by Janet Jackson

Original Release Date: 1986-02-04


Control is the third studio album by American singer Janet Jackson, released on February 4, 1986, by A&M Records. Her collaborations with the songwriters and record producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis resulted in an unconventional sound: a fusion of rhythm and blues, rap vocals, funk, disco, and synthesized percussion that established Jackson, Jam and Lewis as the leading innovators of contemporary R&B. The distinctive triplet swing beat utilized on the record is also considered to be a precursor to the new jack swing genre. The album became Jackson’s commercial breakthrough and enabled her to transition into the popular music market, with Control becoming one of the foremost albums of the 1980s and contemporary music. Containing autobiographical themes, a majority of the album’s lyrics came as the result of a series of changes in her life: a recent annulment of her marriage to singer James DeBarge, severing her business affairs from her father and manager Joseph and the rest of the Jackson family, hiring the A&M executive John McClain as her new management, and her subsequent introduction to Jam and Lewis. The album has been praised by critics as both an artistic feat and as a personal testament of self-actualization. It has also been regarded as a template upon which numerous female artists have modeled their careers, particularly Black women. Following its release, Control became Jackson’s first album to top the Billboard 200 albums chart in the United States and five of its commercial singles—“What Have You Done for Me Lately”, “Nasty”, “Control”, “When I Think of You”, and “Let’s Wait Awhile”—peaked within the top five of the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, making Jackson the first female artist to have five top five hits from one album on the Billboard Hot 100 chart; “When I Think of You” became the singer’s first number one hit. Control also set a record for the longest continuous run of charting singles on the Hot 100, at 65 consecutive weeks. Music videos created to promote the album’s singles showcased her dancing ability and became a catalyst for MTV’s evolving demographics. The album remained on the Billboard 200 chart for over two years. It has been certified five times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.Control went on to receive several accolades, including a nomination for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and winning Producer of the Year, Non-Classical for Jam and Lewis in 1987. It is listed by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 200 Definitive Albums of All Time, in addition to being included in several publications “best of” album lists. In 2016, it was selected for exhibition in the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).


  1. Control (5:55)
  2. Nasty (4:00)
  3. What Have You Done For Me Lately (4:41)
  4. You Can Be Mine (5:12)
  5. The Pleasure Principle (4:58)
  6. When I Think Of You (3:57)
  7. He Doesn’t Know I’m Alive (3:30)
  8. Let’s Wait Awhile (4:36)
  9. Funny How Time Flies (When You’re Having Fun) (4:27)

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Key Value
Wikipedia URL
Format Vinyl LP Album Stereo
Label A&M Records
Catalog Number AMA 5106
Notes ℗ 1986 A & M Records Inc. (labels, back cover, inner sleeve) © 1986 A & M Records Inc. (back cover, inner sleeve) Issued with a custom printed inner sleeve containing credits. ‘A & M RECORDS LTD. ARE THE EXCLUSIVE LICENSEES FOR THE UK’ (back cover, inner sleeve) ‘Made in England’ (labels) ‘Printed in England’ (spine)
Discogs URL Janet Jackson - Control