Ritual de lo Habitual

Last week, Jane's Addiction reunited to perform at the NME Awards USA show. On the URL, there is an interview and a two great You Tube clips of classic songs. The one that brought back a lot of memories is the opener for their landmark third album Ritual de lo Habitual, "Stop":

Here's some text describing why they were there:
    For last night's performance, bassist Eric Avery unearthed the guitar he used for the original JANE'S ADDICTION performances, which hadn't seen the light of day in nearly two decades.

    Check out pictures of JANE'S ADDICTION's performance from Wire Image, Getty Images.

    JANE'S ADDICTION was presented with the Godlike Genius Award at the inaugural U.S. NME Awards "in recognition of the fact that the band has done more than any other to introduce American alternative music to the mainstream," according to a press release.

    Past recipients of the Godlike Genius Award, usually a highlight of the U.K. NME Awards, include U2, PAUL MCCARTNEY, THE CLASH, NEW ORDER, PRIMAL SCREAM and others.

    Avery did not participate in the band's 1997 and 2001 reunions, with RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS bassist Flea, Chris Chaney and Martyn LeNoble all taking turns in the lineup.

    Regarding his reasons for agreeing to take part in the JANE'S ADDICTION reunion at the NME Awards, Avery said in a statement, "I've chosen to reject the prospects of reuniting in the past for personal and philosophical reasons. I have always considered reunions to be a way to make a quick buck, and it sells short my own experience of it the first time around. The reason I started to even consider this is because it's honoring the past instead of trying to recreate it."
Of all the reasons to quit a band, or not get back together, Avery has the best reasons. Why should I be shocked? Jane's Addiction has always been an answer to the question, "Who do you listen to?" that prevents the questioner from making any kind of derisive statement about your tastes. In short, in college, they were cool, and even if you didn't like them, you knew that saying "they suck" means that you risked being judged yourself. They were the alternative's alternative, the bad asses, the guys who rocked and really were different, back before Nirvana and Pearl Jam found the scene.Probably one of the more recognizable album intro's ever, the Spanish-speaking female prefacing the band's powerful first song still gives me the tingles. The song feels weird without it, and I'm glad they kept it as originally designed for the show.

Fresh off the success of "Jane Says" from Nothings Shocking, the album features at once its most notable and popular song, "Been Caught Stealing", and its greatest flaw. Stuck right in the middle of the playlist, it is do different as to stick out. I don't dislike the song, per se, but I think including something that flows with the rest of the album would have elevated the album to even greater heights. Okay, I DO have a beef with the song, because Perry Farrell famously said prior to the album's release that he would break up the band if they hit #1 (and he did), and that fucking song absolutely is to blame for that.

Maybe it was the right thing to do, maybe they peaked and they wanted to go out on top, or before corporate America started loving them (note to Perry: appearing on "Are you ready for some football?" sing-alongs destroys the memories of my youth). I don't know if it was the first album to have the two covers because of the new fad of "Parent Advisory" stamps, but I can't think of another predating the censors. In any event, their arrival/swan song of 1990 is responsible for a lot of great college memories, and still rocks today.Great tracks:"Stop", "No One's Leaving", "Ain't No Right", "Classic Girl"
"The Masterpiece":"Three Days"
Unsung personal favorite:"Then She Did..."
Delete from iPod:"Of course"

PS: Speaking of Nothing's Shocking, I personally think that album is tighter, and probably the best alt rock album of the 80's. But I'll save that discussion for another time.

No comments: