40 years ago, on this day, September 21, 1982, Janet Jackson released her self-titled debut album. “Young Love” was the debut single released off of that album. The song was released on July 7, 1982, prior to the album’s release. In addition to being a member of the legendary Jackson family, Janet had previously been known for playing Penny on the television show, Good Times and as Charlene Duprey, Willis’ girlfriend on Diff’rent Strokes.
When Janet was sixteen, her father and manager Joseph Jackson arranged a contract for her with A&M Records. Her debut album, Janet Jackson, was released in 1982. It was produced by Angela Winbush, René Moore, Bobby Watson of Rufus and Leon Sylvers III, and overseen by her father Joseph. It peaked at No. 63 on the Billboard 200, and No. 6 on the publication’s R&B albums chart, receiving little promotion. The album appeared on the Billboard Top Black Albums of 1983, while Jackson herself was the highest-ranking female vocalist on the Billboard Year-End Black Album Artists.
“Young Love” received generally positive reviews from music critics, who highlighted it as a standout song from the album and praised its catchiness. It peaked at number 64 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was a success on the R&B chart, additionally peaking at number 16 in New Zealand. In order to promote her album, she performed the song on Soul Train and American Bandstand. In recent years, she has included the song on her 2008 Rock Witchu Tour and her performance at the 2010 Essence Music Festival.