Janet Jackson has had an illustrious career full of hits that have stood the test of time. However, if you had told us a quarter-century ago that her 1997 album The Velvet Rope would be sitting at the top of the streaming charts in 2022, we wouldn't have believed it (we probably would've also asked what the heck streaming was, but we digress). That is exactly the case, though, as The Velvet Rope (Deluxe Edition) has been released, allowing fans to come with her inside one of the most praised works of the icon's career once again.
The deluxe edition doesn't bring anything that we haven't already heard to the party. All 22 tracks of the original album are accounted for, as are bonus tracks "Can't Be Stopped" (which was included as the hidden track when the set was originally released), "Accept Me" (a B-side that appeared on the "Every Time" single) and "God's Stepchild" (which appeared on the Japanese version of the album and on the soundtrack for the 1998 film Down In The Delta).
One of the best things about this deluxe re-release, however, is the inclusion of 13 remixes of the album's singles previously only available on CD or vinyl. Some are well-known, such as the "TNT Remix Edit" of "I Get Lonely" that features BLACKstreet and the Timbaland remix of "Go Deep," which features a rap from Missy Elliott and has been her go-to version of the song when she's performed it on recent tours.
There are plenty of rare gems, though. The inclusion of the J Dilla remix of "Got 'Til It's Gone" — dubbed the "Ummah Jay Dee's Revenge Mix" — which originally appeared on the "Together Again" maxi-single, is a showcase for just how versatile the late producer's fluid production skills really were. Meanwhile, the Jimmy Jam Deeper remix of "Together Again" transforms the song's disco beat to a slow-burning ballad reminiscent of the slow jams of the late '90s.
The Velvet Rope (Deluxe Edition) is undoubtedly fan service of the best kind. It gives her die-hards a chance to reminisce and also have a collection of hard-to-assemble remixes at their fingertips. As for the possible newcomers, it's a chance for them to realize why this particular Janet Jackson era has been held so near and dear.