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Up from the Catacombs: The Best of Jane's Addiction

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(8 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • The original Jane’s Addiction (not the shadow of the group that put out Strays) were one of the best groups of their era: Nothing’s Shocking and Ritual de lo Habitual are two of the greatest albums I’ve ever heard. Especially Ritual. Now THERE’S an album. Anyway, Up from the Catacombs does embody Jane’s Addiction’s extremely varied sound quite nicely, covering the majestic, psychedelic folk sweep of Rolling Hills, the alt-prog epics Three Days (the group’s best song ever) and Ted, Just Admit It…; the funky, hilarious radio hit Been Caught Stealin’ (which has one of the funniest videos of all time – imagine, if you will, a video with who I believe to be Perry Farrel in drag and a dance sequence in a supermarket aisle); to the tender I Would for You (taken from their live, self-titled debut), to some loud, crunching heavy rock (Ocean Size; Ain’t No Right; Stop!; Just Because; Mountain Song). This is a serviceable introduction to the group, then, but I have a few minor problems with it. For one, why not the studio version of Jane Says? The live take’s okay, I guess, but the studio version with that steal drum is the COOLEST thing. And Perry’s harsh vocals are touching. The version of Jane Says found on Nothing’s Shocking is one of the greatest songs I’ve ever heard. For another, I’ve never really liked Pigs in Zen. For a third, no compilation will replicate hearing NS and RDLH in full. I’m only a moderate alternative rock fan at best (I like about 15 alt-rock groups), and even I’ll admit those two are total essentials. If you need a place to start with the group, you might do well with this, but you’ll probably end up buying the original group’s two studio albums anyway.
    By the way, Dave Narravo is probably the best guitarist of his generation. Listen to all the influences in his playing! Funk, metal, psychedelia, prog, folk, jazz… it’s insane!

    Posted on January 12, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • A must-have collection of the best of Jane’s Addiction’s repertoire {although, as far as I’m concerned all their material is great}. They’re like the ‘kings of alternative hard rock’. Never could get enough of Perry Farrell and crew. Can’t express just how much I got out of each and every track like “Stop!”, “Ain’t No Right”, the dramatic “Had A Dad”, Mtv’s cult hit “Been Caught Stealing”, their more recent “Just Because”, “Pigs In Zen” and the live version of “Jane Says”. Hope they maybe reunite again before too long. One of my all-time favorite bands. Essential.

    Posted on January 12, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This collection was to be released forever ago, but hey, it’s here now. I’ll admit I was a worshipper of the band back in the glory days of the group, and I credit them with the mainstreaming of alternative rock as much as the bands that actually got the credit (Nirvana/Pixies). Truth be known, this is actually a fairly accurate selection. It draws heavily from “Nothing’s Shocking” and “Ritual De Lo Habitual”, and rightly so. In my perfect world, I would drop the tracks “Ocean Size”, “Ain’t No Right”, and “Superhero”. Not that they’re not good songs, but I think the tracks “So What”, “True Nature”, and a cover like “Ripple” would make this a more rounded set. Still, if you’re looking for your first or only Jane’s Addiction disc, this is it.

    Posted on January 12, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I always get a little bit suspicious when a band with such a small back catalog comes out with a “best of” album…and after the slapped together money spinners that were “Kettle Whistle” and “Live and Rare” have already stung your pocket you have good reason to…13 of the 19 songs that appear on Ritual De Lo Habitual and Nothing Shocking combined turn up on “Up form the Catacombs”, but this is not a bad thing – these two albums are where their genius lie…and make this album a great place to start for newer fans of the band.

    Posted on January 12, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • By the time Jane’s Addiction had their “big hit” (_Ritual de lo Habitual_’s “Been Caught Stealing”) their sound and style had already been adopted by so many early 90’s “alternative” artists that it took their leadership of the Lollapalooza Festival to remind the public just how long they had been creating their unique blend of psychadelic-glam-art-metal. Moving from gentle to blistering rock within the span of seconds, Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, Eric Avery, and Stephen Perkins created a sound during their early live shows (represented on their self-titled first album) that was at once classic and ahead of its time.

    The tracks on this greatest hits package focus on the mainly on the studio tracks that were recorded in the years after those early club days, including many great cuts from their first studio album, _Nothing’s Shocking_. Listening to a track like “Ocean Size,” it’s hard not to be drawn into their world for a few minutes. The music and lyrics create a complete space of their own–unique and like nothing else.

    Posted on January 12, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now