friday throwback

27 02 2009

i used to be a pretty big janet jackson fan.  i’ve been on board since 1986’s monster control album and still count her 1993 janet. record as one of my favorite albums ever, with “that’s the way love goes” easily being in my personal all time top 10 favorite songs.

i still dig pretty much everything pre-2003 or so, though I don’t think she’s made a solid record since 2001’s all for you.  it is my firm belief that once jermaine dupri’s influence entered into the picture, it all started to go down hill and has continued to get progressively worse over her past 3 album releases.  there was a chemistry between janet and long-time friends and musical collaborators jimmy jam and terry lewis that dupri was never able to come close to… ever.

so, i was quite happy at recent news that after 2 consecutive big time album flops and as many subsequent much-publicized major-label departures accompanied by much finger-pointing, janet is reuniting with jam & lewis for a new album, though who knows when and where it will be released.  it was so interesting to me that after both 20 y.o. and discipline flopped, janet and dupri were quick to blame the labels (virgin and island def jam, respectively) for “disappointing performance” and “lack of promotion”.  really?  i mean, seriously?  lack of promotion for a janet record?  from 2 different labels?  what are the odds?  how about a lack of creativity and good songs?  by historical janet jackson standards, both of those albums were wack and aside from her rabid, core fans, folks weren’t having it.  discipline would have been an ok ciara record, but janet?  trust me, having worked in the industry and at a label, i don’t care how much money you throw at promotion, if it’s wack, it won’t move.  or, as i’ve often heard, ‘you can’t polish a turd’… hahaha.  my hope remains.  🙂

but i digress…  today’s friday throwback is from happier times when the jackson/jam/lewis hit machine was in full effect and janet was riding high on the success of 1989’s “janet jackson’s rhythm nation 1814”, which i will admit to being quite obsessed over at the time. that album became the only album in history to contain seven top five hit singles (6 of which were certified gold, one platinum) and the only album to ever achieve number one hit singles in three separate calendar years (1989-1991), two records that still stand to this day.  in a time when artists are putting out 2 and sometimes 3 singles before their album even releases, that stat is extremely impressive.

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anyhoo… “i hope we can find the time this weekend to relax and unwind… come on baby, let’s get away/let’s save our troubles for another day”…  this video is from 1990… almost 20 years ago… w o w!  i love this song.  happy friday. 🙂

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born into the 90s

27 07 2008

i may have been born in 1975, but i am without a doubt a child of the 90’s… music, that is.  i have been such a music head for the longest time, but in 1990, i was a freshmen in high school and was really starting to find my groove, so to speak.  it was about this time that music began playing a more significant role in my life and i started to feel like music would be more than just a hobby for me.

i am watching vh-1’s 100 greatest songs of the 90s and it is taking me on an incredible trip down memory lane.  sure, every decade has its classic signature songs, sounds and artists, but the 90s were so definitive for me, personally.  so many of these songs provided the soundtrack for memory after memory for me throughout the entire decade.

you can check out the list of all 100 songs here and watch most of the 100 videos here… and what a list it is.  the 90s gave us everything from mariah carey, the cranberries, arrested development, radiohead and jamiroquai to jay-z, alice in chains, bell biv devoe and goo goo dolls.  it gave us unforgettable songs about creeps, g thangs, sandmen, genies in bottles, waterfalls and big butts.  it gave us career defining songs from iconic artists such as ll cool j, whitney houston, u2, pearl jam, notorious b.i.g., lenny kravitz and celine dion.  seattle, atlanta, houston and long beach exploded as the musical hotbeds known for cranking out the hits.  it gave us grunge, g-funk, the return of the r&b girl group, the boy band explosion and was the decade when hip hip broke through to the mainstream and ultimately became the mainstream. no diggity.

who can forget publicly despising but secretly loving “mmmbop”, being mesmerized by lauryn hill’s (with the fugees) haunting take on “killing me softly”, doing “the humpty dance” at high school dances, thinking that hootie was the name of the black guy who sang lead for the blowfish or saying that you were “too sexy” for just about anything?

the only complaint i have is that janet jackson’s “that’s the way love goes” was suspiciously absent from the countdown.  i don’t know if someone at vh-1 was sippin’ haterade when they did the list or what, but not only is that janet’s best song ever (imo), it was a huge hit and came at the height of her success during the janet. (1993) era.  while she still had some spotty hits after that, she never again hit like she did from 93-96. ever. but i digress…

i must also call into question the glaring omission of warren g’s “regulate” and “i wanna be down” by brandy.  both big crossover hits, but mysteriously missing from the list of the 100 greatest songs of the 90s.  likewise, love him or hate him, the 90s gave us r. kelly, and both his first pop crossover hit “bump and grind” and international smash “i believe i can fly” are noticably absent. oh well…

the boys from nelson (of “(cant live without your) love and affection” fame) kept popping up and contributing their two-cents throughout the show and i couldn’t help but wonder which one of them actually looks more like ellen degeneres…

did anyone know that kevin thornton (formerly of color me badd) actually has a gospel cd?  of course you didn’t, and it was probably better that way.

oh yeah, and i miss new jack swing like nobody’s business!

what are your favorite songs from the 90s?

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