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Rhythm Nation 1814 CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 219 customer reviews

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Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814
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Audio CD, CD, September 8, 1989
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Editorial Reviews

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Picking up where the breakthrough funk-pop of Control left off, Janet Jackson and her production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis laced Rhythm Nation with high-minded references to societal ills--seldom the favored province of dance music, but a daring attempt nonetheless. Songs like "State of the World" and "The Knowledge" follow in the tradition of "free your mind and your ass will follow." Still, aside from the title track, it was the pure pop fare and dance music that stormed the charts: "Escapade," "Love Will Never Do (Without You)," "Alright," and "Come Back to Me" concentrate on the politics of personal relationships, not public policy, while "Black Cat" burns the place down with a fierce burst of hard rock. Rhythm Nation 1814 doesn't necessarily hang together thematically, but it's so chock full of hits, you scarcely notice. --Daniel Durchholz
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 8, 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: A&M
  • ASIN: B000002GFN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (219 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,772 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Control showed her to be a massive singles act, but Rhythm Nation: 1814 proved that Janet Jackson was not only capable of propelling a song, but fully conceiving a concept album as well. Rhythm Nation: 1814 was her most coherent artistic statement and, sadly, also her last truly great album: Edgy and diverse, dark but never completely forboding, Rhythm Nation combined tough beats, irresistible melodies and anthemic lyrics to build an R&B landmark.
The title track opens the album with a real kick, with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis' mighty rhythm track, the massive backing vocals and the stunning chorus. "State of the World" was a deserved radio hit (which but for the lack of a commercial release would've been the album's *eighth* Top 10 single); "Miss You Much" added a maturity and a harder-edged sound to her Control dance formula and triumphed in spades; "Come Back to Me" and "Lonely"'s Spanish guitars and moody keyboards helped Janet achieve her first good ballad performances ("Let's Wait Awhile" from Control came tumbling down into the syrup jug); "Black Cat" was "Beat It" updated with snarling guitar riffs and a growling Janet Jackson lead vocal; and "Escapade" proved that Miss J. hadn't lost her sense of fun.
Sonically this is the only Janet Jackson album that doesn't sound dated at all -- even The Velvet Rope and janet. heralded to an '80s sound, looking back instead of forward. Rhythm Nation: 1814, on the other hand, was a prophetic and important work, and ten years after its release holds up to scrutiny on all fronts -- vocal performance, arrangement, recording, groove.
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Format: Audio CD
Musically, 'Rhythm Nation 1814' is an ingenious blend of pro-social anthems, gorgeously beautiful ballads, and new jack swing dance cuts. To this day, I have yet to hear an album that pleases my ears, moves my feet, and lifts my spirit the way 'Rhythm Nation' did, and still does. What Janet Jackson, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis put together at the end of the 1980s was sheer pop/R&B magic -- and it has endured the test of time oh-so well. Great music always does.
The 'Rhythm Nation' project had it all: substance, style, pop appeal, energy, and a socially conscious message. Amazingly, seven top five singles (U.S) were released during the 'Rhythm Nation' campaign, spanning from September 1989 until January 1991, when the majestic "Love Will Never Do Without You" became the album's fifth #1 single (something no other album has done since). Also, there was a double meaning to the "1814" tagged on to Janet's album. The well-known meaning is the fact that Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star Spangled Banner" in 1814. The lesser known meaning is that "R" is the 18th letter in the alphabet, and "N" is the 14th letter. Although these facts may seem trivial, I mean to include them to illustrate that RN 1814 was much more than a "pop" album in the traditional sense. Rather, the 'Rhythm Nation 1814' album (and tour) was a shining portrait of a caring individual employing her influence as a recording artist to spread an honest, pro-social message a la Marvin Gaye or Stevie Wonder.
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Format: Audio CD
I had the fortune to see Janet interpret this music live, during her European tour. I even got a piece of Johny Gill's (her opening act) towel, when they played in Paris! (although it totally got ripped to shreds). Needless to say, I had a great time, and my review of this album is based not only on my assessment of the music but of the entire vibe of 1989/90.

This is an excellent record, the best comprehensive showcase of Janet Jackson's performing skills, and the best overall concept she ever brought to an album. Whether it is the insistent and heartfelt march of "Rhythm Nation," the skillfull groove of "The Knowledge" and "State of the World" or the wonderful, sweet, and lovely vibe of "Escapade," and "Alright" this album just works from beginning to end. The interludes do not distract from the feel of this record, they are part of the organic whole.

Janet's choreography on this tour is also worthy of note. Hugely influential, there is almost NO video on MTV today that hasn't taken a page out of that book.

This is Janet Jackson's masterpiece, an album that holds up well fifteen years later, and should remind her of the true standard she should be living up to.

Get out of the bedroom Janet, we know you're sexy. Start saying something again and it will all fall back into place.
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Format: Audio CD
In 1986, Janet Jackson burst onto the music scene with the cd Control. In 1989, Rhythm Nation surpassed it. I don't believe Janet has made such a consistently pleasing cd since. 1993's Janet and 1997's The Velvet Rope didn't quite match the consistency nor the great songs that Rhythm Nation had. Half of Rhythm Nation is hits: "Miss You Much", "Rhythm Nation", "Escapade", Love Will Never Do Without You", "Alright", "Black Cat" and "Come Back To Me." Janet and The Velvet Rope lack these kinds of remarkable songs. Control is more adolescent in nature than Rhythm Nation. This is a must have for any rock collector.
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If a new 1814 cd is released what would you like on it
They could add "You Need Me" as a bonus track. It was a B-side.
Jul 6, 2007 by Mike Scott |  See all 5 posts
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