Throwback Thursday — Miss Jackson

I was pretty psyched to see the video for Janet Jackson’s new single, Feedback — it made its debut on BET this week, and has been all over the internet, quick, watch before they take the link down again.

The video is an intergalactic romp that ends with Janet and co. dancing in what looks like a giant bowl of milk. Trippy, and laden with imagery. It’s got a beat that won’t quit, and Janet in total sex-kitten mode — she says in the lyrics, she’s heavy like a first day period. (sorry, that line made me LOL when I first heard it. Seriously, Janet?).

Fingers crossed, this means a real comeback for Miss Jackson — Lord knows I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t “So Excited” about her last album. I’d love to see Janet charge to the front of the pop music diva pack where she belongs. She’s an originator, she’s still looking incredible, and I’d love to see her step forward and show these young girls how it’s really done.

Choosing a favorite Janet Jackson video is even harder than choosing a favorite En Vogue video. I’ve loved her in almost all her incarnations, from innocent Let’s Wait A While to raunchy sex goddess in If. But stepping in the way-back machine, I definitely grew up on Good Times and Fame — any old-school Fame fans in the house? Anyone? I love early Janet the most, I think.

It goes without saying that Janet changed the game. She was one of the main reasons I became so enthralled with music videos so early in my life. So many of her videos were cinematic experiences, filled with colorful characters, random dance breakdowns, and Miss Jackson in the middle of it all, singing and smiling and making everyone feel like she was their BFF. When I Think Of You. Alright is one of my all-time favorites, because she features Cyd Charisse and the late, great Cab Calloway. And when Escapade dropped, it was a big deal in Trinidad, because Janet featured the artistry of Peter Minshall. Remember that big marionette thing? If you don’t know, now you know.

But this week’s Throwback Thursday goes way back to when I first wanted to BE Janet. Back when I could relate to her, when she looked like she did in the photo at the top of this post. When she was thick and workin’ it, cute but sassy, and had that big Eighties freestyle hair. When she was asking the question, What Have You Done For Me Lately?

So Eighties! I love it. LOL at Paula Abdul in that intro. She choreographed quite a few early Janet videos. I wonder if they’re still even a little bit friendly these days? Paula’s been acting a little crazy recently, and Janet doesn’t seem to be down with that. Can’t say that I blame her.

What’s your favorite Janet Jackson video?

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Comments

  1. Good morning bella! Rhythm Nation is my favorite Janet Jackson video. My mom gave me the music tape for Christmas, 1989, and I didn’t care about anything else that year, but my Janet Jackson tape. Like many other kids I swore I knew every dance from the video. :)

  2. KiaSonghay says:

    That chocolate drop of sunshine who portrays her love interest in the video is now a woman. He was also in the Pebbles Mercedes Boy video. His was the only picture I had on my junior high locker. I saw him on a talk show in his new incarnation and it hurt my feelings. I wish I could find it on YouTube.

  3. I don’t know if I really have a favorite JJ video — but like you, I liked her more back in the day, chubby little cheeks and all. Fame??? LOVED IT, I remember stopping my homework to belt out the theme song along with the TV and then settle in to watch the whole thing. Heavy like a first day period?? What the heck???

  4. You are right on with the Alright video Bella. One of my favorite videos of all time. It was so cheesy but colorful and fun at the same time. Rhythm Nation was also a favorite from Janet. I would love to see her come back on top.

  5. I’ma have to go with “Alright” or “Miss You Much”.
    “Alright” for the reasons already provided, and
    “Miss You Much” for the FIERCE choreography that me and my best friend practiced and practiced and couldn’t get right.
    “That’s the end? NO.”

  6. Pleasure Principle is still definitely my favorite Janet video. When she kicks the one chair and then tilts off the other one, that was some powerful imagery for me to see a black woman doing. Plus I wanted that loft!

  7. tracey in Ohio says:

    Rhythym Nation was my favorite cause the dancing was so TIGHT! Otherwise, Pleasure Principle was a good one – girl danced her ass off! And of course, there I was again in my living room (like with the EnVogue videos) trying to keep up with Janet… almost like to hurt myself…. (LOL!) Also, I thought Jan was beautiful in “Twenty-four Play” being the ‘black marilyn monroe’ even though the video is probably 2 minutes long.

  8. I was waiting for someone to mention “24 Play” too. This was back when she was really wanting to play Dorothy Dandridge and she looks fab-u! I love “Pleasure Principle” and “Love Will Never Do”

  9. Ok, so I soooo don’t get the new song, Feedback and the video, but I like the end when she’s in red. MS. Jackson (if ya nasty), has never been the strongest with vocals, but she did set the bar high as far as being an all-around entertainer. I think Beyonce and her contemporaries have modeled themselves after Janet and it is cool that’s she’s still around to show them how it’s done e’vry now and again.

