Broken Record Sam Sanders on Janet Jackson’s Legacy

Today we’re sharing an episode from our friend Sam Sanders over at NPR’s It’s Been a Minute podcast. This year marks the 35th anniversary of Janet Jackson’s classic album, Control. That album was her first real commercial hit and, looking back, helped redefine all of pop music. It also helped establish two star producers in Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. In the late 80s and 90s, Janet was one of the biggest stars of our time—right up there with her brother Michael and Madonna. And yet, Jackson isn’t always given her due.
In this episode, host Sam Sanders explores why that is, how she made the album Control, and the incident that lasted all but a second, that changed the course of her career.

The Hosts

Rick Rubin

In addition to being a podcast host, Frederick Jay “Rick” Rubin is an American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records. Along with Russell Simmons, he is the co-founder…

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is president and co-founder of Pushkin Industries. He is a journalist, a speaker, and the author of six New York Times bestsellers including The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers,…

Justin Richmond

Justin Richmond is producer and co-host of the music podcast Broken Record with writer Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times editor Bruce Headlam, and music producer—and Def Jam co-founder—Rick Rubin. Justin…

Bruce Headlam

Bruce Headlam is one of the co-creators of the music podcast Broken Record. He worked at The New York Times for 19 years, including two years running the 50-person Video…