Sunday, June 6, 2010

JDIZZY's 365 # 28: Rhythm Nation

Rhythm Nation - Janet Jackson (1989)

Some songs from your childhood stand out more than others. For example, I will never forget watching the Batdance video by Prince and thinking that music could never get any cooler( Maybe I was right?!?). In 1989 I was in fourth grade, and once a week we had music class. Once every month in said classroom, our teacher would hand out copies of a music education magazine called Music Alive. It was the highlight of middle school for me. Inside you found articles about pop stars, classical music and jazz. The best attribute though was that every issue had sheet music of a popular song of the day. The teacher was provided with an audio cassette that had cover versions of the hit recording. In this way the student could sight read the music, hear the tune and sing along. During those pre-music blog days, it was one of the best ways to hear these hits right as they were coming out, even though the covers were usually awful, akin to those on 80's budget albums. This was how I first heard "Rhythm Nation". Even with an in-studio singer, I could tell that Miss Janet was changing the game with this one. The production, by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis was unlike anything else on the radio in 1989, almost experimental in its melding of synthesized and sampled live instrumentation. Janet's words recalled John Lennon's message in Come Together , that all the world needed to be one was to dance like your life depended on it. The video made this song a classic, but listening to it today sans visual aid, it still holds up as a tour de force performance and one of the best singles the 80's ever produced.

Few people remember that the original video for the song was 30 minutes long. Amazingly, the internet does not disappoint!

Janet Jackson - Rhythm Nation [Complete Movie] - kewego

Keywords: soul funk

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