Wednesday, January 11, 2023

"Miss You Much" by Janet Jackson

#1 Alert!
Platinum Record Alert!
Song#:  4024
Date:  09/02/1989
Debut:  42
Peak:  1 (4 weeks)
Weeks:  20
Genre:  R&B, Dance-Pop

Pop Bits:  Jackson certainly made a statement with her third solo album Control. Headed up by the production team of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, the LP was a major breakthrough reaching #1, spawning five Pop Top 5 hits, and selling over 5 million copies. Next came the task of trying to follow up that success. Of course Jackson's label, A&M Records, wanted a rinse and repeat effort, but she wasn't having it. Jackson wanted to expand her vision and do songs that had more depth and a bit of social commentary. She headed back into the studio late in '88 with Jam & Lewis and near the end of summer Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 was finished. Anticipation was high for the LP and so a lot of focus was put on this first single. Luckily it met expectation. The tune would debut just outside of the Pop Top 40 and then make a beeline to the top spot where it remained for four weeks. It also made it to #1 at R&B and at Dance. The album would also zoom to #1 and stay there for four weeks. A month after this song ended its run at the top of the chart, the album would be certified double-platinum.

ReduxReview:  Although several tracks on the album discussed social issues, there were a few that kept up the commercial-leaning dance-pop found on Control. This initial single was one of them and it was the perfect choice to kick off the album. The slammin' track was hard to ignore with all its hooks and beats. When it came on the radio, you knew exactly what it was. Jam & Lewis' production skills had improved since Control and it showed on meaty tracks like this one. It would spend four weeks at #1 on the Pop chart, which would be the longest reign at the top for any single in '89. With Control, Jackson said "hey - I'm here." With Rhythm Nation, she basically said, "now listen up, bitches!"

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  When the album first came out, the 1814 part of the title seemed a bit odd and cryptic to many folks. What did it mean? Was it a date or something else? Some people went so far as to say the "R" in rhythm was the 18th letter of the alphabet and the "N" in nation was the 14th.  While that was true, it was just a happy accident. Jackson herself was cagey about what 1814 meant, but then later spilled the beans. It seems that while recording "Rhythm Nation," Jackson told Jam & Lewis that the tune could be a national anthem of sorts for the 90s. That spurred them to find out when "The Star-Spangled Banner" was written. After seeing that Francis Scott Key wrote the anthem in 1814, they decided to tag that on to the album's title.


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