Thursday, November 5, 2009

"This is wild, I swear"

So said Janet Jackson on her first ever hit single, What Have You Done For Me Lately - a song so good that people spread the rumour it had been written by Prince (this was 1986, when Prince could stir up a hit record with about as much effort as it takes the rest of us to stir up a cup of tea).

I love it when songs make reference to themselves at the best of times* but Janet's fleeting ad-lib - which is essentially the singer saying "this groove is so earth-shakingly brilliant, it has made me briefly forget whatever it is I'm supposed to be singing about" - could be cut-and-pasted onto just about any of her singles from the last 26 years.

Don't believe me? Well, take a look at this AMAZING trailer for her Number Ones collection (called "The Best" in the UK where, unbelievably, she's never had a chart-topper). From that first, funkatronic outing, through to the sizzling punchbag pop of Feedback from last year's underrated Discipline album, there isn't a stinker among them.

Except the duet with Nelly. That's a total disgrace.

Janet Jackson - Number Ones (long trailer)

PS: Watching this lovingly-created trailer, with its clever use of remixes and hard-to-find music videos, you have to wonder why there isn't a DVD to accompany the greatest hits album? Sort it out, Universal.

* See also: Carly Simon's You're So Vain, Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, Nirvana's Verse, Chorus, Verse, Pulp's The Fear, Robbie Williams' Strong and any James Brown track where he "breaks it down", "takes it to the bridge" or "hits it and quits".

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