Rarities #8: Janet Jackson janet. (1993)
This is the super-limited edition version of Janet Jackson's multi-platinum album, janet. Following the success of her first two albums with A&M (Control and Rhythm Nation 1814), Janet switched labels in a $60 million contract, the biggest in the world at that time (2 weeks later, her brother Michael usurped her with an $80 million deal with Sony). Her new label was Virgin, and she seemed to reflect her newfound spirit with an album that dealt heavily with sexual overtones.
The regular album cover is not as explicit and showed her from her shoulders up only. This image was also used as a Rolling Stone magazine cover, instantly becoming one of its best-selling issues ever. Prior to this album, Janet was always covered "right till her neck" as she would describe herself (look at Rhythm Nation album cover for evidence), and this was the first time she was exploring her true identity as a woman.
The attention-grabbing cover aside, this was the album that introduced the world to a new Janet, and it was characterised by its edgy and sexy tunes. The first single, That's The Way Love Goes, spent eight weeks at the Number One, becoming one of the biggest hits of 1993. Its laidback groove and Janet's sensual delivery ensured that it would be one of Janet's classics.
The second single was If, another fan favourite. She charted another Number One single with Again, which was featured in the movie Poetic Justice, which she starred alongside the late Tupac Shakur. The song was later nominated for an Academy Award but did not win. In all, seven singles were culled from the album, the others being You Want This, Because Of Love, Throb and Any Time, Any Place. With the exception of Throb, ALL the singles reached the Top Ten of the Billboard 100, a remarkable achievement indeed. An eighth single, Whoops Now, was released in the UK only.
The album remains Janet's biggest album of her career, with worldwide sales of 17 million. She launched a world tour in support of the album, including a stop in Singapore. The tour established Janet as a dynamic singer and performer, as she showed off her new svelte figure and perfectly-choreographed dance moves.
This limited edition version of the album comes with a bonus CD of live tracks and remixes, as well as many rare photographs of Miss Janet herself. Take a look: