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Number Ones
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55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2009
Format: Audio CD
So, I've been waiting for a new Janet collection for awhile, so when she announced "Number Ones", I was super excited. I was even happier when she announced the official track listing. I thought, except for the exclusion of "You Want This", it was perfect. And when I got the CD, it even exceeded my expectations. The remastering is superb! You hear it as soon as you put in the first CD and hear the very beginning of "What Have You Done For Me Lately". It really stands out on the first disc, especially songs like "When I Think Of You", "Let's Wait Awhile", and "Love Will Never Do (Without You)".

Another thing I like is the rare tracks, or at least rare versions. Thankfully they included the Single Remix of "Let's Wait Awhile" unlike on "Decade". Another great inclusion is the video mix of "All For You", which includes the dance break and was originally only available on the CD Single. I DO wish they would have just used the single edit for "Any Time, Any Place" instead of the R. Kelly Remix, which it didn't even say it was. Another 'false labeling' is the fact that it said "Janet feat. BLACKstreet" on "I Get Lonely", but was actually the solo album/radio edit instead. I like the solo version better, but I hate that they put one thing and it says another.

Overall, I would suggest this collection to major fans, minor fans, and everyone in between. It covers her past 23 years of music so well.

Here is the track listing including which version it is: (PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG)
DISC ONE
1. What Have You Done For Me Lately? - Album Version w/o Spoken Intro
2. Nasty - Album Version
3. When I Think of You - Album Version
4. Control - Album Version
5. Let's Wait Awhile - Single/Remix Version
6. The Pleasure Principle - Album Edit
7. Diamonds - Main Version
8. Miss You Much - Album Version
9. Rhythm Nation - Single Edit with Pledge Intro
10. Escapade - Album Version
11. Alright - Video Edit (aka 7" Mix) with Heavy D Rap
12. Come Back to Me - The 12" I'm Beggin' You Mix
13. Black Cat - Video Edit
14. Love Will Never Do (Without You) - Single Version
15. The Best Things in Life Are Free - 1992 Soundtrack Version
16. That's The Way Love Goes - Album Version

DISC TWO
1. If - Album Version
2. Again - Album Version
3. Because of Love - Album Version
4. Any Time, Any Place - R. Kelly Remix
5. Scream - Radio Edit
6. Runaway - Album Version
7. Got 'Til It's Gone - Clean Radio Edit
8. Together Again - LP/Radio Edit
9. I Get Lonely - LP Edit (*NOTE: Does NOT feature BLACKstreet)
10. Go Deep - Album Version
11. What's It Gonna Be?! - Radio Edit
12. Doesn't Really Matter - Full Soundtrack Version
13. All For You - Video Version with Dance Break
14. Someone to Call My Lover - Single/Radio Edit
15. All Nite (Don't Stop) - Album Version
16. Call On Me - Album Version (Including a 10 second intro from the end of "With U" on 20 Y.O.)
17. Feedback - Single Version (Almost same as album version, except with an extended outro)
18. Make Me - Single Version
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2009
Format: Audio CD
34 tracks on 2 discs remastered to perfection. I have fallen in love with Janet's music all over again.
PROS
1. Excellent Remasters of all her classic hits!
- "That's the Way Love Goes" sounds brilliant.
- "When I Think of You" never sounded better.
2. This is truly an almost all encompassing and comprehensive collection of Janet's career spanning hits, including duets she has done through the years! (Diamonds,Best Things In Life,etc)
3. New track - Make Me (Produced by Darkchild/Rodney Jenkins) Disco House/Pop Janet is Back. This song is a major stand-out.

CONS
1. I am not a fan of some of the versions chosen to be on this collection. The one that is really glaring is the hip hop sounding version of "Best Things In Life Are Free" Would have much preferred the more popular radio version which was also used in the music video over the one chosen to be on this hits set.
2. Album cover = Thought Janet's smile is a classic visual and just about everyone knows her and that beautiful smile, I think a more iconic image should have been used, either from the past or a new pic shot just for this album cover.

As you can see, we are short on cons here and the fact that you have amazing remastered tracks trumps any of the negatives I have mentioned. A&M and Janet's team have really done a spectacular job on making this a very neat and concise collection. There was another remastered comprehensive greatest hits that came out just a couple months ago from another artist (whose name I wont mention but that I absolutely love) which was disastrous in such a number of ways (production, remaster, artwork) and offensive to her and her fans that I really have to appreciate this strong release from Janet.

This is a real must-have for anyone who grew up in the 80's, 90's and today with Janet's great sounds!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2009
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Barring a major comeback--which I would gladly welcome--Janet Jackson's hit-making career seems to have come to an end when she performed with Justin Timberlake at a certain Super Bowl halftime show. Prior to that lapse in judgment, she had been one of America's pre-eminent pop-R&B singers--after all, she came from musical royalty. Even if she is never able to return to her former glory (sadly, radio is not kind to performers over 35, in any genre, no matter how good the music), this collection will stand as an impressive body of work. The first disc is the stronger of the two, and covers the years of 1986-1993. Many of these songs are certified classics: "What Have You Done for Me Lately" is a wonderfully defiant statement:, "That's the Way Love Goes" is a sexy treat, "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" still goes off like a bomb when it plays in your iPod, not to mention "Escapade", "Miss You Much", and "Nasty", among others. This disc also includes Janet's collaboration with Herb Alpert--a hit-maker before she was even born--whom Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis gave one final top ten hit, "Diamonds", as well as "The Best Things in Life Are Free", recorded with the late great Luther Vandross and those guys from New Edition. The second disc finds her career kicking into a lower gear, but not always for a lack of trying. The disc opens with the rest of Janet's 1993-94 work from the album "janet." This material is still great overall, but you can see the sexiness start to creep in--"Any Time, Any Place" is pretty ribald compared to "Escapade". This era also ushered in interludes--short skits that occur on R&B albums, marring the overall flow of the album. The only time these every really worked was on "Rhythm Nation 1814", when they were part of the flow and not like speed bumps standing in the way of good music. The disc also includes some important one-off items: the collaboration with her King of Pop brother, "Scream" (the first time it has appeared on a Janet album); a duet with Busta Rhymes(!) on "What's It Gonna Be?!" and a reprise of the hit single from "Design of a Decade", "Runaway". Surprisingly, "The Velvet Rope"--a dark, sexy album that showed many sides of Janet's personality--is well represented. It includes top five hits `Together Again" and "I Get Lonely", as well as dance/airplay hits "Go Deep" (good slice of pop) and "Got Til It's Gone" (a song I've never quite understood, but nice to have on here). The "All for You [Extra Track]" era is well-represented, too, by "Doesn't Really Matter" and "All For You" (both #1 pop hits) and "Someone to Call My Lover" with its "Ventura Highway" sample. Around this time, Janet seems to have pushed the limits of her image too far. She was more or less nude on the cover of "All For You", and then topless on the cover of "Damita Jo". She began to lose her funky independence and her clothes in favor of breathy tunes about her...climax. Rather than tantalizing, it just came off as desperate. Granted, many men sing about the same thing on their albums and I also find that desperate. Perhaps I am just showing my age, as this has been increasingly popular in today's music world. "Damita Jo" found Janet failing to reach the top 40 with any singles, in spite of a #45 debut for "Just a Little While" and strong R&B airplay for "I Want You". The lone inclusion from that album--a bloated disappointment that might have been better with some trimming, some different production, and better publicity--was a song that mainly just got dance airplay, "All Nite (Don't Stop)". Around this same time, Janet was also dating Jermaine Dupri, a decent-if-annoying producer whose M.O. is to say "uh-huh" and "yeah" all over his artists' productions. He seemed to steer Janet in a different direction--away from her record label, her longtime producers and her fanbase. Her next album, "20 Y.O", seemed like an attempt to recapture former glory. I streamed the album and couldn't find much to get excited about. The magic was gone. The album is represented here by "Call on Me", an okay duet with Nelly--another artist whose career seemed to decline as this decade wore on. With this album out of the way, Janet gave the world "Discipline". This album returned Janet to the top of the sales charts but did not include Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis behind the boards. The single "Feedback", which is pretty good if not great, is included here. The final track is new--called "Make Me", it recalls her brother's "Don't Stop `Til You Get Enough" as well as Janet's danceable past. Janet has split with Jermaine Dupri, so the future for her musically seems to be in her hands, to paraphrase "Again". Nearly every hit is here, save for "You Want This"; others such as "Son of a Gun" are not missed by me. And as for the packaging? The cover of this album looks pretty good as well--Janet is dressed and looks like, well, a lady. The few times when she has appeared on TV this year--her brother's memorial, his MTV VMA tribute, and the recent ABC interview--Janet has looked very classy and in "Control". We also get something too many albums lack these days--legible liner notes with writer/producer/album credits. Overall, this is an excellent package and a great addition to any collection of popular music from the last 25 years.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2009
Format: Audio CD
When I think of JANET and her music...it puts a smile on my face and a steady groove in my heartbeat.I too have all Janets albums and have been a FAN for over 28 years now...yeah from junior high,high school,college and the real world..lol.I guess you can say that JANET'S music has been the soundtrack of my life...(Janet & Madonna) All the songs on here are REMASTERED FLAWLESSLY..!!!I agree it would be nice to have some the B-Sides but if you're already a huge fan then you already have them :-)..Janet is an AMAZING and very HUMBLE WOMAN that sparks creativity and motivation.I will continue to be a loyal FAN. This album is a MUST have!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2009
Format: Audio CD
This collection really reminds me what a force Janet Jackson is! Regardless of her super talented family, she stands on her own. There is just hook after hook on this album! Ever since I heard this was coming I've had "Miss You Much" stuck in my head. Great collection that captures her whole career!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Spanning two full-length discs, Janet: Number Ones (2009) nicely updates Janet Jackson's (that's 'Miss Jackson if you're nasty!') first retrospective Design of a Decade (1996) with a comprehensive review of Jackson's most successful single releases. (The title refers to Jackson's achievements across different charts.) With longtime producers Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam providing the sonic architecture for most of Jackson's career, the music has been consistently big on beats and unmistakable hooks.

