It’s been seven long, long years since we’ve heard a new album from Janet Jackson. Did we mention how long it’s been? Loooong.
That’s why we’re especially excited about Jackson’s confirmation that she’s releasing a new album this fall, her first since 2008’s Discipline. But before we celebrate her 11th (!) studio album, it only seems right that we look back at the one that started it all over 30 years ago: Janet Jackson.
Though she grew up performing with her famous family in variety shows on stage and TV from a very young age, Jackson wasn’t interested in pursuing a musical career of her own until her teenage years. After signing with A&M records at 16, she released her self-titled debut album in 1982.
Unfortunately, the rise to international superstardom wasn’t as immediate for Jackson as it was for her brother, Michael. Though the album got mixed reviews, her first single, “Young Love,” was able to rise up the Billboard Hot 100.
The single’s moderate success earned her a performance slot on American Bandstand (think of it as pre-MTV TRL), where she did her best to make tying a bandana over your boots a new trend.
We’re pretty sure we’ve seen people in Brooklyn wearing that exact outfit not too long ago.
But while hardcore fans might look back fondly on her bubblegum pop years, Jackson herself disliked the process of making Janet Jackson, admitting to the Boston Globe years later, “I did it for my father.”
Still, the experience helped inspire her groundbreaking 1986 record Control, which in turn went on to influence other pop icons like – maybe you’ve heard of them? – Britney Spears and Aaliyah.