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Janes Addiction - Up From The Catacombs

Jane's Addiction, Up From The Catacombs

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

TWO things in particular endure from Jane’s Addiction – Perry Farrell’s distinct vocals and Dave Navarro’s superb guitar work.

Put together, along with Eric Avery’s bass and Stephen Perkins’ drums, they made for some of the headiest, most enduring rock songs in recent music history – a power-driven, occasionally over-the-top fusion of underground Hollywood rock that gave rise to some truly empowering anthems.

Take seminal hits such as Been Caught Stealing, with its distinct background of barking dogs, or the emphatic guitar rush that greeted the opening moments of the rousing Just Because – Jane’s Addiction certainly knew how to throw a rock party.

Even though they have now gone their separate ways, Jane’s Addiction have contributed some truly influential albums in their time, as well as some barnstorming hits that continue to sound timeless.

It’s appropriate, then, that in this season of greatest hits retrospectives, Jane’s Addiction should put together 16 of their most enduring songs that span their entire career, from the early, alternative rock sound of their self-titled debut album in 1987 to the majestic sweep of their reunion effort Strays in 2003.

Needless to say, a lot of the greatest moments are drawn from the band’s two landmark studio albums, with firm fan favourites such as Been Caught Stealing, Stop!, Ocean Size, Summertime Rolls, Mountain Song and Ain’t No Right jostling for position alongside the occasional rarity from Kettle Whistle and more recent work such as Just Because.

But while some of the early work sounds raw and quite edgy, there’s no denying the quality of Jane’s Addiction at their most potent, when Navarro’s guitar was really in full swagger and Farrell’s vocal histrionics wailed emphatically over the top of it.

Hence, tracks like Three Days and Ocean Size continue to excite as much as they did when first heard, while slower efforts such as Summertime Rolls remind people of the more sensitive side of the band such is the serene beauty of their composition. And who can forget the gleeful high of being at an indie club and hearing Been Caught Stealing come on? It never failed to have people flocking to the dancefloor.

Superhero, meanwhile, currently serves as the theme tune to HBO’s latest hit series, Entourage – proof positive that their sound has retained a timeless appeal.

Bringing the album to a close is their live version of Jane Says, taken from Kettle Whistle, which contains one of the best intros of all-time. Such is the quality of this live recording, you’ll feel like your back at the concert, reliving every gorgeous lick of that guitar intro. The song itself remains another of the band’s seminal offerings and serves to bring this retrospective to a fantastic close.

So go on, indulge yourself….

Track listing:

  1. Stop Listen
  2. Ocean Size Listen
  3. Whores Listen
  4. Ted Just Admit It Listen
  5. Ain’t No Right Listen
  6. Had A Dad Listen
  7. Superhero Listen
  8. Been Caught Stealing Listen
  9. Just Because Listen
  10. Three Days Listen
  11. I Would For You Listen
  12. Classic Girl Listen
  13. Summertime Rolls Listen
  14. Mountain Song Listen
  15. Pigs In Zen Listen
  16. Jane Says