Taking Control

This week marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Janet Jacksons album “Control”.

This truly is one of those albums that has always been with me and I can remember the first time I heard it.

 I was 12 when it was released and can remember sitting in the break before Geography and a group of us were reading the lyrics to Pleasure Principal in Smash Hits magazine.

It’s an odd memory but it’s one I remember with fondness and it does take me back to the ritual of buying Smash Hits in the hope my favourite lyrics would be in there for me to sing along to (they seldom were).

Control had a massive impact on me and as a 12 year old it spoke to me about growing up and (thinking about) finding my way in the world.

I typically love all the singles but all the tracks were great and this was one of the first complete albums I enjoyed. There wow so much style, life, movement and energy in this album.

I of course knew all the dance moves too – Janet was a big influence on my dancing when I was a kid. (I often wanted to jump in or out of the cinema screen as Janet did in the Nasty video).

I even remember asking our French teacher to translate what Janet was singing in French during Funny How Time Flies…  Whether she answered or not I cannot remember.

Although this was not Janet’s first album it was the one that cemented her creative talent and voice and it change a generation.

It was followed by Control the Remixes which is also a perfect capsule of the time with all of it’s Shep Pettibone mixes and 80’s flourishes.

Control is much more than a pop album and I feel it’s underrated in the world of music.  If you have never heard it from the beginning to end you should and see how things have been influenced by this 80’s masterpiece. If you have heard it before, do yourself a favour and listen to this again. I guarantee you’ll be dancing and singing along.

… and this time I am going to do things my way.  Are we ready?  I am…

As an extra treat Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis share their memories of working with Janet on the Control album here.  It’s a great insight into the creative process.

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