Janet Jackson’s Producer Explained Why ‘Miss You Much’ Sounds Like ‘Nasty’

Jimmy Jam produced music for Janet Jackson, including her hits “Nasty” and “Miss You Much.” During an interview, he explained why the two songs sound similar. He also discussed creating the music for of “Nasty” and “Miss You Much.”

Janet Jackson wearing a suit
Janet Jackson | Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Jimmy Jam felt ‘Nasty’ by Janet Jackson was ahead of the curve

During a 2019 interview with Billboard, Jam discussed new jack swing, a genre of R&B which was popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s. “New jack swing — I always felt like ‘Nasty’ was part of that,” Jam opined. “It has that feel.” 

Jam felt “Nasty” was ahead of the curve. “‘Nasty’ actually predates a lot of that new jack swing stuff,” he said “It’s just that we didn’t make 10 records that sounded like that. We made one record that sounded like that and then we moved on.”

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What Jimmy Jam was trying to accomplish with Janet Jackson’s ‘Miss You Much’

Subsequently, Jam mentioned working on Jackson’s album Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814. “The very first track we did was ‘Miss You Much,'” he said. “That was kind of a hard-hitting song, only because I was using a different drum machine. Basically, everything sonically we had done on the Control record, I got rid of everything there, except for maybe one keyboard, called the Mirage. That’s the only keyboard I used in common, because I wanted it to be fresh and have a new sound.”

Jam revealed the connection between “Nasty” and “Miss You Much.” “But ‘Miss You Much,’ although the drums are different, it’s kind of the same sound we used on ‘Nasty,'” Jam said. “I thought it was important there was something that was sonically familiar.”

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The way the world reacted to ‘Nasty’ and ‘Miss You Much’

“Nasty” reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. It stayed on the chart for 19 weeks. Jackson released “Nasty” on her album Control. Control peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for two weeks. Control remained on the chart for a total of 106 weeks.

Meanwhile, “Miss You Much” was even more popular in the United States. “Miss You Much” was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. The track lasted 20 total weeks on the chart. “Miss You Much” appeared on Jackson’s album Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 was No. 1 for four weeks and stayed on the chart for 108 total weeks. 

Both songs had an impact on pop culture. For example, Panic! at the Disco referenced “Nasty” in the song “Miss Jackson.” The cast of Glee covered the song in the episode “Puppet Master.” In the same vein, “Weird Al” Yankovic incorporated part of “Miss You Much” into his song “Polka Your Eyes Out.” “Miss You Much” was supposed to sound like “Nasty” and it outperformed “Nasty” in the United States.

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