This is a very good compilation DVD, containing the seven hits from Janet's "Rhythm Nation" album that became radio and MTV favorites. Hers were some of the top dance songs of that time, and a couple of the videos are absolute classics. There are no surprises here: what you get is the best of big-budget video making from 1989-1990, with lavish sets, lots of dancers, and great cinematography, courtesy of excellent directors. Dominic Sena's direction is the most represented, with three of the videos. Peter Smillie, Julian Temple, Wayne Isham and Herb Ritts contribute one each.
For those of you who are already familiar with these videos, the following may be of interest:
Thumbs-Up #1: "Miss You Much" contains the 35-second choreographed "chair sequence" (I didn't know what to call it) at the end. MTV showed this regularly at first, but phased it out after the video had been in heavy rotation for awhile. I always love watching this part, and often wonder how many takes were needed to get it perfect.
Thumbs-Up #2: "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" features the fully black-and-white version, which I feel is far superior to the alternate (partly colorized) version contained on the "Design of a Decade" DVD. This is Janet at her all-time sexiest, and Mr. Ritts proves that his mastery of b/w images translates well from photo to video. I never tire of watching his work, especially this one.
Thumbs-Up #3: "Alright" is the extended version (including Heavy D's rap).
Not a Thumbs-Up: "Rhythm Nation" is not the "long form" which won awards a couple years after the album came out. I was hoping this was included . . . but no.
As far as extras go, there are some, but not many. The Prologue is a three-minute montage of laudatory comments by Janet's directors and some of her music biz buddies. The Epilogue, even shorter, contains footage of Janet meeting with some inspired fans. Also, there are 15 to 45 seconds of behind-the-scenes footage preceding each video. Cool, but I would have loved more since I find video-making fascinating. I wish the total run time (55 minutes) was longer.