There are pop stars and then there are pop icons. Take a guess as to which Janet Jackson is. If you said any other thing than the latter then you would be sadly mistaken. As equally iconic as Ms. Jackson herself is her 1997 critically acclaimed album The Velvet Rope. The same album that’s receiving a reissue to celebrate its 25th anniversary this year.
On October 7, the chart-topping pop icon will reissue The Velvet Rope. The reissue will include all original 22 tracks, with hits like “Got ‘til It’s Gone”, “I Get Lonely”, “Go Deep”, and the Billboard Hot 100 number one hit “Together Again”. Additionally, B-side tracks “Accept Me” and “God’s Stepchild” will be featured on the anniversary edition, as well as remixes for
“I Get Lonely”, “Go Deep”, and “Got ‘til It’s Gone”.
Lastly, music videos for “Go Deep”, “I Get Lonely”, “Got ’Til It’s Gone”, “You”, and “Together Again [Deeper Remix] will be remastered in HD and available for viewing on YouTube.
At the time of its release, The Velvet Rope drew plenty of media coverage for its lyrical subject matter. Covering gay rights, loss, BDSM, sexuality, domestic violence, and self-worth, the album became a cathartic release for Jackson. The youngest member of the illustrious Jackson family, was navigating bouts of depression, body dysmorphia, and lasting trauma from an abusive previous marriage while recording the album.
Produced by then husband René Elizondo Jr. and longtime contributors Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam, the album marked the first album post Jackson’s history-making $80 million recording contract with Virgin Records – the largest recording contract of any recording artist at that time. The Velvet Rope debuted at number one and was eventually certified triple platinum, garnering numerous awards, including a Grammy Award, a Billboard Music Award, and an American Music Award.
The influence of this album and of Jackson still resonates today. When you watch the performances or music videos of some of pop’s finest today, like Britney Spears, Rihanna, Normani, Doja Cat, Ciara, and Tinashe, you can’t help, but see textbook examples of Jackson’s influence.
Let’s face it, your favorite pop stars wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for Ms. Jackson, (if you’re nasty). She’s the blueprint and this was one of the many albums that proved that.