Year Released: 1989

Notable Songs: “Miss You Much”, “Rhythm Nation”, “Escapade”, “Alright”, “Come Back To Me”, “Black Cat”, “Love Will Never Do Without You”

Album MVP: “Rhythm Nation”

Why I Loved It: Let’s get this out of the way immediately – If I put emphasis almost exclusively the on success of an album Rhythm Nation would’ve easily finished in the Top five. I loved this album, don’t get me wrong it’s why you’re reading about this today some 43 slots in, I just wasn’t over the moon infatuated with it like so many others. There were so many popular songs from this album, putting Jackson on the airwaves nonstop to the point it occasionally drove me crazy.  OK, rant and explanation over for those who think I should have this album higher. On that note—respect! Rhythm Nation cranked out top radio hits without fail for rest in parts of three years, a time of my life as I was graduating high school that was the pinnacle of my obsession with mainstream pop music radio.  Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who produced most Janet’s jams were a smash hit machine. Rhythm Nation (the single) is in my top three of all-time Janet Jackson songs if not at very top and one of my favorite music videos ever.  Her dancing and  superb choreography is out of this world.  It’s hard to call any Janet Jackson song under the radar, but Black Cat is one of her all-time best songs that few talk about.  This was a very good album that literally had something for everyone.  

Commercial Success: This album barely makes eligibility for this countdown, coming out just three and a half months shy of 1990 and a new decade. 

Not only did this album go on to be one of the highest ranking albums on the Billboard Top 200 for 1989 (41st), it finished number-one  for 1990, No. 43 in 1991 and is No. 94 ALL-TIME on the Billboard Top 200. Wow.  

Rhythm Nation went on to sell more than 12 million copies worldwide and consistently owned the Billboard charts. Jackson had number one songs on the Billboard Hot 100 in three consecutive years with this album; Miss You Much went to number-one in 1989 while both Escapade and Black Cat hit the top of the charts in 1990.  Love Will Never Do Without You peaked at number-one in 1991.  If those four top singles weren’t enough, Come Back To Me and Rhythm Nation (the single) peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 while Alright rose as high as four. For those keeping score that’s seven songs in the Top 4!!! She cleaned up, literally at the Billboard Music Awards with seven wins and also captured the Grammy for Best Music Video, Long Form with Rhythm Nation.

Fun Facts: Courtesy Of, here’s a few fun facts about Janet (Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty)

“Jackson’s tour titled Rhythm Nation 1814 World Tour was the most successful debut tour from any artist at the time. Jackson clearly knew what she was doing from the very beginning.

Jackson has posted just one fewer hit in the top 40 of Billboard‘s Hot 100 than her brother, Michael. The exact number is 37. She also has had 10 number one hits on Billboard‘s Hot 100.

In 1984, Jackson eloped with singer James DeBarge. They lived together at the Jackson’s ranch in Encino, California, but just several months later, she annulled the marriage.”


 100.  Van Halen – OU812 

99. Stevie Wonder – In Squared Circle

98. Taylor Dayne – Can’t Fight Fate

97. Kool & The Gang – Emergency 

96. Stevie B – In My Eyes 

95. Keith Sweat – Make It Last Forever 

94. Michael Bolton – Soul Provider 

93. Go Go’s – Beauty & The Beast 

92. LL Cool J – Bigger And Deffer (Bad) 

91. Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry 

90. Def Leppard – Hysteria

89. New Edition – Heartbreak

88. Don Henley – Building A Perfect Beast

87. Beverly Hills Cop – Movie Soundtrack

86. Culture Club – Kissing To Be Clever 

85. Rolling Stones – Tattoo You

84. Asia – Asia 

83. Tiffany – Tiffany 

82. Lionel Richie – Dancing on the Ceiling

81. Barbara Streisand – Guilty 

80. Phil Collins – …But Seriously 

79. Air Supply – The One That You Love

78. J. Geils Band – Freeze Frame

77. Duran Duran – Rio 

76. Billy Ocean – Suddenly 

75. Run DMC – Raising Hell

74. Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion

73. John Cougar – American Fool

72. Huey Lewis and The News – Picture This

71. Top Gun – Movie Soundtrack

70. Steve Winwood – Back In The High Life

69. Air Supply – Lost In Love

68. LL Cool J – Radio

67. Journey – Frontiers 

66. Styxx – Paradise Theater

65. Madonna – Like A Prayer

64. Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full 

63. Tears for Fears – Songs From The Big Chair

62. Tina Turner – Private Dancer 

61. Steve Nicks – Bella Donna

60. U2 – The Joshua Tree

59. Bon Jovi – New Jersey 

58. Huey Lewis and the News – Fore!