This uses the guitar riff from the 1972 America song "Ventura Highway." Jackson wrote it with her producers, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Lifting a soft-rock hit from the '70s doesn't seem to make a lot of sense for a dance-pop act like Jackson, but Jimmy Jam told us that Janet loves many kinds of music and was always willing to try different ideas.
Describing the construction of this song, he said, "For 'Someone to Call My Lover,' she hadn't heard the 'Ventura Highway' sample before. She hadn't heard those songs. So it's kind of fun to come up with stuff like that and play it for her. And she hasn't heard of it, but she still really likes it. So you have something that's going to appeal to people that haven't heard it before, it's going to catch them, but it's also going to catch the people who are nostalgic about it." (Check out our full interview with Jimmy Jam.)
This song was used in the animated series Neighbors From Hell on the episode "Country Club Hell" in 2010.
Jackson really was looking for someone to call her lover: she had just ended her 10-year marriage to Rene Elizondo Jr. while recording this album.
The loop played throughout the chorus was borrowed from the Classical piece "Gymnopédie No. 1" by French composer Erik Satie. Jackson first heard it on a TV commercial when she was a child and never forgot it.
Jackson first worked with So So Def producer Jermaine Dupri, who would become her longtime boyfriend, on a remix of this song. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2002, but lost to Nelly Furtado's "I'm Like A Bird."
Nikki from Chicago, IlJermaine Dupri, Janet's boyfriend of 5 years, made the re-mix to this song before they even thought to date each other, not knowing that he would soon be that "Someone to Call her Lover".