Janet Jackson - The Pleasure Principle (1987)
- 80's score: 1.43
"The Pleasure Principle" is a song by American singer Janet Jackson from her third studio album, Control (1986). It was ...
"The Pleasure Principle" is a song by American singer Janet Jackson from her third studio album, Control (1986). It was written and produced by Monte Moir, with co-production by Jackson and Steve Wiese. The song was released on May 12, 1987, by A&M Records as the album's sixth single. "The Pleasure Principle" is an "independent woman" anthem about love gone wrong, built around a dance beat. The photo for the single cover was shot by fashion photographer David LaChapelle.
The accompanying music video for "The Pleasure Principle" was directed by Dominic Sena. It depicts Jackson entering a loft wearing a T-shirt and jeans to practice her dancing. The video was seen by critics as iconic, and was received two nominations at the 1988 MTV Video Music Awards, eventually winning one. "The Pleasure Principle" was performed on many of Jackson's tours, most recently on her the Unbreakable World Tour (2015–2016). The song was also performed on a few promotional appearances, including at the 2006 Billboard Music Awards. In 2008, Jackson's lingerie line was named after the song. It has been included in two of Jackson's greatest hits albums, Design of a Decade: 1986–1996 (1995) and Number Ones (2009).
The accompanying music video for "The Pleasure Principle" was directed by Dominic Sena and premiered on MTV on June 1, 1987. Choreography was handled by Barry Lather. In the beginning of the video, Jackson enters a loft wearing a T-shirt and jeans to practice her dancing. She gives a solo dance performance while singing about the pleasure principle. Elements of the choreography incorporate a chair and a microphone stand. At the 1988 MTV Video Music Awards the video won for Best Choreography and was nominated for Best Female Video. While reviewing Jackson's video album Rhythm Nation Compilation (1989), Wendy Robinson from PopMatters commented that "this is the first video in which Jackson appears alone, with a sleek new hairdo and unleashing a repertoire of exciting new moves", and Justin Joseph from Centric TV noted that the video was "probably more iconic than the song", while describing its choreography as "so dynamic".
The video has been re-enacted by singers Mýa, Tinashe and Normani. Britney Spears referenced "The Pleasure Principle", as well as Jackson's "Miss You Much" video, for the chair routine in her "Stronger" music video, with director Joseph Kahn saying her idea was inspired by "the iconic chair sequence" in "The Pleasure Principle". A review of the video commented "Ms. Spears gives us her best Janet Jackson impression ('Miss You Much') with a dizzying chair-dance routine." American singer Cassie was accused of copying "The Pleasure Principle"'s concept on her music video for "Me & U" (2006), described as evoking Jackson's "impromptu solo dance rehearsal" during the video's mirror scenes. Cassie stated, "I'm a diehard Janet Jackson fan. A lot of people compare my video for 'Me & U' to hers for 'Pleasure Principle'. I was just rehearsing in the studio, they filmed me and the record label thought it would be great for the video. I'd love to emulate her career. She's incredible, from her moves to her voice."