I learning to love these impromptu, albeit short lived, afternoon workouts between appointments at the funeral home, the bank, the lawyers and every-bloody place else. So usually I have 90 minutes or so to kill in the pool, in the weight room or, as I did today, on the mat doing my functional strength and core shit.
Today’s inspiration came to me rather oddly. The other day, Kelly was listening to some 80’s playlist on her Grooveshark account and ‘Been Caught Stealing‘ by Jane’s Addiction came on and it immediately garnered a few raised eyebrows in Kelly’s direction for a change. I was never a huge fan of the band, or the album that spawned that particular monster hit, ‘Ritual de lo Habitual‘. No, I was more a fan – if anything – of the album released two years before in 1988 on Warner Bros. Records, the ‘Nothing’s Shocking‘ album (their 2nd release, but 1st official album); today’s listening choice du jour.
The album was well received by critics upon release and is often cited as the band’s best album (a notion I fully agree with and endorse). Despite this, it only peaked at #103 on the Billboard 200. The single terribly overplayed hit song from the album, ‘Jane Says‘, reached #6 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks in 1988. The album was ranked #312 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time. And, for whatever reason, it’s featuring two sets of naked boobies (4 naked boobs in total) on the front cover is also mention-worthy. I’m truly a unique and beautiful snowflake, what can I say?
Produced by Dave Jerden and band vocalist Perry Farrell, the album was more focused and packed more of a sonic wallop than its predecessor; the fiery performances often create an amazing sense that it could all fall apart at any second, creating a fantastic musical tension. Such tracks as ‘Up the Beach‘, ‘Ocean Size‘, and one of alt-rock’s greatest anthems, ‘Mountain Song‘, contain the spaciousness created by the band’s two biggest influences, Led Zeppelin and the Cure (how’s that for a one-two punch?). Elsewhere, ‘Ted, Just Admit It…‘ (about serial killer Ted Bundy) and the haunting yet gorgeous ‘Summertime Rolls‘ stretched to epic proportions, making great use of changing moods and dynamics (something most alt-rock bands of the time were oblivious to). An incredibly consistent and challenging album, other highlights included the rockers ‘Had a Dad‘ and ‘Pigs in Zen‘, the horn-driven ‘Idiots Rule‘, the jazz instrumental ‘Thank You Boys‘, and the up-tempo ‘Standing in the Shower…Thinking‘.