Key Tracks: Jimmy Jam on Janet Jackson’s Control
After the lackluster performance of her first two albums, what made you and Terry Lewis believe that you could work with Janet and change the musical direction for this album?
Well, the big thing on the first two Janet albums was that you could tell that they were good, solid albums. They had some really great producers working on those records like Rene and Angela, Jesse Johnson and Giorgio Moroder. The biggest thing was she didn’t have any involvement in the creative process. What we were doing back then and what we’ve always done was tailor the songs, specifically, for an artist. Our approach with her wasn’t any different.
I always remember one thing her dad said. He asked us, “You guys are from Minneapolis?” We responded, “Yes, Mr. Jackson.” He said, “Prince is from Minneapolis.” We responded, “Yes. He is, Mr. Jackson.” He said, “Don’t have my daughter sounding like Prince.” [laughs]
This experience will cover courtship, sex, commitment, fetishes, loneliness, vindication, love, and hate.
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