“Funny How Time Flies (When You’re Having Fun)” by Janet Jackson (1986)

There were many new images Janet Jackson presented to the public on Control, including that of sexy Janet. Even though she’d been married and divorced by the time her breakthrough album hit the shelves, I can’t imagine that very many people thought of Penny from Good Times as a sexual being. “Funny How Time Flies (When You’re Having Fun)” changed all that.

While it’s nowhere near as graphic or explicit as Janet would become later in her career-actually, it’s damn near chaste by comparison-“Funny How Time Flies” contains enough moanin’ and groanin’ to have made noted Jehovah’s Witness Katherine Jackson (AKA Janet’s mom) quite uncomfortable. Despite said moanin’ and groanin’, “Funny” murmurs with an innocence that reminds the listener that Janet was, after all, only nineteen when she recorded it.

Control‘s closing track, “Funny How Time Flies” also has a little bit of the flavor of two songs you’ll read more about later down this list. Its hypnotic pulse is more than a little reminiscent of The Art Of Noise’s instrumental booty-clappin’ epic “Moments In Love”, while Janet’s ad libs towards the song’s conclusion call to mind another closing track; “The Lady In My Life”, the smooth ballad that closes big bro Michael’s Thriller. These elements combined to make “Funny” a favorite of “quiet storm” radio and as much of a favorite to hardcore Janet fans as any of Control‘s actual singles.

Mike wasn’t cooing sweet nothings in French like his baby sister was, though. And we’re all better off for that.

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