  10. oh yeah, I think Escapade is my favorite video. or the one with q-Tip in it (blanking on the name).

  11. Pleasure Principle captures the Essence of who Janet Jackson was and is: a serious dancer, sexy, empowered, and tasteful.

    Can’t get no better than that.

  12. Choosing a favorite Janet vid? Darn near impossible. My all time faves have all been mentioned What Have You Done for me Lately?, Pleasure Principle, Miss U Much, Escapade, Alright & of course Nasty.

    As far as songs, I love Funny How Time Flies, Come Back to Me, Runaway and wait I gotta look at the cd… how could i forget Control. That’s my all time fave. It speaks volumes for me. It’s one of the first songs I played when I moved out of my parent’s house. I still remember the feeling I had..finally I had control (now I’m all grown up, yeah) LOL

    Her lyrics are funny though, if you ever read the liner notes they look kinda funny. To me all of her older stuff proved she was the queen of hooks. All of those little phrases were easy to sing to easy to dance to and would stick in your head.

    I do think the period thing is just her way of pushing the envelope. But maybe a little bit too far for my taste.

  13. Loved Fame, but only with the original cast and original movie.

    The TV show was good, but I could never get into most of the characters, only Leroy and the dude with the curly hair (was his name Bruno or something like that)?

    But Debbie Allen’s work speaks for itself! She’s great!

  14. Oh, I forgot, favorite Janet Video? Pleasure Principle…second to that, If…

  15. Anytime, Anyplace (sex-ay!), Love Will Never Do Without You, Again, and Alright are my faves. The first ones for obvious reasons ;) The last because it was such a fun, light-hearted video and I’m a big fan of that era. I wish I could have lived back in the 20s and 30s…well and not be in my 80s today. LOL!

  16. Pleasure Principle, hands down!! I NEVER get tired of that video…

  17. mistress_scorpio says:

    I love all of Miss Jackson’s vids, but there is a special place in my heart for “You Want This”. It just takes me back to the days when female performers could be sexy and damn powerful, even intimidating, as portrayed in this video.

  18. Alright and That’s the Way Love Goes are two of my favorites…but I also like the song she did with Blackstreet.

    Go on Mz.Janet!

  19. I love Anytime, Anyplace, Alright, What’s It Gonna Be with Busta Rhymes (okay it’s his song, but I love Janet in this one), and I Get Lonely remix with Blackstreet.

  20. Pleasure Principal, no doubt! Dang, if I wasn’t a candidate for knee replacement, I’d push back from this desk and relive those days. sigh.

  21. The fashion LOL I wore those outfits had a gold bronzy prom dress that looked like Janet’s shirt LMAO.

  22. My favorite Janet video? Man, I can’t even narrowit down. “Alright” is definitely up there. Um, “Everytime”, those blue eyes and all that water kill me. “Together Again”, I love the “Velvet Rope” phase Janet was going through with the curly, red hair and the bulls ring.

  23. They took down the video before I could watch it! :(
    I’ll search for it on youtube. I’m sure someone snuck a copy of it outta their sights.

  24. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED “Rhythm Nation”…You make me wanna go on YouTube & Jam! LOL…Anyway, IMO Janet needs to stop trying to compete with talentless 20 year olds and do her own thing…Such as with her past successes…She is not the best ‘singer’ but an outstanding performer…

    BWDB http://thecwexperience.wordpress.com

  25. mellowyel says:

    I loved Pleasure Principle, and I Get Lonely is one of my fave videos of all time!! The Q-Tip song is Got ‘Til It’s Gone, and I consider it to be the best use of Janet’s vocals – Another one of my all-time faves.

  26. The Pleasure Principle! says:

    Definitely Pleasure Principle. I had absolutely NO IDEA about what she was singing about but I used to stay up late to catch Friday Night Videos hoping that they’d show her video. Sassy, sexy, ultra-feminine without being nude (not talking about ANYBODY in particular here)! I was INSPIRED, just Janet and a mirror and a chair and her groove!!!! And I SO WANTED the wrap she rocked in the video!!!! Her hair was FIERCE!!!

  27. I don’t like the “Feedback” video. It made me long for the overhyped World Premiere video of “Scream” Janet did with Michael in the 90s. However, I do love the song. I’ve been playing constantly since December.

  28. cabolady says:

    Definitely Got til it gone with Q tip. OMG that video is perfection. The vibe fits the song perfectly and all the beautiful natural black people and the underline message. Loves it
    Pleasure principal and Rhythm Nation for obvious reasons too.

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