|Jane's Addiction, for the kids!|
I have always been attracted to music and bands that scared me or unnerved me somehow. If the band also had high-energy music then all the better. Between the ages of 8 and 14 or so most of my musical focus was on Heavy Metal music, punk music, and hardcore music. I wandered about on the periphery of a lot of other weird bands that the odd kids at my schools liked (bands like The Cure, Depeche Mode, Bauhaus, etc.) but I was not yet ready to dive fully into the depressed emotions. I was still stuck on anger and volatility. Metal music moved me then, and still does. However, I was searching for something truly deranged, unhinged, and musically fresh to my ears. Enter Jane's Addiction.
I have a vague memory from what I think was my 7th grade year, of seeing a cassette in someone's backpack with a bizarre cover painting. It appeared to be some sort of bondage vampire.
|Jane's Addiction's self-titled debut, a live album!|
The name on the cassette was even more weird, "Jane's Addiction." Instantly my freak-dar (freakness-proximity-radar) went into overdrive. I ended up running to Sound Exchange at the earliest convenience to find this cassette. I must have listened to it a dozen times before I figured out what the hell I was listening to! I did not have any frame of reference. Most of the bands I listened to at the time were hyper-masculine, and Jane's Addiction melted all that away. Yet, they were still angry as fuck and INTENSE. It was awesome.
I listened to Jane's Addiction's next albums like a man possessed. Nothing's Shocking WAS shocking! Songs about Ted Bundy! Songs about a woman's heroin addiction and life as a prostitute! Songs about self-reflection in the shower while you're pissing yourself! It was new territory. Their next album, Ritual de lo Habitual, continued the insanity, expanding it, until it felt like the entire album was a coded story transporting me to some far away place. Right when they were poised to take over the world with their insanity, inner-band turmoil broke them up. (Actually, it was lead singer Perry Farrell's egomania and assholery that broke them up, but oh well...) They have since regrouped, without master-bassist Eric Avery who wrote most of my favorite Jane's Addiction songs. I don't care about that. I will forever adore their first albums. Here are my top ten favorite Jane's Addiction songs.
Jane's Addiction - Mountain Song
Jane's Addiction - Stop
Jane's Addiction - Jane Says
Jane's Addiction - Ocean Size
Jane's Addiction - Three Days
Jane's Addiction - Been Caught Stealing
Jane's Addiction - I Would For You
Jane's Addiction - Classic Girl
Jane's Addiction - Up The Beach
Jane's Addiction - Then She Did