Jane's Addiction - Ritual de lo Habitual
"Jane's Addiction" album "Ritual de lo Habitual", was released on August 21, 1990.
This is the band's second (or third) album and we'll explain.
"Jane's Addiction" recorded their first album in a live performance on January 26, 1987 at the mythical "Roxy Theater" club, costing only $ 4,000. In August 1988, the band released their second album, which is actually their first studio album - "Nothing's Shocking". The album won many accolades and even entered the list of the 500 greatest albums of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. This means our reviewed album is actually the bands third album, but this is their second studio album.
The album "Ritual de lo Habitual" caused a great sensation in the alternative scene and drew rave reviews from the audience and critics. It entered the list of the "500 greatest albums of all time" as well as the list of "1001 albums you should hear before you die".
This is the band's best-selling album which already in the first month sold over 500,000 copies, an incredible number considering the fact that at the time alternative music didn't sell.
This is a crazy album! There is no other way to describe it. Combining different and varied styles from Hard Rock, through Alternative, and Funk-Metal to Psychedelia, Progressive and even Klezmer music, with tracks ranging from 3 minutes to those that exceed the 10-minute threshold.
This is without a doubt one of the first albums that shaped the Alternative and Grunge scene of the 90's and was responsible for bringing the Alternative to the Center and helping it become Mainstream. Yes, yes, before Nirvana's "Nevermind", before "Pearl Jam's" "Ten", this album created a butterfly effect that began a process of fundamental change in the music industry, MTV, radio, shows, movies, and even fashion, on a global scale.
The band that grew up in the Hard Rock scene of Los Angeles during the heyday of Hair Metal managed to do the unbelievable and appeal to different audiences who until that time did not speak the same language. They connected the Hard Rock scene and Heavy Metal, the Hardcore Punk lovers, and even the "hippies on trips" of the West Coast gem, thus contributing to the change in the music market at the time.
The album is divided into two parts. The first half features 5 short songs that seemingly have nothing to do with each other, while the second half features 4 longer tracks bordering on Psychedelic and Progressive, all dedicated to Xiola Blue - Perry Farrell's ex-girlfriend who died of a heroin overdose in 1987 and is 19 years old only.
On the one hand, the album features bouncy and rhythmic songs, including two of the band's biggest "hits".
The opening song and the first single "Stop!" Which was written back in 1986, in which Perry Farrell addresses the world to stop the destruction of nature and the environment. Dave Navarro's wah-wah solo earned him 20th place on "Guitar World" magazine's list of the greatest ever wah-wah solos. And for those who wonder what the girl recites in Spanish at the beginning of the song, then she presents "Jane's Addiction" as follows:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, we have more influence over your children than you do. But we love them. Born and raised in Los Angeles… Jane’s Addiction!“
Another huge "hit" from the album is "Been Caught Stealing" which spent 4 weeks in first place on the Billboard mainstream chart. For anyone wondering the barking dog during the song was Perry Farrell's dog running around the studio. This song is on the list of the 500 songs that shaped rock, of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.
Another piece that belongs to this group of songs is "No One's Leaving" which Perry Farrell wrote about his sister who was thrown out of the house just because she went out with an African-American guy.
On the other hand, one can find here longer and "stellar" tracks of Psychedelia on the border of the Experimental, such as "Three Days" spread over 10:48 minutes and divided into three parts dealing with death and the resurrection of the dead. Farrell claimed the song dedicated to his girlfriend Xiola Blue was written before her death, and it describes three days of sex and drugs in the company of Xiola and his then-partner Casey Niccoli. Dave Navarro's solo in this song entered the list of the 100 greatest solos of all time by "Guitar World". Another interesting song that falls into the same category, is "Of Course" which is spread over more than 7 minutes and includes "Klezmer" violin playing.
Singer Perry Farrell designed the album cover and even sculpted the characters of the man and the two women, all naked. The cover comes to describe a scene from those three days of sex and drugs on which the song "Three Days" is based on.
The cover of course drew harsh criticism so the band released another series from the album with a clean white cover. At the back of the album was a message from Perry Farrell who wrote the following words:
“Hitler’s syphilis-ridden dreams almost came true. How could it happen? By taking control of the media. An entire country was led by a lunatic… We must protect our First Amendment, before sick dreams become law. Nobody made fun of Hitler??!”
In conclusion, this album was different, another unique. A beautifully crafted musical catalyst that laid the seeds for the great breakthrough of Alternative Rock of the 90s.
How unfortunate that it was then in 1991, after opening the door to many other fringe bands that followed and when the band was at the height of its success and popularity, "Jane's Addiction" disbanded and turned the stage to the Grunge and Alternative giants that took the music market by storm.
For Listening: Spotify, Apple Music