POP RESCUE: ‘Control’ by Janet Jackson (CD, 1986)


Today’s POP RESCUE from a fate unknown, is the 1986 album Control by Janet Jackson.

Janet Jackson - Control (1986) albumThe title of this third album perhaps comes from her personal circumstance – she’d recently slipped the leash of her father’s management company, and in doing so, chosen her own management company for this album. This nine track album bore five singles.

Janet, for the first time in her career, was truly in control.

The opening lyrics of Control emphasise this perfectly as she tackles the relationship she had with her parents. There’s lots of big beats and synth stabs in this track, and the preceding track Nasty.

Third track, What Have You Done For Me Lately, is probably the earliest of her tracks that I remember. This is a great song, and I’m pleased to finally have it, and the rest of the album that it belongs to.

You Can Be Mine is a true 80s rock/pop track, whilst The Pleasure Principle is a track that reminds me of La Toya Jackson more than Janet, but there’s a bigger La Toya moment a bit later on.

Thankfully we’re then into When I Think Of You – a wonderful track. The simplicity of the piano in this track, really works well alongside the stabbing synths, the beats, the guitars, and Janet’s vocals. Perfect.

He Doesn’t Know I’m Alive is a perfect little pop track, whilst Let’s Wait Awhile is a bit dated by it’s 80s ballad style.

The final track, Funny How Time Flies (When You’re Having Fun) is where Janet does her La Toya moment, by ending the track in some kind of orgasm state. Honestly, what’s with the Jackson girls and having sex in the recording studio?

Anyway, over all, this album is a welcome gem to my collection. It has a strong 80s sound, but one that must have been (and still is to some degree) a fresh, exciting approach to sound.

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