CONTROL - Janet Jackson
TRACK LISTING: Control, Nasty, What Have You Done For Me Lately?, You Can Be Mine, The Pleasure Principle, When I Think of You, He Doesn't Know I'm Alive, Let's Wait Awhile, Funny How Time Flies (When We're Having Fun)
IMPRESSIONS: This is one of those albums which fall into that weird netherworld between the Rustler years and the Sizzler years. Released in February 1986, I don't remember us getting into it until after Rustler closed in May 1986. However, it was soon to become a major road trip album; one which we would listen to in its entirety. Not as common as you might think. Mix tapes were the norm about 75% of the time; however there were certain albums which we'd pop in and listen to completely: 2:00 AM PARADISE CAFE, ELTON JOHN LIVE IN AUSTRALIA and CONTROL were among them. I will forever associate the CONTROL album with road trips that took in the "Cunningham" run -- otherwise known as "Gwen" -- the tree-mobbed residential area of one-lane winding roads which featured an actual cliff (OK, more like a drop) as well as a house which had an actual British red telephone box on the lawn. I drove by Cunningham Avenue the other day and had to restrain myself from turning into it for the first time in years. Maybe soon I'll go back with CONTROL in my car stereo. . .
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Control, Nasty, What Have You Done For Me Lately?, You Can Be Mine, The Pleasure Principle, When I Think of You, Let's Wait Awhile, Funny How Time Flies (When You're Having Fun)
FACT SHEET: CONTROL is Janet Jackson's third album -- not, as everyone misremembers, her first. This is, however, her first album out from under the thumb of her "controlling" father after she fired him as her manager and took on producer/songwriters Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The album marked Janet's transition from Jackson baby-sister and teenybopper pop to contemporary R&B. The album marked her emergence from the family shadow to become a legitimate star on her own and CONTROL is listed by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the National Association of Recording Merchandisers as one of the 200 Definitive Albums of All Time, has been certified fivefold platinum and sold over fourteen million copies worldwide.