Janet Jackson - The Velvet Rope (poll/chat)

one of the best of the 90s so lets poll and chat it up. pick your top 3 tracks and discuss.

  • Velvet Rope
  • You
  • Got 'Til It’s Gone
  • My Need
  • Go Deep
  • Free Xone
  • Together Again
  • Empty
  • What About
  • Every Time
  • Tonight’s the Night
  • I Get Lonely
  • Rope burn
  • Anything
  • Special
  • Can’t Be Stopped (hidden track)
  • Accept Me (bonus track)
0 voters

these were the singles:

  1. Got 'til It’s Gone
    Released: September 22, 1997
  2. Together Again
    Released: December 1, 1997
  3. I Get Lonely
    Released: February 24, 1998
  4. Go Deep
    Released: June 15, 1998
  5. You
    Released: September 3, 1998
  6. Every Time
    Released: November 17, 1998

my first pick on here was easy, cos it’s my favorite janet song and one of my favorite songs ever:


the way this song builds is, its like nothing else in her catalog. jam & lewis were really showing the breadth of what they could do.

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my other easy pick is go deep cos it sounds like a dj quik song

the video is really good too

wheres the dis #JanetHive? @lwt @FontaineYouGotaSon @shrewbie @BodyInTheThames

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Oh no

I think you might be a bit disappointed by my opinion of Velvet Rope …

…but I haven’t listened to it for a while, so my opinion might be different these days. Gonna give it a fresh listen

Obviously Got til it’s gone is a genuine BANGER - Q-Tip, Joni & Janet, vinyl crackles, noodley square wave bass and a nice snare crack, cool little intro too. Not much of an actual song though - but a big vibe nonetheless

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would love to hear it good or bad!

Been meaning to listen to this album, this will give me the perfect excuse

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i think its pretty much tied w control, janet and rhythm nation as my fav janet albums

Ok, so I’ve always been disappointed by the production of Velvet Rope - despite…or actually because…of being a big Jam & Lewis fan

So, the Jam & Lewis sound progressed through some distinct phases and I think that on Velvet Rope they tried to reach into another, ‘fresher’ sound that wasn’t really their strongest hand. Or rather, with the hip hop/r’n’b crossover sound they were reaching for - amidst the popularity of younger producers like Dre (Go Deep for instance) & Dilla, they tried reaching back into common influences like Zapp & Parliament, Prince and so on - sounds that were pretty retro and even a bit corny in '97

Now, I’m only this critical because I absolutely LOVE their two earlier phases.

The early phase when it was massive analogue synths over an 808 or a disco beat was incredible and is some of my favourite ever recorded music

they were really pushing those machines hard into the tape and it sounds glorious

then around 86-87 they filled their studio with all the new digital gear - all MIDId up with DX7s and recording digitally. But I like this phase too because what they lost in the analog power they made up for in the total precision of arrangements, programming and sounds …probably reaching their peak on Control & Rhythm Nation with diamond cut sonics and beats and even with Human League’s Human - as schmaltzy as it is…but schmaltz was hot in 87 and worked well on the brand spanking new FM stereo radio

Fast forward to 10 years later and Velvet Rope has a ton of good ideas a bit let down by Jam & Lewis just not being cutting edge anymore - the breaks sound borrowed, and the housey pop of Together Again sounds so weak and stinky and really brinks the record down, What About sounds like a boy band song with the kitchen sink thrown at it and so on

Which is a real shame

I have a strong suspicion that there was too much record label involvement …but not enough to cut the running length down to a reasonable length

Sorry but that’s how I hear it


Yeah, listening to Control now & it’s perfect. Hard to compete

This is a masterpiece. Bits of it almost proto-footwork!
Production seriously ahead of its time. **

** (and this is ignoring the devastating lyrics)

I haven’t listened to this album in ages, must get on that.

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solid points. where you think the production lacks i think it shines. this album kind of bridges the gap of the warmer early-mid 90s hip-hop/r&b sound (go deep, got til its gone, tonights the night, rope burn) to the more jittery sounds of timbaland/neptunes (you, i get so lonely) + even an 80s jam in free xone (this seems right up your alley!). it might be that those first two are both in my wheelhouse of sounds i absolutely love vs the 80s sound pallet was something i didnt learn to like til much later. velvet rope is so textured, layered and lush to me. the production sounds very forward thinking to me. the sweeping string swells and sub bass that gets introduced about halfway through the title track. the last minute would be at home on any halloween playlist. the effortless breeze of tonights the night.

but empty is really the gem here, nothing like it. what do you think of that one? seems like another one you’d be all about.


Done myself here, haven’t I? It was fucking Tighten Up.

I wasn’t sure where else to post this, so

Oops, missed this reply

I’ll give it another listen tonight & check out especially ’empty’ & ’free xone’

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who’s going?

Booked for London, cautiously. I saw her on the 2011 tour and it was half-arsed to say the least. This setlist looks killer though.