Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rarities #24: Janet Jackson Design Of A Decade 1986/1996 (1995)

There are 2 special packagings for this release - the Strictly Limited Edition Steel Casing, and the double CD version with 7 rare remixes.

The Strictly Limited Edition Steel Casing Version:

The limited edition 2-CD version:

One of the most creatively and best-titled best-of compilations, Design Of A Decade 1986/1996 is a collection of Janet's hits from the first ten years of her career. It's a smart title because it very cleverly avoids the "you-mean-I'll-not-have-any-more-hits-after-this?" problem, paving the way for yet a few more of such compilations further down the road.

This album was an A&M records release, released as part of Janet's contractual obligations. By this time, Janet had already signed a whopping deal with Virgin and released her hugely successful janet. album. That's why only 2 tracks from janet. are featured here - Whoops Now and That's The Way Love Goes, while the megahits If and Again were not included.

Nevertheless, this album is still a very very good collection of Janet's hits. And they were massive hits too. There are really no duds on this collection. This is a great testament to Janet's succes in her first decade in the business, led by the unbeatable team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

2 new songs were also recorded for this album - Runaway and Twenty Foreplay. The video for Runaway was inspired by brother Michael's Black Or White video, where Janet was seen jumping off the roofs of famous landmarks in the world, reflecting her words that she's "seen the world, been to many places." Great fun.

The first version I have here is strictly limited steel casing edition, as can be seen imprinted on the sticker. And I actually have 2 copies of it! The packaging is way cool, but unfortunately, there aren't any other special extras to this package.

The regular edition has that picture of Janet with the peekaboo blouse as its cover, and I remember reading news reports that a giant billboard of that album cover by the roadside caused accidents. Guess Amercians have always been fascinated by Janet's breast(s), but when they actually do see it, they make a big fuss and say it's indecent blah blah blah.

I also have the 2-CD version with the regular album artwork, and it contains a bonus CD of remixes of Janet's early tracks with A&M Records. Before exploding onto the scene with Control in 1986, Janet had recorded 2 earlier albums with the label, but they were minor successes. Thus, 6 tracks on this bonus CD contain those hits, but in a remixed form, while the 7th track, a remix of When I Think Of You, is a hit culled from Control.

Well, all the brouhaha shouldn't obscure the fact that Janet was, and is, a great hitmaker. Her 20Y.O. album last year marked her second decade in music. Will we see Design Of Another Decade soon? Hope so, and many more decades to come.

In the meantime, here's my tracklist for Design For Another Decade:

1. If
2. This Time
3. Throb
4. What'll I Do
5. Again
6. Any Time, Any Place
7. Got 'Til It's Gone
8. Together Again
9. I Get Lonely
10. Go Deep
11. You
12. All For You
13. Someone To Call My Lover
14. Doesn't Really Matter
15. Trust A Try
16. All Nite (Don't Stop)
17. I Want You
18. R&B Junkie
19. Call On Me
20. Enjoy

It's a bit long, but then hey, Janet has had too many hits! Let's see if Virgin will release this collection, now that Janet has moved to Island Records.



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