Strays (Jane's Addiction album)

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Strays
Studio album by Jane's Addiction
Released July 22, 2003
Recorded 2002–03 at Henson Recording Studios
Genre Alternative rock, alternative metal, nu metal[1][2][3]
Length 48:22
Label Capitol
Producer Bob Ezrin and Brian Virtue
Jane's Addiction chronology
Ritual de lo Habitual
(1990)
Strays
(2003)
The Great Escape Artist
(2011)

Strays is the fourth album, and third full studio album by American rock band Jane's Addiction, released on July 22, 2003 on Capitol Records. Released 13 years after Ritual de lo Habitual (1990), the album marks the band's longest gap between full studio albums, although the group had recorded and released a handful of new songs 6 years earlier on the compilation album Kettle Whistle (1997). Strays is the first album to feature bassist Chris Chaney. Regarding the decision to record a new studio album after such a long hiatus, drummer Stephen Perkins stated that the band had already completed two reunion tours performing old material, and that Jane's was ready for "a new challenge."[4]

Upon its first week of release, the album sold 110,500 copies in the United States and is currently certified Gold.[5] The single, "Just Because", was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2004.

Background and recording[edit]

According to drummer Stephen Perkins "it all started around March or April 2002 with Bob Ezrin producing a Porno for Pyros track for the movie Dark Blue, an incredible song called "Streets of Fire" which was just epic. That segued into the Strays project."[6]

The band entered Henson Recording Studio in 2002, with producers Bob Ezrin and Brian Virtue. Speaking of Ezrin, Farrell noted that: "he raise[d] the bar for all of us. It's like training for the Olympics - something you're aspiring towards in creating art. You're trying to make the most beautiful music, you try to break new ground creating sound that no one's ever heard before. When working with Bob; doing that becomes a very real possibility."

Bassist Martyn LeNoble, was fired half-way through the recording. LeNoble states that he:

recorded pretty much the whole Strays record. And Perry erased it. He suddenly fired me on the spot in Japan when we still had a whole flight back to the US. That's the last time I talked to him. Perry and Bob (Ezrin) replaced all my bass parts on Strays. Perry was saying everything I played sounded like shit, but then they had the new guy pretty much play exactly my parts, maybe a couple of little changes, so I guess they couldn't have been that shitty.[6]

LeNoble was replaced by Chris Chaney, whom Dave Navarro described as "perhaps the most intense musician I've ever worked with."[4] Regarding his arrival in the band, Chaney noted that:

Dave and Stephen have been playing together since they were 13 years old, they have quite a synergy or chemistry and for me as a bass player to be able to come into that is really remarkable, it gives me a great opportunity to shine. I did a record with Tommy Lee and we needed a drummer to go tour with and what better drummer than Stephen Perkins. I was only able to do it for about six weeks because I was playing with Alanis Morissette and I had to go back to that, but in that short time, Stephen and I had a great relationship and last August he called me and asked me to do some shows.[7]

Artwork[edit]

Original cover artwork created for the album by Storm Thorgerson was rejected by the band, and used instead on The Bottom Half by Umphrey's McGee.[8]

Musical style and inspirations[edit]

Vocalist Perry Farrell states that the band "went into the studio thinking fast, hard, modern and to the point."[4] Strays was labeled by critics as "nu metal",[1][2][3] a genre which the band was a precursor to.[9]

DualDisc version[edit]

This album was included among a group of 15 DualDisc releases that were test marketed in two cities: Boston and Seattle. The DualDisc version of the album was not reissued after the test market run. It has the standard album on the CD side, and bonus material on the DVD side, including a 5.1 surround mix of the entire album.

The surround mix is encoded in Dolby Digital and lossless MLP (DVD Audio), and is only available on the DualDisc. All other bonus material is identical with the album's regular CD/DVD version.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars [10]
Entertainment Weekly B+ [2]
NME (8/10) [11]
Pitchfork Media (5.8/10) [1]
Playlouder 4.5/5 stars [12]
PopMatters 8/10 stars [13][14]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars [15]
USA Today 3.5/4 stars [16]
Yahoo! Music (favorable) [17]
Yahoo! Music UK 6/10 stars [18]

The album received generally positive reviews, with a Metacritic score of 75, based on 19 reviews.[14] Playlouder noted that "their glee and enthusiasm can be heard coursing through every bar,"[12] while NME claimed that Strays was "one of the best rock albums of 2003."[11] and Alternative Press stated that the album was "better than anyone could have predicted."[14] The Boston Globe said that, "The new Jane's sounds a lot like the old Jane's. It is hard rock, with none of the trippiness that defined singer Perry Farrell's post- Addiction band, 'Porno for Pyros,' or the electronic maundering that marred his lone solo album, 2001's 'Song Yet to Be Sung.'"[19] IGN gave the album a 7.5 out of 10 and stated, "Basically the band has not ventured too far from the sounds they exhibited on 1990's Ritual De La Habitual [sic], making Strays sound like the follow-up that could/should have happened 13 years ago. All of which makes me wonder what this album would have sounded like if they'd been making music together during the past decade. Yet despite these shortcomings, Strays is a valiant effort by a band that not only changed the face of Los Angeles rock, but still knows how to (rock, that is)."[20]

While still giving the album a C+, Stylus Magazine notes that the album is "good in its own right, but perhaps you're better off listening to it in isolation from the rest of their canon"[21] and Pitchfork Media claims that "Strays lacks what made the band great in the first place: believable songs and lyrics."[1]

In 2005, Strays was ranked number 404 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[22] In 2009, Navarro stated that he "really liked [Strays]. I had a great time working with Bob Ezrin, who produced it. That’s what makes doing stuff like this really amazing for me."[23] In 2011, Perkins stated that the album was "an interesting point in our sound."[24]

