I Get So Lonely
Between 1997-2000, I was in the middle of an upheaval in my life. I had separated from my second wife, and moved across London, to the west. I was renting an unattractive flat, in an unfamiliar area, often questioning my own actions, and wondering what was going to become of me, at the age of 45. After a warm summer, mostly spent in the large garden of the flat, drinking wine and listening to music, autumn arrived, bringing darker evenings, and quieter streets. I was less enamoured with my move by then, and I was spending far too much time on my own.
Because of the success of her brother Michael, Janet Jackson has spent much of her life in his shadow. I had always preferred her voice, and although she frequently emulated his style, I thought that there was enough about her to appreciate for its own sake. Around the same time, she had been going through an emotional and psychological breakdown. Coming out the other side, she released a new album of songs, and called it ‘The Velvet Rope’. I heard a few tracks on the radio, and bought a copy soon after. It contained a strange mix of pop tunes, dance music, and some songs with darker lyrics.
One track seemed to sum up my own mood at the time. It showcased Janet’s voice and style perfectly, yet had an overwhelming sadness to it, that I could easily identify with. I played it often, occasionally buying into the sadness it contained; and later, when times were good, remembering how I had once felt when I listened to it. If you have ever been very low in your life, feeling that you had perhaps chosen the wrong path, I am sure you will be able to immediately identify with the emotions in this song. Seventeen years after I first heard it, it still packs the same punch for me today.
Here are two versions of the song. One is a production number, the second a simple live rendition. You choose…