Image Courtesy A&M Records/UniversalJanet Jackson‘s political album Rhythm Nation 1814 officially turns 25 years old today, September 19. To commemorate the anniversary, Jackson’s songwriting and production team James “Jimmy Jam” Harris III and Terry Lewis recalls the recording process of the critically acclaimed project.
In an interview with Billboard, Jimmy Jam reveals how the political elements all throughout the album emerged as they watched CNN while recording in the studio.
“We felt like we had … not a responsibility to say something, but growing up in the ’60s, whether it was the Vietnam War or whatever, it seemed like there was always someone commenting on it,” Jam says. “And that was a good thing. Why not use the powers we have as songwriters to bring some of those messages across? Rap music was doing it in a very strong way.”
The superproducer also revealed that the disc was recorded during the winter in Minneapolis, adding that Janet was in a good place emotionally. “She was in a very creatively fruitful place. She had just discovered her writing chops,” Jam says before describing her as “hungry” and “excited.”
The album spawned seven Top 10 singles, including “Rhythm Nation,” “Miss You Much,” “Escapade” and “Love Will Never Do (Without You).”
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