Nice surprises on this compilation include the sassy "Diamonds," Jackson's superb, but often overlooked, collaboration with jazz trumpeter Herb Albert, and a generous selection of single/video-only mixes ("All for You," "Alright," "Black Cat," "Let's Wait a While" ). A new song--the club-ready "Make Me"--closes out the set.

Sequenced chronologically, the newly remastered singles catalog shows how Jackson's message has evolved through the years. From the youthful rebellion of Control (1986) and Rhythm Nation (1989) to the coming-of-age sensuality of Janet (1993) and The Velvet Rope (1997), the music has grown and matured--usually in provocative fashion, like the artist herself.

For the most part, the results have been highly satisfying, though some of Jackson's latter, more experimental work can be a little overwhelming. Tracks from the sexually-raw Damita Jo (2004) and production-heavy Discipline (2008) can reveal too much of a good thing. But these are creative risks to be expected from an artist who set the ground rules years ago when she affirmatively declared to the world "I'm in control, and I'm never going to stop."
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
This is possibly the greatest compilation CD since MJ's Number One's. I think we all need these types of CD's to really remind ourselves that we do not have to endure what is being sold to us by the labels. We are in 2009 almost reaching 2010 and someone needs to officialy declare that music today, sucks. I could go on all day, comparing what was with what's left, but I really think people get the picture of where I'm coming from.

Favorite song: "Together Again"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2010
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I love these tunes some of which were not on her regular CD releases like "Diamonds". This gives the listener an opportunity to hear songs you don't always get to hear on a regular basis. Some of the songs were a bit different from the ones from her original releases but its all good. I kind of liked that at times but in some cases the song was cut off a bit like the song "The Best Things in Life" with Luther. I got to hear some of her newer songs too. I have not been following her tunes very closely like I did in the 80's and that was good to know what her recent hits were. All in all the CD is very entertaining although I liked to hear more of her slow tunes but I guess they were not number ones. I love the CD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
I have been in nearly two minds on Janet in the last 12 years since I bought Rhythm Nation 1814 on January 12, 1998 at a used CD Store somewhere in Bethesda. I literally loved it and it literally altered my view of life as I knew it. To this very day, it remains by and large not only my favorite album by her but also my favorite album ever by a female artist and even my favorite by any of the Jacksons, even more than "Thriller". It was very painful, even angering, watching Janet literally crash from the heights of RN, and even Janet and "Velvet Rope" into the awfulness that marred huge chunks of "All For You" and literally soiled my respect after the God-awful "Damita Jo" before undergoing a drastic improvement with "20 Y.O." and even "Discipline" even though neither are superb but nonetheless decent albums, considering how they show out of the shadows of the earlier part of the 2000s. But that's not the point of this review. My point is that "Number Ones" while slightly misleading, is a marvelous successor to the superb "Design of a Decade" and showcases the tremendous rollercoaster ride of Janet's career since 1986's "Control".

