's still fantastic 'Chinese Locks'): Jane's Addiction'
s perfect album 'Nothing's Shocking'. This album is great in sooooo many ways, that it feels impossible to mention every aspect that makes this an absolute classic. The year was 1988, and the door for alternative rock was about to be blown wide open by an extremely talented punk-goth-progressive-any other genre you want to call them-band called Jane's Addiction
. The alternative rock band consisted of Eric Avery on bass, Stephen Perkins (who happens to be the best drummer ever until Jimmy Chamberlin of The Smashing Pumpkins
showed up), virtuoso guitarist Dave Navarro and the most intriguing prescence in the band: Perry Farrell, the lead singer who screeched his angry, frustrated passions out through a voice like no other. Opp mentioned an interview where someone said that Farrell sounds like "a creature". Yay! Together this unique, original band created one of the greatest alternative rock albums of all time: their arguably finest recording, Nothing's Shocking.. Unlike other albums from this time, it still sounds modern and totally timeless! I stumbled upon the band in around 1992 as I saw one of their videos on MTV (I guess on 120 Minutes or Headbanger's Ball; both shows I enjoyed back then). I can't recall what clip it was, but I went out and bought 'Nothing's Shocking' the following day. It was on heavy rotation for months and the sheer power of the songs, the highly creative songwriting and the awesome sound totally blew me away; despite the crappy stereo I owned back then. I remember lying on my bed in my room under the roof of my mother's house in the hot, hot summer of 1992, sweating and listening endlessly to this great album with headphones on. I don't know if there's ever been an album cover as ironic as this one. I would think that if naked adult siamese twins with their heads on fire isn't shocking, then indeed nothing is. I believe this is one of the truly outstanding albums of all time; one that changed the face of music. It's only appropriate that it should have such a great cover. Most of my friends didn't like the band and preferred to listen to the other great albums of this year. It was a great year for alternative music. Nirvana
's 'Nevermind', Pearl Jam
's 'Ten', White Zombie
's 'La Sexorcisto : Devil's Music Vol. 1', Kyuss
' 'Blues For The Red Sun', Nine Inch Nail
's 'Broken' & 'Fixed', Pavement
's 'Slanted & Enchanted', Lemonhead
's 'It's A Shame About Ray' and Rage Against The Machine
's debut album all got released this year (besides numerous other great, great albums). Who am I to blame them for refusing to listen to an album that got released in the dark ages (musically speaking) of the 80s? So, 'Nothing's Shocking' was my secret treasure of awesome music I had all to myself in these days. I was very pleased to see one of the best songs from the album in Oliver Stone's 'Natural Born Killers'. It's 'Ted, Just Admid It' and it's played in the scene where Juliette Lewis seduces the mechanic at the garage. Wow, perfect scene... (how I wished to be the mechanic back then...:) )
I rediscovered the band anew in 1998, when I bought the album on CD. The vinyl had long worn out then...
Now I rediscovered the album again, because Opp and I talked about it on the evening of the Secret Shine
gig. I can't remember how we came about it, but we listened to 'Up The Beach' and I instantly got hooked on it again. I listened to it on Barb's wireless headphones while cleaning the appartment the next day. It was so great! The huge walls of searing and roaring guitars Dave Navarro fired at me really blew me away. My ears were fine after the gig the day before, but after listening to 'Nothing's Shocking' twice, I had a ringing in my ears...:) And I realised again, that this is an awesome, nearly perfect album. There's only one weaker song on it; 'Idiots Rule'. It's not bad, but it's clearly weaker as all the other songs on it. But it's nearly impossible to live up to classics like 'Ocean Size', 'Ted, Just Admid It' and 'Mountain Song'.
'Ted, Just Admid It' is propably one of my favorite songs ever. It's great in soo many ways. It has an amazing, sexy bass, really unexpected and exciting breaks and damn good lyrics. Many scources claim, that it's a song about serial killer Ted Bundy, but I blelieve it's about Ted Turner, founder of CNN and the man that made news a voyeuristic experience. Perry Farrell, leadsinger and songwriter of the band, captured this in a perfect way. Well, maybe it is a song about both Teds! This would be even more genius...:)
Anyway, here's an excerpt:Camera got them images
Camera got them all
Showed me everybody naked and disfigured
And then he came
Now sister's not a virgin anymore
Her sex is violent...
The T.V.'s got them images
T.V.'s got them all
It's not shocking!
Every half an hour someone's captured and the cop moves them along...
It's just like the show before
The news is just another show
With sex and violence...
The band's calling card is really Perry Farrell, and he's the kind of thing you sort of like or dislike straight off-- his kind of punk-meets-Queen vocal approach, very much over the top the way Freddie Mercury was, but filtering out much of the technique in place of passion and a raw wail. Jane's Addic
tion was an innovative band and there are only very few bands around that were ahead of their time like them. Hell, they played alternative rock before there was even a name for this style! I believe that bands like Nine Inch Nails
and Marilyn Manson
wouldn't exist (or, at least, sound like they do) today, if Jane's Addiction
hadn't been around. I was amazed how influential they were on the modern music scene when I listened to the song 'Stand In Silence' by ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
(it's on their latest album 'So Divided'). This song essentially IS Jane's Addiction
! I listened to it right after 'Mountain Song' and it fit so well, that it could've been another song from 'Nothing's Shocking'. I don't know if the song is meant as a nod to the band, but it certainly sounds like it. From the opening bludgeon of 'Up The Beach' to the staccato aggressiveness of 'Pigs In Zen', this album never lets up. Even the cheeky 'Thank You Boys' is delivered with impish delight that could only come from the mind of the half-mad, feral Farrell.
So, if you ever stumble upon this album and have money to spend, just buy it! It's worth every cent in my opinion...
This is one of the very best rock albums of all times; a true classic. ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead : 'Stand In Silence'
It's about time to spotlight an album that I've listened to a lot within the past weeks (besides