Single Of The Week
Single Of The Week is where I review a single I'm particularly enamoured of at the moment. It might be a brand spanking new release, or a classic from decades past that I just feel like going on about.

SELECTED 01/05/02

The Pleasure Principle
Janet Jackson

These days, an easy way to fill out a popular music column is to point out that while Janet Jackson remains a bankable star, the same can't be said of her brother Michael, whose career has fallen victim to a combination of musical stagnation and extreme weirdness. (Many artists would be thrilled to have sold 'only' 5 million copies of their last album, but not many artists would spend an alleged $US50 million to record it.)

Of course, this was not the case back when Janet's Control album was released in 1986. Her solo career to that point was so non-existent that Jermaine could fairly claim to be the second-most successful solo Jackson. However, once Janet teamed up with Jam & Lewis as producers and co-writers for the Control album (a partnership which remains in place to this day), she produced a swag of hits ('What Have You Done For Me Lately?', 'Nasty', 'When I Think Of You', 'Control' and 'Let's Wait A While'). She then improbably outdid that total with the follow-up album, Rhythm Nation 1814.

However, one of the perverse reasons why 'The Pleasure Principle', the final and least successful single from Control, appeals to me is that it wasn't produced by Jam & Lewis. True, Monte Moir (Janet's co-writer and co-producer for the track) was contracted to J&L's Flyte Tyme organisation, but it represented a departure from the drum-heavy sound which dominated the album. From memory, I actually purchased my copy of this single from a second-hand shop in Brisbane some time around 1988 (a good year or more after it came out).

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