Janes Addiction were one of the most successful bands of the nineties alternative movement who formed in Los Angeles in 1985. The line-up is frontman Perry Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro, drummer Stephen Perkins and bassist Chris Chanley. Despite being a successful part of the alternative rock boom of the early 1990s, Janes Addiction were not actually around for very long during it. During their first stint together which lasted until 1991, they released two critically acclaimed albums. The band’s heavily documented excess with drugs and alcohol soon took its toll on them and they played a farewell tour in 1991 which launched the first Lollapalooza tour, which is now one of the biggest touring festivals in the US.
They very briefly reformed in 1997 with Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea replacing original bass player Eric Avery. In 2003, they released their first album in twelve years before disbanding yet again. They have been back together again since 2008. They released their fourth record in 2011 and although they have yet to produce any more material, they are still together, making their current tenure together their longest by far.
# 10 – Just Because
Kicking off this Jane’s Addiction songs list is the song that was the band’s first single from their comeback album titled Strays released in 2003. It is among the most successful in the band’s charting history. It was their third to reach number one on the Modern Rock Chart and it also reached several positions on other charts. The album was produced by Bob Ezrin who has produced many classic albums including Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
# 9 – Three Days
Next on the list is a very long ten-minute song taken from 1990’s classic album Ritual de lo Habitual. The song is in three parts and deals with the concept of death and rebirth. It was inspired by a former girlfriend of Farrell’s and a three-day drug bender that she spent with him and his partner after flying to Los Angeles to attend her father’s funeral. The song was written before she died of a heroin overdose in 1987, despite not being released and recorded until a couple of years later.
# 8 – Had a Dad
This track is from the band’s debut released in 1988 titled Nothings Shocking. It was written by then bassist Eric Avery is about how he felt when he discovered the identity of his real father. It is one of the more straightforward cuts in the band’s catalogue in the sense that it is not full of weird time signatures and is more of a straight ahead angsty rock number. This is not surprising given the subject matter.
# 7 – Sympathy for the Devil
Yes, you guessed it, at number seven on our top 10 Janes Addiction songs list is a cover of the song by a certain band called the Rolling Stones. With this track, we go back to the band’s pre-album days with this live recording being taken from their self-titled live released in 1987. The purpose of this record’s release was so that the band could have an “album” out, at full length and containing plenty of material. It clearly worked for them as their true first record was released a year later.
# 6 – Mountain Song
Next is a song that was released as the second single from Nothing’s Shocking released in 1988. This song is notable as being the first thing ever written by the band. Its origin dates back to 1985 before the band even had a name. A couple of earlier versions of it existed before it was re-recorded for the first album. It is one of the heavier tracks in the band’s catalogue, clearly showing their love for and influence from Led Zeppelin.
# 5 – Oceansize
Continuing with our top 10 Jane’s Addiction songs list we turn to another track from Nothing’s Shocking. The album was produced by Dave Jerden who’s work Farrell had liked on David Byrne and Brian Eno’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. This song has a big sound to it, meaning that its sound lives up to its title. Lyrically, it is about living on the streets in a big city (i.e Los Angeles). The album was well received upon its release, being applauded for having a unique and original sound.
# 4 – Been Caught Stealing
At the position of number four is what is commonly regarded as the band’s biggest hit taken from Ritual de la Habitual. It reached number one on the US Modern Rock Charts where it remained for four weeks. The song saw the band going in a direction that got them lumped into the funk metal category along with the likes of Faith No More and their friends the Red Hot Chili Peppers. As a whole it is regarded as one of the classics of nineties alternative era music.
# 3 – Standing in the Shower……Thinking
At number three on this Jane’s Addiction songs list we have another song from Nothings Shocking which is among the pop style cuts in the band’s discography. Lyrically the song is literally about what the title says, as Farrell describes water hitting his back and cheekily admitting that he pees in the shower! With this in mind, not only is it among the more musically accessible cuts from Janes Addiction but lyrically is also very different from much of the dark and heavy content that makes up much pf their lyrical subject matter.
# 2 – Jane Says
Just off the top spot is the track that was the band’s first to enter the Alternative Chart where it reached number six. Although it was first released on the self-titled live debut, it was re-recorded to be included on Nothings Shocking. It is another of their most famous songs and is known to often close the band’s live sets. The namesake of the song is the same person who is the namesake of the band, a drug addicted woman named Jane Bainter.
# 1 – End to the Lies
Here at the number one spot we have a single from the band’s most recent album The Great Escape Artist released in 2011. On bass here is Dave Sitek, formerly of Tv on The Radio, filling the spot that had previously been held by Duff McKagen formerly of Guns N Roses. The song has often been compared to the work of Sitek’s previous band, as it possesses heavy use of his funk-inspired bass sound. Sitek does not play bass on all tracks on the album.