Justifyably so, this spans two discs, both of which I enjoy. They span from Janet's first major hit single "What Have You Done For Me Lately", and the adolescent fun of "Nasty", to the dizzying pinnacle that made up the seven top-ten singles from the 1989-90 "Rhythm Nation 1814", all of them which got all the chart success they deserved, and more. An even better treat is how the songs on here are in their single versions. For example, I am so thrilled that they finally added the Heavy-D rap section to "Alright" that was absent on the "Design of a Decade" version. Perhaps my favorite hit song by Janet, "Alright" is perhaps the closest to, if not absolute perfection by any of the Jacksons. The version of "Black Cat" here has a far more live-concert feel with real-sounding drums as opposed to the original studio album version. Many are going to disagree with me on this review but I thought Janet looked really attractive as hell with her attitude and rebellious persona that she exhibited in the video. The right combination of attitude and beauty all culminated with this track and it's subsequent video. I'm sorry but "If" pales in comparison, no offense. Although I find the parent album version with the metallic drums superior, I love all the grinding guitar riffs and the sparkling rock lick from 2:19 to 2:22. The "Rhythm Nation" era is by and large my favorite era that sadly, I doubt, will ever be rivaled again.

A really nice bonus are the tracks "Diamonds" which is on Herb Alpert's "Keep Your Eye On Me" and "The Best Things in Life Are Free". The former is a great song with a somewhat atmospheric feel that feels kind of like the previous year's Human League's "Crash" album era but with Janet's vocals in the background. I find this song to be lots of fun to listen to. The second is "The Best Things Are Free" which is a fast-paced song with a beautiful sunny atmosphere which features a duet with the late Luther Vandross. I think this song helps to make a better transition from the austere heights of "Rhythm Nation" to the "Janet" era.

The final song on the disc is "That's The Way Love Goes" which was far removed from anything she had done before, replacing the intensity of 1989-90 with a slightly mellower, more sultry mood and jazzier production, much more romantic lyrics and calmer feel. I have a lot of great memories of hearing this during the summer of 1993 when I was ten years old. A nice track to close out the first disc.

I have mixed feelings towards the second disc of this album, not so much aobut there being subpar tracks present but primarily because it documents the severe decline in musical quality that dragged one of my favorite female singers so much it damaged my respect for her for years afterwards. Thankfully, the bad material is thankfully overlooked on it and I can actually enjoy it all the way through, even "All Nite (Don't Stop)" is bearable most of the time.

The disc starts of very strong with "If" which is an intense, high-energy song that incorporates rock, R&B, hip-hop, and dance all into one song. For some odd reason, it completely left off "You Want This" which was a top ten single that should've been included on here. Why they overlooked it is beyond me. Oh well. A real treat though IMO is the inclusion of the R. Kelly Remixed version of "Anytime Anyplace". I had been yearning to hear this version of an already sensual classic and having it here is a musical dream come true. This version is a little more energetic, with a slightly brighter, more daytime feel than the original. I've always thought this was great music for rainy afternoons, whether alone or with someone. Of course, who can forget the marvelous duet between Janet and her late brother Michael Jackson on "Scream" from 1995? It's very hard listening to this classic knowing how big a hole was torn with his departure in 2009. "Scream" was backed up by one of my favorite music videos of all time and this ranks perhaps as my favorite duet by any sibling pair and perhaps my favorite brother-sister duet of all time. On the other hand, "Runaway" is a very colorful, very worldly classic that incorporates Japanese, Chinese, African, and her multi-layered vocals layered over the entire track. I love listening to the famous "Yeah....yeah....yeah....yeah!!" chorus throughout the song. After the world tour of "Runaway", we enter the underrated Velvet Rope era with four songs from this era beginning with "Got Til It's Gone". The version on here features Q-Tip's rhyming in the intro as opposed to the normal version on its parent album. Who can forget "Together Again" with it's marvelous video with her red hairdo and the Savannah landscape as the main backdrop. This has such a beautiful blend of jazz, dance, R&B, and pop that stands out all on it's own. It was also a tribute to friends of hers that died of AIDS. "I Get Lonely" and "Go Deep" were the remaining charting singles from this era. Although I did not like Velvet Rope right away and it took nearly a year to finally get into it, it has since gone on to become among my favorite albums of hers and is a marvelous classic.

