Mariah Carey: 17 amazing #1’s. Madonna: 12. Right now it’s a fight between the two. But with Janet Jackson’s comeback CD after the shameful Superbowl disaster could change things. My prediction is that Janet will ultimately surpass Madonna’s easily-surpassable 12 #1’s. Hence Madonna will be relegated to casualty-from-the-80s status, while Mariah and Janet will battle for the title Queen of Pop. This is very likely, with MC and Janet wisely doing music that’s hip and in [hip-hop and R&B] and Madonna sticking to that electronica/europop garbage she’s been doing for centuries. Before that happens, let’s look at Janet’s great 10 #1 Billboard singles [uhm…Ms. Jackson, if you’re nasty]…
1. When I Think Of You [11-18 October 1986] – A plump wholesome black girl sings a cool pop ditty. Not bad on the ears. The video wasn’t bad on the eyes either – thanks to Paula Abdul’s choreography. Michael’s little sister was starting to take control – being the sanest Jackson at that time also helped a lot.
2. Miss You Much [7-28 October 1989] – Many years after the “Control” album, “Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814″ came out. It was a well-crafted concept album with a story and a message: social justice! It also came with a long form video (now a collector’s item). It spawned numerous Top Ten singles and Number Ones. It established Janet as a force to reckon with and made her bigger than her famous brother. This was its lead-off single.
3. Escapade [3-17 March 1990] – Great instrumental intro. Great beat. Great song.
4. Black Cat [27 October 1990] – Janet goes heavy metal for this one. One of her greatest hits indeed.
5. Love Will Never Do (Without You) [19 January 1991] – The fourth #1 and final single from the amazing “Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814″ album. It is a great song where Janet does two voices – low and high. The beat is fantastic and the background choir is simply wicked. The video is also memorable and kind of out of context with the album’s social justice theme. In the video we get the first glimpse ever of Janet’s upcoming sexy/sensual persona for her upcoming “janet.” CD. [A note on the sexy/sensual persona female pop singers take nowadays. Let it be noted that this IS really an invention of Madonna and her sole territory – and its really annoying when other female pop singers go that route (Ms. Jackson included).]
6. That’s The Way Love Goes [15 May-3 July 1993] – Lead off track to the “janet.” CD and Ms. Jackson’s biggest hit (together with “All For You”). Who can ever forget that notorious “janet.” album cover? Who can ever forget the line “Like a moth to a flame….”? I don’t like this song very much, but it’s a classic.
7. Again [11-18 December 1993] – My favorite Janet song ever featured in one of my favorite films, “Poetic Justice.” In this quiet, now-forgotten film she plays a deglamorized beautician opposite the legendary Tupac Shakur. The poems of Maya Angelou is featured in the film too. Back to the song – it’s simply the greatest.
8. Together Again [31 January-7 February 1998] – Lead-off track from the boring “The Velvet Rope” CD. In the video, Janet goes back to her African roots. Forgettable song. Who can remember anything at that time anyways but the deathless “My Heart Will Go On”?
9. Doesn’t Really Matter [26 August-9 September 2000] – Somebody help: I can’t really remember the video for this song. Is this the one where she aped Madonna’s cowboy look for “Music”?
10. All For You [14 April-26 May 2001] – What can I say? Well, it was the Britney Spears era at that time, so I guess Janet has to ape/pay homage to Britney in the video for this song…