Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Janet Jackson 'Got Till It's Gone'

Chart Peak: 6
Janet scored a No. 6 smash with 'Got 'Til It's Gone' in late September '97... This cool cut features inspired sampling of Joni Mitchell's 1970 hit 'Big Yellow Taxi' and the cool rap of Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest.
The first of her hits officially credited without her surname, possibly due to estrangement from the Jackson family, although the cover here uses her full moniker for recognition. Most published charts gave Joni Mitchell a co-credit, thus giving her only her second UK hit single as a performer.

Whatever the actual reason, at the time I perceived the lack of a surname as a sign of arrogance and another reason not to like Janet Jackson, a singer I'd never warmed to. Indeed under my 1997 mindset it was even worse for her to sample an acknowledged classic song for her own inferior single and as a result I never even contemplated liking this. Imagine my surprise on finding , over 15 years later after all the hype has died down, that this is actually quite enjoyable. Admittedly, my attitude to sampling has changed over the years and I'm probably keener on Q-Tip than I was back then (I never really paid much attention to him in the 1990s) but I've also come to some sort of accommodation with Janet. I wouldn't say I liked her, much less that I was a fan, but I did buy a best-of album for 50p because there were enough songs I could listen to. This track's not on there, and since it's not an airplay fave these days it was almost new to me. I'm not that interested in the song itself, but I rather like the melding of different elements - folk-rock, hip-hop and a reggae beat and the luxurious, bass-heavy production. It sounds a bit harsh to say that I was ignoring Janet Jackson on her own song, but it's kind of true. At least I liked something in it though.

Also appearing on: Now 8, 26, 30, 39, 40 [with BLACKstreet], 41, 49, 53 [with Beenie Man]
Available on: The Velvet Rope [Explicit]

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