On this day in 1993, Janet Jackson released her self-titled album, Janet. It was the album that sent Janet’s success into the stratosphere. Her two recent projects, Control and Rhythm Nation 1814 did what they were supposed to do; jump start her career the way she wanted and let the world know she was not a little girl anymore. But Janet. did that and then some. Janet. introduced the sex symbol to the world. It was the first chance to see Janet reinvent herself and step out of what the world believed to be her norm.
The Janet. album not only initiated lust over Ms. Jackson but it put on a show. From TV appearances, photoshoots, videos and even movies, the era of Janet. was a masterpiece. Videos like If and That’s The Way Love Goes introduced a certain serene vibe and energy that most women in the industry could not or decided not to convey. Janet started to hover over the line between sexual and sensual. Yes there is a difference. However she did it so well. Then we had videos like Whoops Now (special release) and You Want This that incorporated this fun and full of life persona that captivated us. Most of all, Janet’s Rolling Stone cover (which is the full version of the Janet. cover) is one the magazine’s highest selling covers. It’s also probably one of the most reinvented images of all time. She created an image that was mysterious, sexy and shocking all at the same time.
In addition the visuals and pictures that spoke one million words, the music took us into a new dimension of fandom. The Janet. album went 6x Platinum and it received a Billboard Award (which Janet has the most of) for Best Dance Clip - If. She received a MTV Music Award for Best Female Video for If and a Grammy for best R&B Song, That’s The Way Love Goes. To this day, fans and critics alike believe that Janet was discredited at that Grammy’s. People believe that she should have been awarded; Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year, especially after her album and songs alike had been in the top 10 for months. Her single Again even received Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for its accommodation in Poetic Justice. The Janet. album had the highest first week sales for a female artist at that time and the second bestselling album that year right below The Bodyguard Soundtrack. These accolades while not being the sole purpose to measure Janet Jackson’s success; is part of the reason why Janet was one of the most successful female artists of the 90s.
There is so much more that I can say about this album. I could talk about how Janet incorporated different cultures into her videos and songs without appropriating them, I could mention the amazing writing and producing skills she showed on this album. I could mention how she incorporated multiple genres of music from opera to hip-hop. I could also go on about the messages in this album from, sex, abuse, love and taking pride in being a black woman. The legacy of this album is still apparent in today’s music culture; the sound and the imagery. This album is a dedication to the era in which I came into this world and it was a gateway to my introduction to Janet so I am very grateful and appreciative. Happy 25th Anniversary to the Janet. album.
Stream the Janet. album