Track listing[edit]

Songs by Farrell/Navarro/Perkins/Ezrin/Chaney unless otherwise noted.
  1. "True Nature" – 3:49 (Perry Farrell/Dave Navarro/Stephen Perkins/Bob Ezrin/Martyn LeNoble)
  2. "Strays" – 4:32 (Farrell/Navarro/Perkins/Ezrin/Aaron Embry/David J)
  3. "Just Because" – 3:51
  4. "Price I Pay" – 5:27
  5. "The Riches" – 5:44 (Farrell/Navarro/Perkins/Ezrin/Embry/LeNoble)
  6. "Superhero" – 3:58 (Farrell/Navarro/Perkins/Ezrin/Embry)
  7. "Wrong Girl" – 4:32
  8. "Everybody's Friend" – 3:18 (Farrell/Navarro/Perkins/Ezrin)
  9. "Suffer Some" – 4:14 (Farrell/Navarro/Perkins/LeNoble/Ezrin)
  10. "Hypersonic" – 3:32 (Farrell/Navarro/Perkins/Ezrin/LeNoble)
  11. "To Match the Sun" – 5:25 (Farrell/Navarro/Perkins/Ezrin/LeNoble)

Bonus DVD Contents[edit]

~30 minutes of never-before seen live, studio and interview footage. Live cuts: "Just Because", "Strays" (2 versions), "Price I Pay"

DualDisc Exclusive Contents[edit]

In addition to the contents available on the regular DVD: entire album in 5.1 surround sound in Dolby Digital (DVD-Video) or lossless MLP (DVD-Audio)

Singles released[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[25] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[26] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[27] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Charting positions[edit]

Album[edit]

Year Chart Position
2003 Billboard Top 200 4
Top Internet Albums 4
Top Canadian Albums 4

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
2003 "Just Because" Billboard Hot 100 72
Modern Rock Tracks 1
Mainstream Rock Tracks 4
Triple J Hottest 100[28] 36
"True Nature" Modern Rock Tracks 30
Mainstream Rock Tracks 35

Selected quotes[edit]

  • Perry Farrell: Working with Bob Ezrin on Strays meant a lot because I knew that Dave loved Pink Floyd's The Wall, which Ezrin produced. Dave learned The Wall (as a kid). He can play the whole album note for note. I knew he'd instantly have a lot of respect for him.
  • Bob Ezrin: My job on Strays was to bring a sort of commonality to the process and make everyone think it was a group effort again and not just a bunch of solo projects trying to be strung together.
  • Martyn LeNoble: Bob Ezrin didn't really understand Jane's Addiction musically. I remember arguing with him, "Have you listened to Ritual?" He goes, "Frankly, I can't get through it. I think it sounds horrible. I'm going to make this a real rock band instead of an art rock band." Well, he succeeded. He took all the magic out of it. He made a rock record. The most magical moments on the Jane's Addiction records are the quiet little adventures to the left, and, of course Eric Avery's magic bass.

In pop culture[edit]

References[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Dahlen, Chris (2003-07-22). "Jane's Addiction: Strays". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  2. ^ a b c Entertainment Weekly Review
  3. ^ a b Clifford, Bill (October 26, 2011). "Jane’s Addiction: The Great Escape Artist". American Songwriter. Retrieved February 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "Jane's Addiction Profile Page: Biography, Interview and Album Reviews". Musicemissions.com. 2011-12-31. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  5. ^ "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  6. ^ a b Mullen, Brendan. Whores: An Oral Biography of Perry Farrell and Jane's Addiction. Cambridge: Da Capo, 2005. ISBN 0-306-81347-5
  7. ^ Hilliard, Chris (2003-09-30). "Just Because Jane Says / In Depth // Drowned In Sound". Drownedinsound.com. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  8. ^ Classic Rock 2010 calendar
  9. ^ Udo (2002), p.29
  10. ^ Allmusic Review
  11. ^ a b Lewis, Simon (2003-07-21). "NME Album Reviews - Jane's Addiction : Strays". NME. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  12. ^ a b Allen, Jeremy (2003-07-22). "Strays". Playlouder. Archived from the original on 2003-08-06. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  13. ^ PopMatters Review
  14. ^ a b c "Critic Reviews for Strays". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  15. ^ Rolling Stone Review at the Wayback Machine (archived August 11, 2003)
  16. ^ USA Today Review
  17. ^ Yahoo! Music Review[dead link]
  18. ^ Yahoo! Music UK Review at the Wayback Machine (archived August 19, 2004)
  19. ^ The Boston Globe Review
  20. ^ IGN Review
  21. ^ Karim Adab; Nick Southall (2003-09-01). "Jane's Addiction - Strays - Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  22. ^ [...], Rock Hard (Hrsg.). [Red.: Michael Rensen. Mitarb.: Götz Kühnemund] (2005). Best of Rock & Metal die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten. Königswinter: Heel. p. 47. ISBN 3-89880-517-4. 
  23. ^ Billy Corgan/Dave Navarro: Spirits In The Sky
  24. ^ "Progress Report: Jane’s Addiction". Stereogum. 2011-09-15. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  25. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Jane's Addiction – Strays". Music Canada. 
  26. ^ "British album certifications – Jane's Addiction – Strays". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Strays in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  27. ^ "American album certifications – Jane's Addiction – Strays". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  28. ^ "2003 | history | triple j hottest 100 - 2008 | triple j". Abc.net.au. 2008-12-26. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Whores: An Oral Biography of Perry Farrell and Jane's Addiction, Brendan Mullen, Da Capo Press (March 13, 2006), ISBN 0-306-81478-1

External links[edit]