The recent Janet Jackson documentary has (rightly so) reignited interest in her back catalogue and musical legacy.
Here are five of her most influential, iconic and impressive music videos. All of them are essential viewing to understand the cultural impact they had on other artists and the music industry.
Janet dancing alone in a warehouse loft doesn’t sound very interesting on paper, but the video to “The Pleasure Principle” grabs your attention and doesn’t let go.
“Rhythm Nation” won MTV VMA’s for Best Choreography and Best Dance Video as well as Billboard awards for Best Female Video Artist, Director’s Award & Music Video Award for Artistic Achievement. It’s one of the greatest music videos of all time.
“If” is a visual feast; unleashing a sexually confident Janet that we hadn’t seen before. Ahead of its time, the video offers a glimpse into the then-futuristic world of touchscreen technology and omnipresent video cameras, filming our every move. Underlying it all, of course, is the sexual energy of the lyrics and the choreography.
“Miss You Much” was the first Janet song and video that caught my attention and held it long enough for me to become a fan. The choreography here is astounding and has influenced countless dance routines ever since.
The “Got Til It’s Gone” video is summarised best by Slant Magazine who said it has “as much substance as it does style. Set in South Africa during the time of apartheid, the video is a celebration of the music and rhythms that helped sustain black culture under the weight of segregation”.
Narrowing this list down to just five videos was very difficult; Janet Jackson has so many amazing videos in her back catalogue, but for me these are the ones that have had the most impact.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below…