I thank Eric Harvey for this ideal late afternoon bored-at-work exercise.
Four top Jam-Lewis productions
1. The S.O.S. Band – “Just Be Good to Me.” As much for allowing Mary Davis to simmer, caught between lust and masochism.
2. (tie) Alexander O’Neal – “Sunshine”; Human League – “Human”; Janet Jackson – “Come Back To Me”; and Ralph Tresvant – “Sensitivity.” Essentially they wrote the same ballad for four quite different artists but occupying a still center in the pools of Jam-Lewis’ rippling pools of keyboards — a phantom of domesticity and hearth fires burning that their singers never stop evoking.
3. Johnny Gill – “Rub You The Right Way.” It sweats, it struts, it strokes. Also rubs.
4. Janet Jackson – “Control.” Jackson could be a feeble vocalist but Jam-Lewis, working with their greatest muse, does a star turn that is the ne plus ultra of how to do an eighties production.