Day 281: Miss You Much

Song; “Miss You Much” by Janet Jackson
Reached #1: October 7, 1989 (her second, 4 weeks)
Previously: Day 63

Introducing the Rhythm Nation

The Control album had been a personal statement.  Janet Jackson wanted to make it clear that she was no longer just her daddy’s girl, but an artist on her own.  It worked pretty well, with five top-5 singles including Janet’s first #1.

Now that she had established herself as a solo act, what do to for an encore?

Reconnect with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, add a little more of a social message to the songs, toss in an irresistable beat… and come up with Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814.

This was a blockbuster – seven top 5 hits, #1 songs in three consecutive years (after “Miss You Much”, there was “Escapade” and “Black Cat” in 1990, and “Love Will Never Do (Without You)” in 1991), a massively-successful world tour – and confirmation of her independence from the Jackson family.

That independence helped keep her out of the way during her brother Michael’s problems – and probably hurt her during the “wardrobe malfunction” after Super Bowl XXXVIII, since she didn’t have easy access to the Jackson family spin machine.

To this day, I’m still not sure what the fuss was about the “wardrobe malfunction” – other than it was a convenient excuse for busybodies and moral preachers to run their mouths.  The rest of the world was wondering, too, as they routinely show more explicit material on television all the time.  Gotta love Middle American prudishness, no?

Tomorrow, a band now known for one… well… uniquely-abled performer as much as its pop/metal music.

No other songs reached #1 on October 7.


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