Category: Jane’s Addiction

Jane’s Addiction – Ritual de lo Habitual

ARTIST: Jane’s Addiction 220px-Jane's_Addiction-Ritual_de_lo_Habitual

TITLE: Ritual de lo Haibitual

YEAR RELEASED: 1990

CHART ACTION: #19

SINGLES: Stop! (#1 Alternative), Been Caught Stealing (#1 Alternative, #29 Mainstream, #34 UK), Three Days, Classic Girl (#15 Alternative, #60 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Ain’t No Right

LINEUP: Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, Eric Avery, Stephen Perkins. Classical musicians helped on a couple of tracks

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Split into two sections, Jane’s second album shows both sides of Perry Farrell and the band. 

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Roaring out of the gate with “Stop!” and furiously blasting through five tracks (ending with the enduring “Been Caught Stealing”), the first half of Ritual de lo Habitual is everything you thought you wanted from an alternative rock band.

Then you get to the second half, and that’s upended. Jane's_Addiction-Ritual_de_lo_Habitual_(clean_cover)

Admittedly, it took me a while to get that second half – four long songs about Farrell’s ex-girlfriend and the suicide of his mother. Moody, ethereal, with the long, intense “Three Days” the highlight, with Dave Navarro’s guitar solo the highlight. It took a big leap of faith for a band known for riffs and volume (for the most part) to branch out like this.

They pretty much imploded after this, and while the band came back (for the most part), it never was the same. How could it?

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Many retailers didn’t want to stock the album due to the cover, so the band produced an alternate cover with the 1st Amendment and a warning about facism for those stores.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

 GRADE A+: It grows on you. You put it away for a while, and listen to it, and it intrigues you more and more.

Jane’s Addiction – Nothing’s Shocking

ARTIST: Jane’s Addiction 220px-Nothing's_Shocking_(Jane's_Addiction_album_-_cover_art)

TITLE: Nothing’s Shocking

YEAR RELEASED: 1988

CHART ACTION: #103

SINGLES: Jane Says (#6 Alternative), Mountain Song, Had a Dad, Ocean Size (#36 Alternative)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Pigs in Zen

LINEUP: Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, Eric Avery, Stephen Perkins. Flea, Angelo Moore and Christopher Dowd played horns on a track.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Major label debut announces Jane’s Addiction as a force to be reckoned with in the scene.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: At the time, this record was a revelation. An LA band who eschewed glam and hair and posing, and was more concerned with art and statements. The band rocked, with guitarist Dave Navarro creating inventive riffs and solos and bassist Eric Avery melodic anchor. Meanwhile, frontman and lyricist Perry Farrell was spinning unique tales with his intense, high-pitched vocals.

The power of songs like “Ocean Size”, “Mountain Song” and “Had a Dad” almost overwhelm the listener but the band and Farrell pulls back at the right time. Tracks like “Ted, Just Admit It” (about Ted Bundy) may seem pretentious at first but they’re not. Only a couple track seem a bit forced (“Idiots Rule” for one).

“Jane Says”, the big ‘hit’ from the record, was overplayed, and still is, and it’s nowhere near the best song on the record. That’s not a detraction, as there’s so so much depth here.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The seeds of discord were planted here. Farrell wanted sole royalties for the lyrics, and a ¼ share for the music. That caused strife that almost broke up the band before the record was started, and lingered.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

 GRADE A: A solid, genre-bending record that set the course for hard rock, alternative rock, and nu-metal in the 90’s, for better or worse.

Jane’s Addiction – Jane’s Addiction

ARTIST: Jane’s Addiction 220px-Jane's_Addiction_album

TITLE: Jane’s Addiction

YEAR RELEASED: 1987

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: None

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Pigs in Zen and Jane Says were re-done later.

LINEUP: Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, Eric Avery, Stephen Perkins

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: “Live” record released before their major label debut

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: I wasn’t too convinced I’d like this prequel to Jane’s Addiction’s proper debut, but my fears were unfounded.

Recorded live (basic tracks) with overdubs at a studio, the basic building blocks of Jane’s Addiction are here. The band is tight, and inventive, winding around Perry Farrell’s lyrics and melodies. Sometimes Farrell goes over the top, and while the cover version of the Velvet Underground and the Rolling Stones had their moments, it seemed that they were just there for filler.

The songs you don’t really know are just as strong as the two they recorded later. All in all, while it’s not an essential release, for fans it’s pretty good. It even changed my mind (somewhat) on “Jane Says”.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: On the very first pressing of the disc, “Pigs in Zen” was typed as “Pigs in Ten”

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a few outtakes

GRADE B+: It was a good intro to the band then, and now it’s a good document of what they were.