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Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989)

July 25, 2015

“I’m gonna file this one (The Dandy Warhols Come Down) with My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless…”
– Recent birthday celebrant Aaron @ KMA, slightly before his recent birthday!


[Album 408/1001]220px-RhythmNation1814

What a brilliant notion.

Most of us probably have our own beloved sorting systems (alphabetically, chronologically, etc.) for our physical albums.  But until Aaron’s comment this week, I’d never considered a filing system based on my personal experience with individual albums.

Sorting enthusiast that I am, this of course led me to the following draft categorization scheme.

I was going to borrow my wonderful wife’s label maker but my category titles are just too chatty!

A photo sample:

Folder 1


Folder 2


Folder 3


Janet & Whitney are two singers I wouldn’t have otherwise placed together but they seem to have some commonalities (beyond being folder buddies in my nothing-could-possibly-be-misfiled system).

I have a soft spot for their tunes about the importance of childhood education (WH’s Greatest Love of All, JJ’s The Knowledge).

Even though their music is accessible, the lyrics aren’t necessarily just fluff.  Rhythm Nation 1814 certainly tackles topics that don’t always go hand in hand with pop music.

Both excel at the undeniably feel-good dance tune (WH’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody, JJ’s Escapade).

Both pair nicely with family members in a duet (Whitney with her mom in I Know Him So Well, Janet with her brother in Scream).

I don’t feel any twinges of guilt about enjoying either of these albums, in any of the formats.

But if I had to choose between these two particular albums, the tiebreaker would have to go to Janet.

Why?  For a grand total of about $4 on 3 separate trips, I somehow managed to purchase Rhythm Nation 1814 on CD, Cassette, and even the title track on Cassingle!

From → 1980s

  1. BWAHAHA this is great. Great little collection there, I especially respect the vintage Whitney. My sis had a Whitney collection back then. She had cassettes and some singles with exclusive cuts. I taught her well.

    • My thanks Mike – is this the bass clarinet playing sister? If so, bass clarinetist & Whitney cassingle collector? That’s an awesome sibling!

      • Yessir that is she. And I may as well say that her new CD was just released. The duo is called “Stealth” and they are composed of her and percussionist Richard Burrows.

        Her real passion was Glass Tiger. Still is, in many respects! One of her holy grail items was a Glass Tiger single with “After the Dance” on the B-side. She has that song now, but she still needs a rare Bryan Adams single with a Spanish version of “Everything I Do” on it.

      • Just checked my tape shelf, alas my cassingle of Everything I do is the English version!
        Glass Tiger played at Burlington’s sound of music years ago – it was one of those groups that I was surprised how many tunes I knew, I enjoyed singing along with most of the set!

      • I thought they were pretty good. If you listen to some of the other tunes, like Diamond Sun, I’m Still Searching, and Watching Worlds Crumble, these are amazing songs!

        You probably know those tunes…still I love this one in particular and I’m gonna listen to it right now. Because I have “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney in my head, but I don’t want to go to bed with it in my head. Haha.

      • Yes to all of the above – my apologies Mike, I should put disclaimers on posts after 10pm with earworm tunes!

      • It’s not your fault buddy, I’m up past my normal bed time 😉

      • As am I – well now with Glass Tiger in my head, I’m off to bed, thanks for chatting Mike!

      • Rock on man!

  2. Diverse stuff There fella! Full props to you for posting all styles of music!

  3. Ingenious filing system!

  4. Oh man, totally a High Fidelity music collection filing moment, here.

    Hate to break it to you, but my main music collection is (yawn) simply alphabetical, and then chronological within artist. Nothing too creative!

    I saw that Janet Jackson on CD at the junk shop this week. I hesitated, remembering I’d had the tape years ago, as a kid, and doubted I’d play it enough to warrant its purchase now.

    But I own several albums on three formats (CD/LP/CS). Why? Who the hell knows…

    • I used to be more creative – in recent years I’ve had a similar yawn-inducing filing system to you Aaron.
      Some albums are just meant to be owned in multiple formats I suppose!

  5. I’m a big fan of intricate filing systems and this is right up my street. Nice to see copies of Tidal (I bought my copy of that from a bargain bin!) and Hot Hot Heat.

    I’m familar with a few Whitney albums (my wife is a fan), but not that one I don’t think … and I’m not familiar with Janet’s album at all.

    • Though I’m torn – if it wasn’t in the bargain bin, I’d have to spend more money. But it shouldn’t be in the bin in the first place due to its excellence!
      This was my first Janet album but I’d say she’s 1 for 1 thus far

  6. There is probably a PhD dissertation on the psychological nuances of our collective purchasing patterns and anomalies. But I wouldn’t be game to write it.

  7. jennypugh permalink

    Rhythm Nation is one of my favourite albums, and definitely one of those albums where no track gets skipped. No-one gets left behind on my Janet Jackson watch. I’m off to listen to Black Cat 😀

  8. Brilliant.

    • Thanks! I enjoy a concise one word comment (it reminds me of your ‘mega’ sgt. pepper review!)

  9. Hackskeptic permalink

    Personally I like this album but I felt it was a trifle over produced by Jam & Lewis.

    • I don’t think many would accuse some of her brother’s albums of being under-produced either!

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  1. 1989 | 1001albumsin10years

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