Wrap yourself around me / Love to feel you throbbing", the singer sang amid moans, elements of house music, C&C Music Factory-esque beats and a saxophone loop. Chuck Arnold from Philadelphia Daily News noted the song's "surprisingly frank dirty talk" with the lyric "I can feel your body/Pressed against my body/When you start to poundin'/Love to feel you throbbin'". MuuMuse described the song writing that the track "swells and deflates in an aching, circular motion–not unlike a musical orgasm".
An exclusive remix of "Throb", the Morales Badyard Mix, was included on Jackson's remix compilation album Janet Remixed in 1995. Peter Rauhofer remixed "Throb" in 2013 and released the remix on Valentine's Day.
"Throb" received positive reviews from music critics. Billboard, while reviewing the album on its twentieth anniversary, said, "If the production sounds a little dated now, the overtly sexual vibes on this track are pretty timeless – and still risqué for the early 90s." Robert Christgau called the song "orgiastic". MuuMuse gave a positive review for "Throb", defining it as "a '90's purist's house track, featuring classic dance rhythms and beat breaks". The reviewer continued saying the song is "a much grittier experience than the slinky seduction" of Madonna's "Erotica" single released the year before, and finished saying "Surprisingly however, the track has aged brilliantly, and listening to it now is still an overly enjoyable experience".
Sputnikmusic considered that "Throb" has a "sexy workout feel". Philadelphia Daily News's Chuck Arnold called the song a "deep house jam with a pumpin' bass line". A reviewer for Soulbounce commented that for the "pulsing" song, Jackson became a house music diva. Complex noted that "Throb" is "the hip-house tantric jam that's Janet at her most explicit: moans, groans, 'damn, baby', you get the picture, yes". Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine commented: "Even the nearly structure-less 'Throb', [...] feels like a (perhaps unintentional) parody of Madonna's 'Erotica', right down to the hard, house-orgy beats.
"Throb" was released as a commercial single in the Netherlands but failed to chart there. In the United States, the song was not released commercially. However, it was sent to mainstream radios and charted on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay, peaking at number 66. The song's B-side, "And On and On", went on to chart as well at number 28. "And On and On" also peaked at number twelve on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart. However, according to Billboard's regulations, both songs were ineligible to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, due to their lack of a physical release in the US. However, "Throb" enjoyed success on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart, eventually reaching number two. Additionally, "Throb" topped Hot Dance Singles Sales as a B-side to "Any Time, Any Place".
Jackson performed "Throb" on Saturday Night Live along with "Any Time, Any Place". It was added to the Janet World Tour in 1993. During the performance, the screens swirled with techno-style patterns of fractal curves. According to Robert Hilburn from Los Angeles Times, it was performed with equal energy and style of the album's quality. The song was performed after a "frenzied" medley of "What Have You Done for Me Lately", "The Pleasure Principle" and "Nasty" on The Velvet Rope Tour in 1998. After the performance, a red crushed-velvet curtain closed the stage, and a hidden light-and-sound came. The medley at the October 11, 1998 show in New York City, at the Madison Square Garden, was broadcast during a special titled The Velvet Rope: Live in Madison Square Garden by HBO. It was also added to the setlist at its DVD release, The Velvet Rope Tour – Live in Concert in 1999. The song was also used as an interlude on the Number Ones: Up Close and Personal tour in 2011. It was also included on the 2015-2016 Unbreakable World Tour.
- Dutch CD single
- Dutch CD maxi single
- "Throb" – 4:34
- "Throb" (David Morales Legendary Dub Mix) – 7:27
- "And on and On" – 4:49
- "Any Time, Any Place" (R. Kelly Mix) – 5:11
- UK 12" promo single
- A1. "Throb" (David Morales Legendary Club Mix) – 9:05
- B1. "Throb" (David Morales Legendary Dub Mix) – 7:27
- B2. "Throb" – 4:34
Credits and personnel
- Janet Jackson - all vocals, songwriter, producer
- Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis - songwriters, producers, all instruments
- Tina Landon - additional vocals
- Josie Harris - additional vocals
- Mixed by Dave Rideau at Steve Hodge at Flyte Tyme Studios, Edina, Minnesota.
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- Throb (UK 12" promo single). Janet Jackson. Virgin Records. 1994. VSTDJ 1501.