This Mash-Up Of "That's The Way Love Goes" By Janet Jackson And "Shout" By Tears for Fears Is Basically A Perfect Time Machine — VIDEO
There's a reason I am so taken away with this new mash-up of Janet Jackson's "That's The Way Love Goes" and Tears for Fears' "Shout". But the story takes some telling, so bear with me: My mother began dating my father—who is technically my stepfather, but we've never made that distinction, although it is relevant to this story—in the summer of 1988. By November, they were married. You might think that such a huge change would seem like a whirlwind to 5-year-old me, but it was really a lot more like flipping a switch: fatherless to fathered. My dad immediately treated us...well, exactly like a dad. One thing he did very early on was just give me a whole bunch of his tapes. I don't know if it was a conscious overture to try to win me over or if it was simply that he didn't want them anymore but he didn't want to throw them away. Either way, my new collection included Madonna's True Blue, Debbie Gibson's Out of the Blue, Tiffany, and Janet Jackson's Control.
Control was, hands down, my favorite. "Nasty" and "What Have You Done for Me Lately" were childhood anthems. When my mom told me that a 6-year-old singing, "My first name ain't baby: it's Janet. Miss Jackson if you're nasty," was not appropriate, I sang it quietly in my room in front of my mirror, with my own choreography. #rebel #yourenotthebossofme. While I've never asked why my dad had, at one point, amassed a decent-sized cassette collection more in keeping with a girl born in 1975 than a man born in 1950, one thing is for certain: Control ensured my lifelong love and respect for Janet Jackson.
Shortly after the Great Cassette Donation of '88, my mother gifted me a number of her old albums and thereby introduced me to post-punk and New Wave (for you Youths, think of it as Emo with synthesizers). It was epic and usually corny and hilarious, but still awesome. (Hate on haters, I still have A-Ha's complete discography.) But among all The Police, Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Pet Shop Boys, and Billy Idol, there was nary a Tears for Fears album to be found. This seems an enormous omission, right? I feel like the band is synonymous with New Wave, and it's sort of weird my mom completely skipped over them in the mid-80s. But their vibe—overwrought, taking themselves very seriously—is reflective of so much of the music my mother introduced me to in early childhood.
All of this is to say, this mashup not only brings me back to my early days of discovering my musical tastes (and the days of completely cheesy music videos), but it reflects my own parents' marriage and their inclusion of me in their life together from the beginning.
Enjoy the video below (and keep an eye out for pre-fame Jennifer Lopez):