Ok, so I’m a little late on this one but very recently Janet Jackson’s iconic album ‘Rhythm Nation 1814’ turned 25 years old.
So some of you may be wondering, why so iconic? and especially still after this time! Well sit tight as I am going to go through the whole entire era for you.
Rhythm Nation 1814 was released September 19th 1989, 3 years after Janet’s breakthrough hit album ‘Control’. For this album Janet wanted to make a concept album addressing social change. Jackson co-produced the album with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, writing “Black Cat” as her own composition. She drew inspiration from various tragedies reported within the media, exploring racism, poverty, and substance abuse. Although it initially received mixed reception from critics, Jackson was hailed as a role model for youth due to her socially conscious lyrics.
The album proved to be a worldwide smash going to number 1 in the US, Australia and South Africa and top 10 in the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Japan. With over sales of 20 million worldwide, Janet had created another hit record. The album became the best selling album of 1990 in the States and has sold over 9 million there alone.
The album is the ONLY album in US history to have 7 top 5 hits on the US Billboard 100 singles chart.
And those singles were…
MISS YOU MUCH
Released: August 22 2014
Janet’s first number 1 record from the album and her second overall, Miss You Much was the perfect beginning to the RN era. The song received two Grammy Award nominations, and was awarded two American Music Awards and a Billboard Award for “Top Hot 100 Single of the Year.”
Released: October 23 1989
One of Janet’s signature songs, Rhythm Nation peaked at number 2 on the US Billboard 100 singles chart. “Rhythm Nation” has influenced performances by artists such as Cheryl Cole and Beyoncé.
Release date: January 8 1990
The second number 1 single on the US Billboard 100 singles chart from the album and stayed there for 3 weeks. The single won a BMI Pop Award for “Most Played Song” due to its frequent airplay and popularity among the general public.
Released: March 4 1990
Alright peaked at number 4 on the US Billboard 100. While it was to become the only single of the seven released off the Rhythm Nation 1814 album to not hit the top two on the Billboard Hot 100, it became the fourth consecutive single from the album to reach number one on the dance chart, helping Jackson break a record set by Madonna.
COME BACK TO ME
Released: June 18 1990
The song reached number 2 on both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 n the U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs becoming another top five single from Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814. It also became Jackson’s first and so far only number 1 hit on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart.
In the United States, the song entered the Billboard Hot 100 on September 15, 1990. Six weeks later, it reached number one on the chart. It was the third number one hit from Rhythm Nation 1814 and the sixth of the historic seven singles from the album to enter the top five. It made Jackson the first solo artist to achieve two number one hits in the nineties.
LOVE WILL NEVER DO (WITHOUT YOU)
Released: October 2 1990
The song became Jackson’s fifth number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100, the final of seven top five singles from the album, making her the only artist to achieve seven top five singles from one album. The success of “Love Will Never Do (Without You)” also helped the album to become the only one in history to produce number-one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in three separate calendar years, those being “Miss You Much” in 1989, “Escapade” and “Black Cat” in 1990, and “Love Will Never Do (Without You)” in 1991. The single was certified Gold by the RIAA, but achieved even greater airplay success, topping the Airplay Hot 100 for seven consecutive weeks, becoming the longest-running airplay number one single at the time.
So, with a long string of hits over three years and millions of albums sold – you’d think that would have been enough success for one album right? Wrong! It get’s even better. Janet went on tour and broke even more records. The Rhythm Nation 1814 tour visited Japan, Europe and North America performing a total of 110 shows and became the most successful debut tour by any artist. Still to this day.
Official tour programme
The Rhythm Nation World Tour became Jackson’s first world concert tour in support of a studio album. A&M Records had announced plans for Jackson’s global tour in the fall of 1989. She was assisted by a team of eleven musicians, back-up singers, and six dancers.
On June 9, 1990, MTV aired a four-hour special entitled “Janet Jackson Saturday” featuring interviews and music videos by Jackson, as well as live coverage of her tour. The full “Rhythm Nation 1814 World Tour” concert from the second date at the Tokyo Dome in Japan was filmed and aired on Japanese television.
Grossing $28.1 million in the United States alone, the tour ranked number five among the best-selling of 1990 within the US, making Jackson the only female artist to place within the top ten. Total grosses for the “Rhythm Nation 1814 World Tour”, adjusted with inflation over time with 2011’s average ticket prices, brings the gross tour equivalent to $261,645,313. The Rhythm Nation World Tour, with an attendance of over two million patrons, remains the most successful debut tour by any recording artist.
The Rhythm Nation era and album continues to influence and inspire popstars. From music videos, outfits and choreography, Janet is to thank for a lot of musicians’ success off of the influence. Beyonce, Ciara, JLo and Rihanna are living in the house Janet built.
Get the point? Good. Let’s dance!