Janet Jackson All For You

REVIEW: ‘All For You’ – Janet Jackson

“All For You”: a retrospective review of Janet Jackson’s 2001 album.

by Mark Keen

Between the “The Velvet Rope” (1997) and “All For You” (2001), Janet recorded a number of collaborations which enjoyed considerable success, although the first of these “Luv Me, Luv Me” (1998) with Shaggy has a chequered history. The song was recorded for the soundtrack ‘Stella Got Her Groove Back’, but there appears to have been some animosity between Janet and Shaggy. Janet and Virgin refused Shaggy permission to use the recording on his ‘Hot Shots’ album.

Things would get back on track with two highly successful collaborations in 1999 with Busta Rhymes “What’s It Gonna Be?” and “Girlfriend/Boyfriend” with Blackstreet. “What’s It Gonna Be?” reached the top 3 in the US and number 6 in the UK and had a striking (and expensive at $2 million) video.

“Girlfriend/Boyfriend” was not such a success in the US, but it hit big in other territories notably the UK (Number 11).

The first taste of the sound of the forthcoming album would come in 2000 with the infectious “Doesn’t Really Matter” which hit the number 1 spot in the US and top five in the UK. The song was from the soundtrack to the film ‘Nutty Professor II’ which Janet had a starring role in. The song was certainly a return to a more pop sound and enjoyed massive success, also helped by a great futuristic video.

It would be another year before Janet would return with the first official single off the “All For You” album. The 2001 single “All For You” would continue the upbeat joyous tone of the previous single, and Janet was rewarded with another number 1 in the US and international success. This is now recognised as one of Janet’s signature hits, which is quite an achievement so far into a career. Jam and Lewis had recognised that Janet’s biggest hits tend to be the ‘happy records’.

The follow up “Someone To Call My Lover” would also enjoy considerable success (US number 3, UK number 11), and was a stand out track in the album.

The final single from the album would be “Son Of A Gun” based on a sample from Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” plus additional vocals from Carly and a contribution from Missy Elliott. Whilst not a massive success in the US the single would enjoy greater success in the UK.

The “All For You” campaign was an enormous success with the album hitting number 1 in the US and the top five in most international territories. The album enjoyed the biggest opening week sales of Janet’s career in the US and selling over 7 million copies worldwide. In 2001 Janet would enjoy a further hit with Beenie Man. “Feel It” reached number 28 in the US and the top ten in the UK, Janet’s last top ten hit in the UK. However, Janet later regretted the duet after learning of Beenie Man’s homophobic comments.

Unfortunately we are about to enter a very difficult period in Janet’s professional life, which would cast a shadow over Janet’s career for the best part of ten years, but we will explore that period next time. Don’t worry as there’s still loads of great music to come and as you have got used to with my posts, plenty of great music videos!

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!

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