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Rhythm Nation 1814

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Editors’ Notes

Janet Jackson’s previous album, Control, had seen the artist’s firm declaration of artistic independence rewarded with spectacular commercial success. Three years may have ensued before this 1989 follow-up, but any notion that Jackson’s hard-won superstardom had inspired her to rest on her laurels were quickly dispelled only a handful of songs into this collection’s expansive 20 tracks. In fact Jackson seems content about very little here – especially the general state of mankind. While societal protest had long been the province of hip-hop, Janet brought its essence onto the dance floor and into mainstream r&b with a muscular artistic ambition here that’s hard to ignore. Yet she was also shrewd enough to retain the musical catalysts behind much of Control’s success, and producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis responded by setting such sociopolitical infused songs like “The Knowledge” and “State of the World” to spare, infectious beats that only served to add a compelling dollop of irony to the mix.

Customer Reviews

One Of Her Best..

I dont think anyone would disagree with that statement. Rhythm Nation is a classic. Im 14 & I love it.

Pinnacle of her artistry

Let's forget about sales figures, chart positions, and all of that stuff for a moment. This album was huge in other ways, too. For one, it was a huge statement for Janet as an artist: Here was someone who not only could hold her own against her hugely successful brother/family, but proved that her success with "Control" was not a fluke. She also showed that she could still work a groove while also being socially conscious, sexy, and articulate. Listen to the words of songs like "The Knowledge." This is NOT your average late-80s dance-pop. And, she was able to tackle a variety of styles (funk, R&B, pop, hard rock, and sultry ballads) and do so naturally and seamlessly. If you're looking to cherry pick tracks, the obvious picks are the Sly & The Family Stone-sampling title track, "Miss You Much," "Love Will Never Do," "Alright," and "Black Cat." But, I'd HIGHLY recommend buying the whole album. There are lesser known gems like "Lonely" and poignant songs like "Livin' In A World" that are worth your attention. This is absolutely one of the best, socially-conscious albums released by an artist since Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" and is the strongest, most consistent album of Janet's long career. Essential listening.


HeyWuzUp! Rhythm Nation was a great, and powerful era 4 Janet. Rhythm Nation is the only album in history to spawn seven top 5 hit's. In the U.S. Rhythm Nation was the best selling album of 1990. Janet spent 4 week's at #1 with the album.


Born: May 16, 1966 in Gary, IN

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Few celebrity siblings can emerge from the shadows of their already famous relations to become superstars in their own right and with their own distinct personalities. That's exactly what Janet Jackson did in becoming one of the biggest female pop and R&B stars of the '80s and '90s. Since her breakthrough in 1986 with the album Control, Jackson's career as a hitmaker has been a model of consistency, rivaling Madonna and Whitney Houston in terms of pop chart success over the long haul. A big part...
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