We then progress onto a marvelous duet with rapper Busta Rhymes with a really great and intense song called "What's It Gonna Be?" which was backed up by one of the best music videos of the late 1990s and arguably among my favorite Janet videos of the last 15 years. Following that is "Doesn't Really Matter" although it is weighed down somewhat by being a rather commercial-sounding song that didn't stick very well in my memory over time and although it's okay, it hasn't aged very well over time. It's not a bad song by any means and at times can be good but when stacked against "Together Again", or "If", or even "You Want This", it leaves a lot to be desired. I do however like it's message about how there's more than what meets the eye and trying to look past superficial appearances. This helps the song IMO.

The disc now takes us into the tremendous slide that became the "All For You" era although thankfully, it focuses on the better songs of this era with the marvelous title track. Although I found the album to be a letdown on my part, the title track is a very catchy, fun song that brilliantly samples "The Glow of Love" and became one of my favorite Janet songs from the 2000s. It's a pity that it was the only single that I ended up liking a lot. The version on here is the video version with that famous break that momentarily morphs into a slightly altered sample of "Pleasure Principle" from 15 years earlier before morphing back into the normal track. I especially love the chime effect that runs from 3:11 to 3:14. "Someone to Call My Lover" is a good song that brilliantly samples "Ventury Highway". We then take a brief trip though the filthy gauntlet that became the "Damita Jo" album which really made turn away from Janet's music for more than a year after that crushing disappointment. Thankfully it gets little representation on this compilation with "All Nite (Don't Stop)" although the cooing and uhhhsss gets really irritating and disgusting for me. The musical aspect of the song is good though. "Call On Me" from the vastly improved "20 Y.O." album has great melody but to me, it was a very poor choice for a first single and the song feels like it was rushed at the very last minute and feels like wasted potential. It's not a bad song IMO but it feels far more like a work-in-progress recording that was suddenly rushed out before it could be developed more. Still, it's a good symbol of Janet making tremendous recovery from the low of the preceding album. As of this review, I haven't really been able to get my hands on a copy of "Discipline" so I can't really give any opinion on it yet as of this review but "Feedback" is a good song with a bit of an experimental dance quality to it although it makes for poor club music but good headphone music IMO. I really liked the solar system-themed video that accompanied.

We finally close this collection out with a frantic, and energetic piece entitled "Make Me" which is a really good song that holds promise for perhaps Janet finally releasing another great album in the near future. This song is very good and definitely a danceable tune with a funky style to it. While far from superb at this point, it holds promise for a return to greatness.

Overall, "Number Ones" is a marvelous retrospective of Janet's first 23-years of superstardom from 1986 to 2009. This collection documents the dizzying heights of 1980s Janet, the chameleon of 1990s Janet, the tumble of early 2000s Janet to the rebounding of "20 Y.O.". Highly recommended for both the "Rebel Janet" camp which I lean towards, and the "Sensual" Janet of 1993-onwards.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Janet Jackson's career has seen mostly highs and a few lows (that would be the last 3 studio albums). In 1995, the best-of "Design of a Decade" was released. Fourteen years later, this updated "best of" is issued.

"Number Ones" (2 CDs; 34 tracks; 150 min.) collects 33 tracks that have reached number 1 in some chart, plus one new track "Make Me" to close the collection. CD1 (16 tracks; 76 min.) goes up to 1993. Rightfully so, the 2 classic albums "Control" and "Rhythm Nation" each get 6 and 7 tracks, respectively. There are a couple of nice additions from that era, in particular the Herb Albert track "Diamond", and the duet with Luther Vandross "The Best Things in Life Are Free" (from the "Mo' Money" soundtrack). Somewhat unfortunately, CD1 closes with "That's the Way Love Goes", the first single from "janet.", rather than lumping it with the other selections from that album on CD2. CD2 (18 tracks; 74 min.) continues with 4 more tracks from "janet.", and then rolls on with the duet with Michael "Scream", and one of the then-new tracks from Design of a Decade" ("Runaway"). "The Velvet Rope" gets 4 tracks; and more than halfway through CD2 we are still only up to 1997. The last 12 years are covered quickly, as Janet's commercial success drops off steeply in the last 10 years or so. The last 3 studio albums each get 1 track, that's it.

Listening to this collection, you come to the realization that this is truly an impressive string of hits. Thankfully, the entire collection is brought in strict chorological order (which was not the case on "Decade"). The liner notes are quite helpful as they bring full information which song was number one on what chart (it is here that we find out that all-but-one of the songs here have charted on Billboard, the lone exception being "Got 'Til It's Gone", which is credited as "#1 Japan, 1997". While "Decade" was a good compilation, this one is better yet and therefore the recommended way to go.
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