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Great bands break rules, but legends write their own. JANE'S ADDICTION have actually written the rule book for alternative music and culture through a combination of genre-defying classic songs and a cinematic live experience. Their songs serve as the Ten Commandments for alt rock, inspiring an entire generation of bands such as Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkin
s, Pearl Jam and Tool. When the Los Angeles quartet came along, they merged alternative and rock like no one before, becoming the first alternative rock band, creating a new sound and attitude.
Perry Farrell stands out as one of music's most forward-thinking and enigmatic frontmen, and his vocals soar with vibrancy, vulnerability and vitality. Guitar god Dave Navarro conjures simultaneously psychedelic and epic riffs. Stephen Perkins' tribal stomp remains hypnotic and transfixing. In 2010, Jane’s Addiction began writing and recording a new album for release on Capitol in the summer of 2011, to be supported with a worldwide tour. The band and producer Rich Costey (Muse, Franz Ferdinand, Interpol) recently added TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek to the creative team. Sitek, best known for his production work on TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Foals, will be writing and playing bass on the new album.
Acclaimed for their swirling sonic symphony and unique studio alchemy, Jane's Addiction have sold over seven million records in the U.S. alone. They've also garnered Grammy nominations and spearheaded the movement of modern American festival culture by launching and headlining Lollapalooza. Even during dormant periods, their classic songs pulsated through rock radio constantly and their influence resounded through countless acts.
Jane's Addiction laid the foundation for their legacy in Los Angeles. There probably isn't a more appropriate birthing ground for music this unique. In 1985, Farrell met the band's original bassist Eric Avery, and they immediately connected over a shared musical perspective—wanting to shake things up. They'd only hone that perspective further with the addition of Perkins. Everything fell into place once Perkins suggested Navarro, and the first incarnation of the band was solidified. Headlining various local venues and becoming a veritable phenomenon in the L.A. club scene, Jane's Addiction garnered the attention of numerous major labels. Even though they'd officially sign with Warner Bros. in 1986, the band chose to release their live debut, Jane's Addiction, via indie label Triple X Records in 1987, keeping a D.I.Y. attitude that'd define their career. Recorded live at The Roxy, the album stirred up national interest, introducing their one-of-a-kind style to the world at large.
In 1988, Jane's Addiction would officially arrive as a pop culture force with their first proper studio album, Nothing's Shocking. The band created a sound that the world had never heard before. It was as riff heavy as it was sensitive. Farrell lyrically chronicled the stranger side of L.A. life, telling personal tales that'd stick with fans just as much as Navarro's licks did. The characters that populate tracks like debut single "Jane Says," "Ted, Just Admit It…" and "Had a Dad" were just as alive as the music itself. Farrell examined sex, violence, love, drugs and so much more with Marquis de Sade-style wit and Andy Warhol-esque vision. It's easy to wonder who those songs are about, and if those people are all out there somewhere on the fringes. The album artwork, a naked sculpture of Farrell's girlfriend at the time, and the video for "Mountain Song" both were widely banned. However, Nothing's Shocking was "alternative" in the purest sense of the word. Jane's Addiction live for their art and nothing else. Trademark song "Jane Says" charged up the Alternative Songs chart and the album was certified platinum, also grabbing a Grammy nod in 1989 for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, and audiences everywhere fell under Jane's spell.
For their second studio album, 1990's Ritual de lo Habitual, the band went further down the rabbit hole musically. Fully embracing their psychedelic and progressive side, tracks like "Three Days" and "Then She Did…" exceeded the eight-minute mark, becoming elegant aural tapestries with mystique a la Led Zeppelin. The album reached 3x-platinum in the U.S with two #1 singles "Stop!" and "Been Caught Stealing,” the latter of which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance.
It was almost as if the band's chemistry bubbled too much, and they needed a break at this point. In 1991, for the Jane's Addiction "farewell" tour, Farrell concocted Lollapalooza. His visionary idea brought alternative nations together like never before, and the touring festival ran annually until 1997. After the first Lollapalooza, Jane's Addiction went on hiatus, but they never truly went away. The band embarked on 1997's highly successful Relapse Tour with Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers on bass, supporting their inclusion on the Private Parts soundtrack. A gold-selling compilation, Kettle Whistle, also hit shelves that year.
The world needed Jane's Addiction in 2003 just as much as it did in 1985, and the band released Strays, their first new album in 13 years. After debuting at #4 on the Billboard chart, the album quickly reached gold status, and first single "Just Because" was their biggest single to date landing at #1. Jane's Addiction was once again everywhere with "Superhero" becoming the opening theme song for HBO's hit show Entourage at the same time. The band headlined the re-tooled Lollapalooza festival that summer.
After taking a break in 2004, the band reunited in 2008 for a fiery performance at the first-ever USA NME Awards. Instantly, they began channeling the same mystic energy that fueled them on their earliest tours and they wanted to share it with the world. The best way to do that was by hitting the road on one of the most successful tours of 2009, NIN/JA with Nine Inch Nails. Not only did it hearken back to the band's first tour together, but NIN/JA illuminated Jane's Addiction firing on all cylinders with their biggest and most visually stunning stage production yet as well as flawless playing. Given the success of the tour, new music was a must.Best Jane's Addiction Songs of All Time