Top 10 Best Janet Jackson Music Videos



Top 10 Best Janet Jackson Music Videos

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Jesse Singer
We all screamed for these Jacket Jackson music videos. For this list, we'll be looking at the most impressive music videos from industry icon, Janet Jackson. Our countdown includes "Escapade," "Nasty," "If," and more!

Top 10 Janet Jackson Music Videos

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Janet Jackson Music Videos.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most impressive music videos from industry icon, Janet Jackson.

We did this “All For You,” but if you think we missed a music video that deserves a place on the list, don’t “Scream,” just let us know in the comments.

#10: “Miss You Much” (1989)

“Miss You Much” was the first single released off of Jackson’s 1989 “Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814” album. The black and white video was also one of three tracks to be included in the half-hour, long-form video of the album. For those unaware of just how amazing a dancer Jackson is, this video should quickly inform you! Honestly, we could watch that chorus choreography section on repeat. And let’s not forget the iconic chair dance sequence featured at the end. It was so epic that singer Pink recreated it during her performance for the Janet Jackson “ICON” tribute.

#9: “Escapade” (1990)

This video is another from the “Rhythm Nation” album. Spoiler alert - it won’t be the last. While the record did have a strong social message, it also contained some tracks that were just pure fun - like this one. This video certainly fits the playful mood of the song. Janet and her crew find themselves dancing in the midst of some sort of exotic festival. It’s Mardi Gras meets Carnival, with a hint of “Mad Max.” Janet even throws in some “Thriller-esque” moves, paying homage to her older brother. And, did you catch her dabbing? Clearly she was always ahead of the times!

#8: “That's the Way Love Goes” (1993)

Janet Jackson has gone through a number of transformations throughout her career. In 1993, the world was introduced to a more adult/provocative Jackson courtesy of her topless Rolling Stone cover photo. Well, that and the lead single off her 5th studio album “Janet,” titled “That's the Way Love Goes.” Her new look and exposed midriff feature prominently in the video, which finds her and her friends hanging out. We see them listening and grooving to her new track. And with energy this fun, it becomes almost impossible to watch and not groove in unison with the gang.

#7: “Got 'til It's Gone” (1997)

Directed by the great Mark Romanek, this video places Jackson as a lounge singer at a party. It’s all set in South Africa during the era of apartheid and was influenced by African culture of the 1960s and 70s. The music video gives way to joyful energy and a sense of freedom as a counter to racism and oppression. It also differentiates itself from the standard hip-hop videos of the era, which were generally focused on sexual themes and money. As Romanek has said that he felt like “there had to be other aspects of Black culture to depict.”

#6: “Love Will Never Do (Without You)” (1990)

Again, we take you back to “Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814” album for a video that truly stands out. As opposed to a production with large sets and choreographed dance routines, Jackson’s “Love Will Never Do (Without You)” music video is stripped all the way down. The video focuses on a fun and flirty Jackson with actor/model Antonio Sabàto Jr. The pair are in a desert landscape with one other dancer. In addition to taking home Best Female Video at the “MTV Video Music Awards,” both Britney Spears and Nicole Scherzinger have quoted the video as inspiration for their own vids, “Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know” and “Your Love” respectively.

#5: "Nasty" (1986)

The 1986 album “Control” featured a grown up Janet Jackson stepping out of the shadow of her family, particularly her brother Michael. Yes, Janet was now fully her own woman and artist. The album’s second single, “Nasty,” is a perfect example of this strong and independent Janet. The song came out of an experience she had walking down the street when some men began to be aggressive and threatening. Instead of running away, she “took a stand.” Janet said, “I backed them down.” Trust us, no one was calling her “baby” after this video!

#4: “The Pleasure Principle” (1987)

In Freud’s psychoanalysis theory, the pleasure principle is the force that seeks immediate gratification and satisfaction of one’s wants and urges. This video certainly nails the gratification and satisfaction parts! “The Pleasure Principle” music video is a one-woman show as Jackson dances her way around a large loft while showing off some new and exciting choreography. And while the iconic video has gone on to influence other artists, we can’t help but think that Janet herself might have been slightly influenced by Kevin Bacon. You know, for his famous warehouse dance in 1984’s “Footloose.” Regardless, watching Janet cut “footloose” in this video is truly something to behold!

#3: “If” (1993)

Talk about making an entrance! In this video, large doors open and Janet Jackson emerges from behind wind-blown strips of red fabric as she walks down stairs to the stage. This is a strong and sexy Jackson, with a bit more provocative choreography about a certain lust in her eyes. The video’s themes of desire and voyeurism might not be a big deal these days, but back when this video was released, it was deemed too racy for some TV stations. Because of this, Jackson filmed an "All Dance Version" for them to play instead!

#2: “Scream” (1995)

Janet and her brother Michael were two of the best performers, dancers and all-round best-selling artists in the world. So naturally, people were wanting to see them do a song together. Finally, in 1995, the public got their wish when the siblings released “Scream.” The song was an angry response directed at the tabloid media who’d been hounding Michael for years. The video places the siblings on a spacecraft where they can simply get away and, well, “scream.” And while seeing them sing together is really cool, fans were most excited about watching them dance together. While it does take over 3 minutes to happen, it’s absolutely something to scream about!

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)” (2001)
A Carly Simon Sample, a Missy Elliott Feature & a Bunch of Zombies. Awesome!

“Together Again” (1997)
The Video for This Joyful Track Was Filmed in the Serengeti in Tanzania

“Alright” (1990)
This Retro-Inspired Video Features the Final On-Screen Appearance of the Great Cab Calloway

“Feedback” (2007)
Janet & Her Latex-Clad Dancers Perform on Planets & What Might Be a Bowl of Milk

“Dammn Baby” (2016)
Jackson Goes Back to Black & White in This “Single Ladies-Esque” Video

#1: “Rhythm Nation” (1989)

Could it be anything else? The eponymous track from “Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814” is a brilliantly choreographed black and white, post-apocalyptic creation that speaks to harmony and racial equality. While the record company didn’t think the video would appeal to the masses, Jackson insisted. Boy was she right! The video won numerous awards and influenced artists from Lady Gaga to Usher and Britney Spears. The video wasn’t just a great music video to a great song, it was also a pop culture moment with a political message. In fact, it’s as important today as it was back in 1989!