Senor y senoras, 25 years ago tomorrow, one of the most amazing albums every created was released.
LA rockers Jane’s Addiction released Ritual de lo Habitual on August 21, 1990. I was a senior in high school. Belinda Dolata lent me the tape so I could listen to it after I heard Been Caught Stealing, the first single, and a few older tracks, because I was intrigued. That and the album art work was controversial for the post Reagan era US, with the PMRC cracking down on ‘vulgarity’ in music. What I heard blew my mind.
The album is Jane’s at their artistic peak. A mixture of punk, metal, prog, psych, and funk, it was the alternative of mainstream. Stop is a little punkish, Obvious a wanders along on the fringe of space with the beautiful piano as texture, and Of Course waltzing along with it’s eastern feel with the gypsy like violin playing. And the epic Three Days is still what I consider one of the absolutely best pieces of music every written, and some of Dave Navarro’s finest guitar work bar none.
It was on the heels of this album being released that Perry Farrell created Lollapalooza. The band shortly thereafter broke up, though they reunited in the 2000’s they have never been as finely tuned as they are here. This year they are doing a series of shows playing Ritual in it’s entirety, so if you have a chance go see them, they are a force to be reckoned with live.
This album ranks in my top 10 of all time favorites since, along with my discovery of the Cure about the same time, it started defining my expansion of music taste beyond the pop world. And since it’s celebrating 25 years tomorrow, no better time to throw back. This is an essential, must have, love it or else album, and now is a true classic. Enjoy these selections from Jane’s Addiction creative zenith, Ritual de lo Habitual.
Been Caught Stealing