I grew up with the music of Jane's Addiction. It's been with me all of my adult life, through thick and thin. They're one of the bands I've always tried to see when they've been in England and I've seen them about 8 times since 1990 (with Eric, without, as a support band (for The Wonderstuff), on festival bills and headlining). I liked the sense of theatricality about them. That the visual and art aesthetic was equal to the music and the message (probably a reason why the group photo on "Strays" failed to inspire since the other LPs had featured some art). Their music seemed to encapsulate a bit of everything: love, sex, death, art etc. They also seemed to thrive on conflict, which is why Ritual de lo Habitual is my number one album of all time (I think they all pretty much hated each other by then, half were full time junkies and Perry was keeping the vast majority of the money as he wrote, sang and did some production. They didn't record it together, just went in separately and recorded their parts). When they split in 1991, I was obsessed with buying up all the music they put out separately (Deconstruction, Porno for Pyros, Dave Navarro's "Trust No One", Perry's electronica LP Song Yet to be Sung, Eric Avery solo LPs and later, the 2 Jane's sans Eric LPs they did) to try and recapture some of that Jane's voodoo magic. Here's the top 5 of the non-Jane's output.
5) "Xiola" Psi Com (Perry Farrell and some LA goth/punks) - This for me is the first Jane's Addiction song. I wish they'd rerecorded it under the Jane's banner. It's only got Perry on it (from Jane's) but probably has some of his most Perry-est singing ("Xiooolaaaaaaaah"). It's also about the same person (Xiola Blue) that "Three Days" is about. It's proper LA goth/punk sounding too. Dates to about 85.
4) "Fire in the Hole" Deconstruction (Eric Avery & Dave Navarro from Jane's...guest vox from Gibby Haynes)-
Surely born out of the Lollapalooza tour (Butthole Surfers played the first one I think), this track welded Texan madman Gibby Haynes onto LA psychedelic rock from Eric and Dave following the Jane's split. 2 minutes 30 in, it has a guitar solo worthy of Jane's at their peak, obviously it follows on from Gibby screaming.
3) "Kimberly Austin" Porno for Pyros (Perry Farrell & Steve Perkins of Jane's plus Peter di Stefano & Martyn LeNoble) - For all the chaos and ferociousness of Jane's, there's always been a pretty, simple side too (see "Classic Girl" or "Summertime Rolls"). This one is much the same: "I like to watch her sway, she's luck before I'm going away". Pure lovely.
2) "Sadness" Porno for Pyros (Perry Farrell & Stephen Perkins from Jane's plus Peter di Stefano) - But for the production, which is a bit tinny, this would be one of the best songs Perry has done. The right mix of psychedelia, menacing banshee vocals and interesting rhythm holding it all together.
1) "All Remote & No Control" Eric Avery - "Strays" by Jane's sans Eric was a straight up rock record in my opinion. It has its moments but lacks something. This track from Eric Avery, off of "Help Wanted", for me, demonstrates where some of that voodoo went. This LP and the one he's doing now ("LIFE.TIME" up on Bandcamp) have some truly wonderful art rock on them with Eric's lovely, almost baritone vocals. "Maybe" off the same LP has one of the all time great indierock duets, Eric singing with Shirley Manson (of Garbage, who Eric has toured with playing bass). "Fade (after Elliot's Hollow Men" off the current LP is well worth a look, while yer here).
"This is how the world ends. This is how the world ends".
Honourable mentions to "Awesome" by Satellite Party (Perry & Etty Farrell, Stephen Perkins and him from Extreme) which Etty told me came from when they had one of their babies ("what I behold is awesome"). Gets me every time. Also to "Song Yet To Be Sung" from Perry's solo electronic LP of the same name. Also to "Bali Eyes" off of the 2nd Porno for Pyros LP, pure beautiful. Finally to "Underground" off of "The Great Escape Artist" which is every bit as magical as anything off Ritual or Nothing's Shocking. "I'm a hustler, hustler, I'll never give up the underground".