Rhythm Nation 1814

“We are a nation with no geographic boundaries, bound together through our beliefs. We are like-minded individuals…”

When we last left our hero (“Miss Jackson”, if you’re nasty) she was wondering what we’d done for her lately.

Well, while we were busy enjoying the late 80s, Janet was hard at work on what would become her most influential, popular, and critically-acclaimed album: Rhythm Nation 1814.

Released in September 1989 (Whew! Just made it!), it was, in a word, huge. Not one, not two, but SEVEN hit singles emerged from that piece of vinyl, and each and every one of them made it to the top 5. (Ain’t no other album that can say that.)

Janet re-teamed with Control‘s Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for 1814, but this was no conventional pop album full of throw-away tunes. No, sir. What we had here was a single, cohesive bit of music. Sure, there were 12 separate songs (including “Rhythm Nation”, “Miss You Much”, “Black Cat”, “Escapade”, and “”Love Will Never Do (Without You)”), but there were all tied together by a series of interludes. Some were spoken-word bits that touched on racism, others were clips of Janet being silly (“Hey Baby”)… but put all of them together, and you had a rock-solid bit of musical genius.

When the dust settled, Rhythm Nation 1814 had spent 106 weeks on the charts (that’s more than two years, y’all), including two weeks as the #1 album in all the land in November 1989.

Plus it nabbed a Grammy, a ton of Billboard Music Awards, and inclusion on both Rolling Stone‘s list “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” and Entertainment Weekly‘s “100 Best Albums of the Past 25 Years”.

..and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

“In complete darkness, we are all the same. It is only our knowledge and wisdom that separates us. Don’t let your eyes deceive you.”

We ♥ Rhythm Nation 1814.

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~ by weheart80s on October 14, 2011.

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