SoulBounce’s Top 30 Janet Jackson Singles: #5 ‘The Pleasure Principle'


There's sending somebody packing, and then there's packing him up and showing him the door Janet Jackson-style. For "Pleasure Principle," the penultimate single from her multi-platinum Control album, Janet kicked some poor lad to the curb. In spite of the fact that Janet had co-written and co-produced the majority of Control alongside Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, "The Pleasure Principle" was the only song on the album to not be written or produced by anyone from the trio. Rather, the song was penned by Monte Moir, then a keyboardist for The Time. Incidentally, the song contained an allusion to Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi," which was then sampled over 10 years later on her single, "Got 'Til It's Gone." The song was all Janet, though, as she continued to woo fans with her newly assertive and self-assured image while politely dismissing her lover with enough shade to last a lifetime.

You might think I'm crazy but I'm serious / It's better you know now / What I thought was happiness was only part time bliss / You can take a bow

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Decked out fashionably in head-to-toe black for the song's visuals, with an equally as fashionable fringe bob cut to match, she danced her way to freedom from the confines of a loveless relationship in one of the most iconic videos of her career. The Dominic Sena-directed video earned a 1988 MTV Video Music Award in the Best Choreography category — while also likely influencing lots of little girls to knock over their mama's good chair while mimicking Janet's movements.

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