Even viewed through the incredible prism of her talented family, Janet Jackson has had one of the most formidable careers in modern music history. This year, after an impassioned fan campaign, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame finally inducted the youngest Jackson sibling, who’s released 10 Top 5 albums in the U.S., placed more than two dozen singles in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 and has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide of funky, engaging, conscious R&B songs.
With an already exciting summer of live performances planned (including a Las Vegas residency, Metamorphosis, and a headlining slot at the Glastonbury Festival), UMe is ready to make things even more exciting, with the first-ever vinyl reissue of her diamond-certified, breakthrough album Control.
Now, The Second Disc is known for its enthusiastic coverage of music reissues, particularly expanded and deluxe sets. We love all ways to listen and certainly recognize the moment vinyl is having among collectors (several of the staff could be found gallivanting across the Tri-State Area adding LPs to our Record Store Day hauls!). But…could there be more coming?
Janet’s catalogue – particularly her key hitmaking years in the ’80s, ’90s and early ’00s on A&M and Virgin – is certainly ripe for revisiting; outside of Madonna, there are few female pop singers whose works deserve the spotlight in the physical marketplace. And a new LP pressing of Control (again, its first repress since it came out more than 30 years ago) is certainly the place to start: after two records with little crossover appeal, Control found Janet putting her artistic vision front and center. Working with writer/producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (ex-members of The Time who certainly learned a lot from their time with Prince), Janet’s third album was sexy, unapologetically feminine and brimming with radio-friendly beats. Over a year, five of its singles – “What Have You Done For Me Lately,” “Nasty,” “When I Think Of You,” “Control” and “Let’s Wait Awhile” – reached the Top 5 of the Hot 100, and the album netted three Grammy nominations, including Album of The Year.
But fans have long wanted those vault doors to open from this incredible era of music. Janet followed Control in 1989 with Rhythm Nation 1814, an ambitious record that touched on social and racial inequality while exceeding the intense catchiness of its predecessor. Over two years, the album racked up seven Top 5 hits; even the singles from big brother Michael’s Thriller were cumulatively Top 10s. Rhythm Nation 1814 turns 30 this year and has never been released on vinyl in full (owing to the album’s length, better fitting on CD). Janet’s greatest years are also loaded with remixes, many of which haven’t seen the light of day since they were new. (A notable exception: a rare “Nasty” remix, released digitally in hasty reference to one of the more frustrating moments during the 2016 presidential debates.)
While we have no official confirmation of anything beyond the Control LP on June 7, there’s every reason to imagine the future looks bright for fans of Janet’s catalogue. With plenty of artist activity, more than enough titles worth advocating for, and the support of a dedicated fan base (not to mention a prime boutique store at the Park MGM, while she’s performing her Metamorphosis show, for physical product to sell), it may not yet be long until Miss Jackson’s name reappears here on The Second Disc.
In the meantime, you can pre-order Control on Amazon U.S. and Amazon U.K. (Amazon Canada’s link is not yet available) as well as Janet’s official store (which also has an exclusive red vinyl variant).