Boomkat Product Review:
One of the most iconic and influential albums of the 80’s’ Control’ is the record that more or less invented New Jack Swing, produced by Janet and two of the most influential producers of all time: Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, luminaries of Prince’s Minneapolis talent network and original members of Flyte Tyme / The Time.
Packed with hits, it’s an album that’s endured and grown in stature over the years, setting the template for innovative R&B in a way that was perhaps hard to anticipate following Janet’s first couple of bubblegum albums 'Janet Jackson', and 'Dream Street’. On ‘Control’, Janet broke away from pretty much everyone around her; her father/manager Joe Jackson, her husband, and most of her entourage, relocating to Flyte Tyme Studios in Minneapolis where Jam & Lewis pushed her towards a much edgier sound. “We were going for the black album of all time..."
With initial track sketches recorded on an Ensoniq Mirage keyboard and originally intended for Sharon Bryant, lyrics and production were re-configured and engineered with Jam & Lewis playing synths, drums and piano, with Janet adding arrangements and playing keyboard parts. With iconic artwork provided by well known photographer and illustrator Tony Viramontes, the template was set for a new kind of R&B/pop variant that still sounds fresh almost 4 decades later, packed with hooks and falling firmly into the lineage of great Minneapolis albums that stand out as the definitive innovative pop records of the era.