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Jane's Addiction (Live)

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Album Review

When this live date was recorded at Hollywood's famous Sunset Strip club the Roxy in 1987, Jane's Addiction hadn't yet become the darlings of alternative rock culture. The L.A. band's unorthodox fusion of Led Zeppelin-influenced hard rock, dark Velvet Underground-ish imagery, and stream-of-consciousness art rock wasn't as focused or confident as it would be on the commanding Ritual de lo Habitual. But even so, the band showed considerable potential. As erratic and self-indulgent as this set gets, many of the songs are quite memorable. Lead singer/composer Perry Farrell was always fascinated with the dark side of the human psyche, and that fascination serves him well on "Pigs in Zen," the twisted "Whores," and the alternative rock favorite "Jane Says." And things get enjoyably trashy on covers of the Velvet Underground's "Rock & Roll" and the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil." But while this CD will interest completists, more casual listeners should stick to Ritual de lo Habitual.

Biography

Formed: 1984 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Jane's Addiction were one of the most hotly pursued rock bands when they gained notice in Los Angeles in the mid-'80s, with record companies at their feet. Flamboyant frontman Perry Farrell, formerly of the band Psi Com, had an undeniable charisma and an interest in provocative art (he designed the band's album covers), and Jane's Addiction played a hybrid of rock music: metal with strains of punk, folk, and jazz. The quartet, comprised of Farrell, bassist Eric Avery, drummer Stephen Perkins, and...
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