“Don’t Mess Up This Good Thing” by Janet Jackson (1982)

I’ve already discussed how Janet’s 1982 debut album is a low-key jam. “Don’t Mess Up This Good Thing” is probably the album cut that’s most suggestive of the itchy funk that she’d go on to perfect with the assistance of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. It’s produced by Foster Sylvers, whose big brother Leon defined… Read More “Don’t Mess Up This Good Thing” by Janet Jackson (1982)

“Dead Giveaway” by Shalamar (1983)

Writer/producer Leon Sylvers III (yes, of the “Boogie Fever” Sylvers) took Black music into the post-disco era with a stream of killer records by Shalamar, Lakeside, Dynasty and The Whispers. Essentially, he created the sub-genre “boogie”, which was a catch-all brand name for danceable pop/soul that was a few steps removed from disco. A couple years later,… Read More “Dead Giveaway” by Shalamar (1983)

“Come Give Your Love to Me” by Janet Jackson (1982)

Pre-Control Janet wasn’t bad. Before JJ’s Jam/Lewis-assisted breakthrough, she recorded two albums. The second of the two, 1984′s Dream Street, was a bit messy and unfocused. Her self-titled 1982 debut, though? It’s not…I mean it isn’t The Velvet Rope, but it’s a solid piece of early ‘80s dance/boogie/funk, contemporaneous with what acts like Shalamar (whose Howard… Read More “Come Give Your Love to Me” by Janet Jackson (1982)