Friday, May 15, 2020

"The Pleasure Principle" by Janet Jackson

Song#:  3134
Date:  05/23/1987
Debut:  78
Peak:  14
Weeks:  18
Genre:  R&B, Dance

Pop Bits:  By this point in time, Jackson's Control album had just been certified 4x platinum and had become only the second album in history to generate five Pop Top 5 singles (her brother Michael's Thriller would be the first). The question then became - could she best her brother and get a sixth Top 5 entry? It seems she and her label decided to roll the dice and pushed out this track. Results were positive when the song hit #1 at both R&B and Dance, but over at Pop it seemed airplay and sales lagged behind the other formats and it stopped outside of the Top 10. Still, it was an amazing run of singles for Jackson that turned her into a superstar. The LP would keep selling and in less than two years it would sell another million copies.

ReduxReview:  This was another solid jam from the Control album and while it may not have been as catchy or as sing-a-long worthy as her previous hits, it seemed destined for the Top 10 thanks to the popularity of the song's video. Oddly, it just didn't get the support needed at Pop to crack the Top 10. I'm thinking that the tune might have leaned a bit too far into R&B territory for pop radio stations and that perhaps Control fatigue was also setting in. Whatever it was, it really should have at least hit #10 especially when it topped both the R&B and Dance charts.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) While it was a bit of a bummer that this song stopped Jackson's run of Top 10 singles, her next run of Top 10's would be even more impressive. Beginning with 1989's #1 "Miss You Much," every single released by Jackson as the main artist that made the Pop chart would crack the Top 10 through to 2001. Over that twelve year span, Jackson would amass nineteen consecutive Pop Top 10s with nine of them hitting #1. The stopper of that run was "Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)," the third single from her 2001 album All for You. Sadly, it would prove to be a big stopper because as of this posting date Jackson has yet to return to the Pop Top 10.  2) The video for this song has become one of Jackson's most iconic. It featured Jackson alone in a warehouse apartment/studio seemingly doing an impromptu dance rehearsal to this song. While Jackson was obviously the star of the video, the choreography by Barry Lather certainly had a lot to do with the video's success. Portions of the choreography and the video itself would be imitated later by many artists. The video would be nominated for two MTV Music Video Awards and would win for Best Choreography.



  1. Interesting fact. Each of the Top 5 singles had a different peak, exactly covering the five positions. What Have You Done for Me Lately #4, Nasty #3, When I Think of You #1, Control #5, Let's Wait Awhile #2.