Top 10 songs by Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson's music and dance videos have always been compared to her siblings Michael and the Jackson 5, and some would say she was cashing in on the family name. It's a valid argument, but ultimately unfair, because she brought music to the world which is her own. While some of her dance moves were influenced by her brother, it's also worth mentioning that Michael was influenced by Janet.

Her first two studio albums from 1982 and 1984 failed to make an impact. She achieved mainstream succes with Control (1986), and this would mark the first of a string of chart-topping albums including Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989), janet. (1993), and The Velvet Rope (1997). I consider those four albums between 1986-1997 her peak. My favorite is the 1989 album.

She still put out good songs in the 2000s, but to me the albums weren't as strong. The scandalous 2004 Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction" was blown out of proportion and really had nothing to do with her music. Unfortunately it may have had a negative impact on her career. Below is my top 10:

1.) That's The Way Love Goes (from 1993's janet.)

2.) Come Back To Me (from 1989's Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814)

3.) Black Cat (from 1989's Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814)

4.) Control (from 1986's Control)

5.) Got 'til It's Gone ft Q-Tip & Joni Mitchell (from 1997's The Velvet Rope)

6.) Together Again (from 1997's The Velvet Rope)

7.) Love Will Never Do (from 1989's Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814)

8.) All For You (from 2001's All For You)

9.) Everytime (from 1997's The Velvet Rope)

10.) Again (from 1993's janet.)

Just missed:

Nasty (from 1986's Control)

This Time (from 1993's janet.)

Escapade (from 1989's Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814)

Runaway (from 1995's Design of a Decade: 1986–1996)

What Have You Done For Me Lately (from 1986's Control)

Rhythm Nation (from 1989's Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814)

Anytime, Anyplace (from 1993's janet.)

Scream (from 1995's HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I)

Doesn't Really Matter (from 2001's All For You)

Go Deep (from 1997's The Velvet Rope)

Someone To Call My Lover (from 2001's All For You)

Miss You Much (from 1989's Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814)

If (from 1993's janet.)

All Nite (from 2004's Damita Jo)

Young Love (from 1982's Janet Jackson)

Agree or disagree? Which are your favorite Janet Jackson songs or albums? As always, comments are welcome.


  1. Your #1 is SO RIGHT! That's The Way Love Goes is one of the best R&B/pop songs of all time!

    1. @Fisti: Glad we agree on that one, That's The Way Love Goes is a timeless song, so great.

  2. I always liked Janet though it's been more than 15 years since she's made anything worthwhile. I do like "All For You" but that was it as I don't remember anything else she did. My favorite song of hers is "Love Will Never Do" as is the video. I would say this to any young straight-laced male who grew up watching her. That video I'm sure made a lot of young boys' balls drop. Where's "If"? That's a damn good song as my sister used to do the dance from that video. "Black Cat" is also one of my favorites because it showed that Janet can.... ROCK!!!!

    1. @thevoid99: Janet's albums in the 2000s are definitely patchy, her recent output is weaker than during her golden years. "All For You" is a very good song, and I also like "Someone To Call My Lover" from her 2001 LP.
      I missed "If", it's not among my favorites, I agree the video is very good.
      "Love Will Never Do" has a great 80s production, looks like she hired some male models for the video
      I love Black Cat , the rockier approach is quite different to her other songs.

    2. I also love this song and Beavis & Butt-head's reaction to the video:

    3. Oh wait... that was the wrong video:

    4. @thevoid99: Hadn't seen that. Thanks for sharing

  3. Between 1986 and 2015, she sold much more records than Michael Jackson, especially in the U.S. and Japan. She also had much more hits. He was in her shadow.

    1. @Anonymous: I should delete my first sentence in the post then :) Thanks for the info.
      I think we can agree the Jacksons are very talented.

    2. Thanks! :)

  4. I've loved Janet since she played on Good Times. And That's the Way Love Goes is the right answer. Glad to see Black Cat and Got til It's Gone.

    I probably would have found a spot in my top 10 for Funny How Time Flies and What Have You Done for Me Lately. Some others I'd consider (aside from your honorable mentions):

    All Right With Me
    Tonight's the Night
    Anytime, Anyplace
    What About

    Great job, Chris!

    1. @Wendell Ottley: Yep, she can act as well. That's the Way Love Goes is a classic.

      Thanks for the suggestions. I overlooked ”Funny How Time Flies”, which is quite sensual(of course "Anytime, Anyplace" is too). Adding ”Funny” to the youtube playlist, along with ”Alright”, and ”Tonight's The Night”

      ”What Have You Done for Me Lately” is extremely catchy, and is in my top 15, the reason it missed the top 10 is due to the slightly repetitive nature of the song.

      Thank you!

  5. Awesome list!! I grew up listening to Janet's songs and she has soooo many great hits. I LOVE her ballad Again, and also Escapade, Rhythm Nation & Love Will Never Do. She also have great music videos!

    1. @Ruth: Yep, many hits and a long career. Apparently “Again” is about reconnecting with an old flame. I just read it received Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Original Song.

  6. Interesting choice for music post! I like Again and Someone to Call My Lover, Doesn't really matter too. Sometimes I'm not sure if I like her. She looks a bit mysterious though a great performer

    1. @Andina: Thanks! Agree about ”Again”, and the two tracks you mention from 2001’s All For You album I am a fan of as well.
      She’s a great dancer like her brother. Mysterious, yep, she is kind of. I think the real Janet sometimes is tough to see, but I know from her interview with Piers Morgan (on youtube) that she was teased as a child. She didn’t initially want to be a musician, but it was expected of her by the family. I think Control is a song that’s quite autobiograhical, breaking free of her dominering parents.

  7. I'm not that familiar with her music, but it's great to see "All For You" on your list. I still love that song!

    1. @Josh: "All For You" is one of her best tracks from the 2000s, no doubt


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