Spin - 12/95, p.85
7 - Flawed Yet Worthy - "...state-of-the-art production right down to her sculpted nose....Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are the unofficial second and third Janet Jacksons. Their triumph is letting their dazzling sound sculptures fade into the background of Janet's cartoon antics..."
Entertainment Weekly - 10/6/95, pp.60-62
"...makes a satisfying case for Jackson as the first new-jill swinger....her attitude--feisty and take-charge...--did help elevate the role of women in pop....The new songs show how much more confident a singer Jackson has become..." - Rating: B+
NME (Magazine) - 12/23-30/95, p.23Ranked #4
on NME's 'Compilations Of The Year' list for 1995.
DESIGN OF A DECADE 1986/1996 is a greatest-hits album with two new tracks: "Runaway" and "Twenty Foreplay."
Personnel includes: Janet Jackson (vocals); Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis (various instruments, background vocals); Mike Scott, Nuno Bettencourt (guitar); Caroline Daws, Brenda Mickens, Helen Foli, Dick Massman, Laurie Hippen, Julia Persitz, Andrea Een, Liz Sobieski (violin); Alice Preves, Hasan Sumen (viola); Josh Koestenbaum, Laura Sewell (cello); Ken Holmen (flute); Greg Hippen (bass); Stokley (drums); Fred McFarlane, Alan Friedman (programming); Jerome Benton, Jellybean Johnson (background vocals).
Pricipally recorded at Flyte Tyme Studios, Edina, Minnesota. Includes liner notes by David Ritz.
Producers include: Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Janet Jackson.
Personnel: Janet Jackson (vocals, background vocals); Jellybean Johnson, Jerome Benton, Jimmy Jam (vocals); Mike Scott (guitar); Alan Friedman (programming).
Audio Mixer: Steve Hodge.
Audio Remixers: Goh Hotoda; Michael Wagener ; Shep Pettibone.
Liner Note Author: David Ritz.
Photographers: Herb Ritts; Patrick Demarchelier; Greg Gorman; Eddie Wolfl; Tony Viramontes; Bruce Weber.
Arrangers: Janet Jackson; Jimmy Jam; Lee Blaske; Melanie Andrews; Monte Moir.
Need to replace your worn-out copies of CONTROL and RHYTHM NATION 1814? DESIGN OF A DECADE is the two-for-one answer, whittling those two '80s R&B landmarks down to their thirteen blockbuster hits, adding the 1993 single "That's The Way Love Goes" and two new tracks. It's one beat-crazy disc that will rival Madonna's THE IMMACULATE COLLECTION as the essential document of female pop of the '80s.
Janet Jackson's solo career began in 1982, but it didn't really take off until 1986. CONTROL left everything else behind. The title track is a declaration of independence that explicitly dismissed her famous parents and her brief marriage to James DeBarge. In doing so, Jackson launched her music inexorably forward. CONTROL's songs are bottom-heavy, keyboard-controlled blasts of electronic pop that shook off her family's sweet soul in favor of the raw funk feel and steely techno sound of modern clubland. They continued the mid-'80s pop revolution started by brother Michael and Prince, and added an unmistakable feminist stamp. Yet the revolution also allowed such pillowy pop moments as "Let's Wait Awhile," an apparent ode to virginity. RHYTHM NATION--from which seven of this compilation's tracks are drawn--went even further, blowing up the music's funky bottom and adding shots of heavy-metal guitar and heavy-mental social conscience.
DESIGN OF A DECADE begins and ends with new recordings. "Twenty Foreplay," a demand for total devotion from her lover, is a ballad on which Jackson sounds eerily like her brother, except in her sexual frankness. "Runaway" is a breezy, xylophone-driven pop tune that may seem like a retreat from her funkiest advances; then again, it may be just one more stretch in Janet Jackson's universal pop ambitions.