“Black Cat” was released as the sixth single from Janet Jackson’s 1989 album, Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814. The single was released on August 28, 1990, and peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
I was 15 years old and just about to start my sophomore year of high school when “Black Cat” was released as a single. I already knew the song from the Rhythm Nation album, and had hoped that it would be released as a single. You can imagine how ecstatic I was when I heard “Black Cat” being promoted and played on the radio. The song was such a departure for Janet, but she successfully pulled off this foray into rock music. While it was more of a rock song, you could still actually dance to it. And Janet nailed the vocals perfectly for it as well. I have to say that over 25 years later, “Black Cat” holds up just as well now as it did back in 1989 and 1990. I love how the song doesn’t sound dated at all.
The music video was shot during the world tour that Janet was on during that time. Even though “Black Cat” got a live video, the intercutting of the performances with the audience members actually worked well. The editing definitely captured the sound and spirit of the song, so it’s not boring to watch. I’d have to say that it’s one of the better live performance music videos that I’ve personally seen.