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The Velvet Rope

378 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 7, 1997
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Frequently Bought Together

The Velvet Rope + Janet. + Rhythm Nation 1814
Price for all three: $16.97

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Teaming with her most accomplished collaborators, producer-songwriters Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Janet Jackson delivers what is easily her finest record since Rhythm Nation--and arguably her best ever. Highlights include jams like "You" and "Got 'Til It's Gone," which recontextualizes samples from War and Joni Mitchell, respectively; the funky memorial to a dear departed, "Together Again"; and a slinky cover of Rod Stewart's "Tonight's the Night." Best of all, though, is "What About." An accusatory throwdown for a lover who beats and cheats even as he professes his love, it swings angrily between tender quiet and raging bitter funk. --David Cantwell

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 7, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: October 7, 1997
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Virgin
  • ASIN: B000000WEX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (378 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,786 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Adam B. Irby on October 7, 2007
Format: Audio CD
"It's my belief that we all have the need to feel special and it's this need that can bring out the best in us yet the worst in us. This need created the velvet rope."
-Janet Jackson

Ten years ago today, October 7th, 1997 Janet Jackson released what is her most profound and thought provoking piece of work ever, "The Velvet Rope." In my opinion it is the best and will always be the best album ever made. There is probably not a professional music reviewer anywhere who will agree with me but that's okay. Beside the musical merits of the album it has a much deeper emotional resonance with me.

At the time this album came out I was fourteen years old, a freshman in high school. I had already been a casual fan of Janet's since "Rhythm Nation 1814" and all throughout the "janet." years but I was still a kid and I really didn't get into her until then. Even at that time I was still young and was only getting $1.75 a day spending money for school, needless to say I didn't buy this album when it was first released.

My first memory of hearing it in it's entirety was laying on the floor of my eldest sister's house one Saturday afternoon listening to it on her portable CD player. I was so enthralled by the sounds of the album and the amazing graphic design, photographs and imagery of the album booklet. That day was the day that I fell in love with music. Finally at 16 years old "The Velvet Rope" was the first CD I ever bought with my own money.

"The Velvet Rope" is an eclectic opus with touches of R&B, pop, rock, dance, and classical music. It plays out like a theatrical production and is best heard in full. Every interlude, every word of all twenty-two tracks of this CD are all important.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By lenzino on February 8, 2008
Format: Audio CD
In 1997, Janet Jackson went throught one of the toughest times of her career. Suffering from severe depression, Janet ran to her music and used it as her therapy. Unknowingly, Janet would create one of the most bizarre yet incredible albums of all time. Rivaling even the epic powerhouse "Rhythm Nation 11814" as the best album of her career, "The Velvet Rope" has such a significant depth in it's music that most artists dream of. Like "Rhythm Nation", Janet covers a vareity of strong topics like depression, loneliness, domestic abuse, AIDS, death, homophobia, even bondage! The music is so surreal and one of the few albums that I've truly idenfied with as I too have suffered from severe depression. This flawless album can be summed up like this:

Twisted Elegance-Janet utters the title and declares that we have a need to feel special and that it create The Velvet Rope.

Velvet Rope-A haunting, thought-provoking track that has Janet singing mysteriously. The lyrics are poetic and the arrangements are stunning with Vanessa Mae's great input.-5/5 stars

You-One of the most bizarre songs of Janet's career with a flashy yet retrospective beat and Janet singing in a very deep even inhuman. A song about self-reflection, it song that has you wondering about you you think you really are.-5/5 stars

Got Til' It's Gone-One of my favorite songs from Janet's career and one of her most underrated, this is a dreary yet soulful r&b groove that's about yearning for the things you lost and wished you had again. With an exceptional rap solo from Q-tip, Janet's whispery yet chilling vocals, and an ingenuis sample of Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi", this is musical bliss!-5/5 stars

Interlude: Speaker Phone-A dirty yet hilarious coversation between Janet and (possibly?
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "jshippo2001" on May 6, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is definately Janet's most intimate and personal album yet. While we had hints of sexuality on Janet (If, The Body That Loves You) and controversial topics on Rhythm Nation, Janet now takes it to the next level. Most people say this album is her most sexual, but there are really only two sexual songs: Rope Burn, which discusses bondage, and Tonight's The Night. The real reason this album was so controversial is the other subject matter. Empty talks about the problems with online relationships, and Janet asks her lover how he can know all about her since he's never seen her. Together Again is her monster hit celebrating her friends who died of AIDS. Free Xone was created to fight homophobia, and is a pro bisexual song. Got Til' Its Gone, and the angry What About have the first major swear words in Janet's songs. Most of the album though is about expressing yourself and the need to feel special. You and Velvet Rope talk about that topic, while Special seems to be a letter to the former Janet discussing how long it's been since she's been in touch with her inner self. This album features outstanding guest artists including Q-Tip, Vanessa Mae and Joni Mitchell, and is full of samples. Some songs include up to three sampled songs in them. Overall, this isn't Janet's best (In my opinion, that title goes to Janet) but this is pretty damn good and will stay in my collection for a very long time.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By The Groove on August 9, 2002
Format: Audio CD
"The Velvet Rope" was released during a stage where Janet Jackson was forced to face her innermost demoms which have followed her for much of her lifetime. For the first time ever, Janet came forward and revealed her emotional problems, proving that even the most glamorous of stars have their own crosses to bear. However, they say that work can sometimes be the best therapy, and on "The Velvet Rope," Janet sounds amazingly strong and resilient. She tackles domestic violence on the hard-hitting "What About," makes a touching tribute to those who have succumbed to AIDS on the housed-up "Together Again," and challenges homophobia on "Free Xone." The disc isn't all about doom and gloom, though. Janet sounds even more sexually liberated here, as evidenced on "Go Deep" and her cover of Rod Stewart's "Tonight's the Night." In the latter song, Jackson still sings the "girl" bit in the lyric, giving this classic song a same-sex twist. Jackson just gets better and better with each record, proving that she's no faceless video artist. "The Velvet Rope" is a funky ride that cements her status as an r&b veteran.
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