Miss You Much

Album: Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989)
Charted: 22 1
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This song was written by the production duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. They had a lot of success on Jackson's previous album, Control, in 1986 - the breakthrough album that helped Jackson break the pop mold and become a sex icon with a funky edge.
  • This was inspired by a breakup letter Jimmy Jam received from one of his old girlfriends, who signed it with what would become this song title. He thought it would be perfect for Jackson.
  • In the album title Rhythm Nation 1814, the "1814" was the project number assigned to the album on the A&M Records record label; that it shared the same number as the year the US national anthem was written was a coincidence realized and acknowledged by Jackson and producers later on.
  • This was one of seven Top 5 singles from the album. It was the first time any album produced so many hits, although Michael Jackson (Janet's brother) had seven Top 10 hits from his 1983 Thriller album.
  • TIME magazine named this song the second best-selling single of the year (it sold over four million copies), between Phil Collins' "Another Day in Paradise" at number one and Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" at number three.
  • Although Jackson didn't receive a songwriting credit for this track, she had some worthwhile ideas, according to Jimmy Jam. He told Idolator: "When we got to Rhythm Nation, I had done the [instrumental] track to 'Miss You Much' and I just pointed at a note on one of the keyboards and she just walked in and hit the key and that became the string part on the song. She had lyric ideas walking into the studio."
  • This song was featured in the movie Ghost Dad, a 1990 comedy starring Bill Cosby.
  • Because her previous album, Control, was released three years earlier, Janet's vocals were a little rusty from the lengthy break, so Jam and Lewis didn't want her to record the lead for this song right away. Jam remembered: "The idea was to do the backgrounds first to get her voice back in tip-top singing shape, because she hadn't sung for probably two years."

Comments: 2

  • Eugene from Minneapolis, MnThe LP "Rhythm Nation 1814" could have produced eight top 5 singles had "State Of The World" been available as a commercial single. Radio and Records was the only trade publication to chart this among other LP cuts that were also promo only singles by the likes Bon Jovi, Jermaine Jackson, Madonna, and yes Bart Simpson. I am talking about prior to making this common later on in the 1990s, that record companies withheld singles from the public so that the LP would sell. Anyway the single hit #4 on the CHR/Pop chart in the spring of 1991.
  • Rod from L.a., CaActually, "1814" stands for the 18th and 14th letter s in the alphabet..."R" and "N" as in Rhythm Nation.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

David Gray

David GraySongwriter Interviews

David Gray explains the significance of the word "Babylon," and talks about how songs are a form of active imagination, with lyrics that reveal what's inside us.

Rock Revenge Songs

Rock Revenge SongsMusic Quiz

John Lennon, Paul Simon and Lynyrd Skynyrd are some of the artists who have written revenge songs. Do you know who they wrote them about?

Daniel Lanois

Daniel LanoisSongwriter Interviews

Daniel Lanois on his album Heavy Sun, and the inside stories of songs he produced for U2, Peter Gabriel, and Bob Dylan.

Kip Winger

Kip WingerSongwriter Interviews

The Winger frontman reveals the Led Zeppelin song he cribbed for "Seventeen," and explains how his passion for orchestra music informs his songwriting.

Dr. John

Dr. JohnSongwriter Interviews

The good doctor shares some candid insights on recording with Phil Spector and The Black Keys.

Frankie Valli

Frankie ValliSong Writing

An interview with Frankie Valli, who talks about why his songs - both solo and with The Four Seasons - have endured, and reflects on his time as Rusty Millio on The Sopranos.