Nothing's Shocking

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Nothing's Shocking
NothingsShocking.jpg
Studio album by Jane's Addiction
Released August 23, 1988
Recorded 1987–1988
Studio Eldorado Studios in Los Angeles, California
Genre
Length 45:13
Label Warner Bros.
Producer
Jane's Addiction chronology
Jane's Addiction
(1987)Jane's Addiction1987
Nothing's Shocking
(1988)
Ritual de lo habitual
(1990)Ritual de lo habitual1990
Singles from Nothing's Shocking
  1. "Jane Says"
    Released: 1988
  2. "Mountain Song"
    Released: December 1988
  3. "Ocean Size"
    Released: 1989

Nothing's Shocking is the first major-label studio album by the American rock band Jane's Addiction, released on August 23, 1988 through Warner Bros. Records. Nothing's Shocking was well received by critics upon release, though it peaked at number 103 on the Billboard 200. The single "Jane Says" reached number six on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks in 1988. The album was ranked #312 on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums of All-Time." Nothing's Shocking is also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Recording[edit]

Warner Bros. gave Jane's Addiction a list of producers to choose from. They chose Dave Jerden, whose work as engineer on David Byrne and Brian Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts frontman Perry Farrell appreciated. Jerden said he "jumped" at the chance to work with the group.[4]

During the recording sessions, Farrell stated he wanted 50% of the band's publishing royalties for writing the lyrics, as well as quarter of the remaining half for writing music, adding up to 62.5% total. Bassist Eric Avery said he and the other members – guitarist Dave Navarro and drummer Stephen Perkins – were stunned by these demands.[5] Farrell refused to compromise. One day Jerden drove to the studio to find Farrell, Navarro, and Perkins leaving; Farrell told him the band had broken up and there would be no record. Warner Bros. called an emergency meeting to resolve the situation. Farrell got the percentage he sought, and the other members received 12.5 percent each. Avery said the incident had a profound effect on the band, creating an internal fracture.[6]

Not long after the royalties dispute, Farrell and Avery (who had cofounded the band) had a falling-out. This was the result of Avery's newfound sobriety as well as an incident where Farrell believed the bassist had drunkenly tried to pick up his girlfriend. "Unfortunately," Farrell recalled, "the tensions between Eric and I affected the whole family. Some people were asked to take sides, and others just moped about because they didn't know what was going on."[7] Perkins, however, is reported to have got along with Navarro, Avery and Farrell.[8]

Music[edit]

The writing process varied from song to song. "Some came from Eric's bass lines," noted Navarro, "some from guitar, some came from Perry, some came from drum riffs, and some just came from free-form jams. There was really no formula." Eric Avery wrote several songs, including "Mountain Song", "Had a Dad", "Jane Says", and "Summertime Rolls" (the latter two of which he also created the guitar parts for). For his songs, Avery came up with lyrical concepts that Perry Farrell would create actual lyrics for; for example, "Had a Dad" dealt with Avery discovering he had a different biological father.[9]

"Jane Says" and "Pigs in Zen", which first appeared on the band's self-titled 1987 debut, were rerecorded for Nothing's Shocking. The later version of "Jane Says" features a steel drum while the spoken interlude in "Pigs in Zen" is completely different.

"Mountain Song" – originally released in 1986 on the soundtrack for the film Dudes – was also rerecorded. Musically similar to the original, it is sung in a higher key, to be consistent with the rest of the record. The 1986 original saw a more widespread release when it was included on the band's 1997 outtake/alternate/live and new compilation Kettle Whistle.

Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea played on "Idiots Rule". "I knew that Flea loved the trumpet and didn't get to play it too often," recalled Farrell. "So I invited him down one of the Nothing's Shocking sessions. He didn't yet have those tough lips that trumpet players need. I'd go, 'Are you ready?' and this poor kid would go [makes mournful parping noise]. That's when I realised he needed a rest."[10]

Packaging, release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 5/5 stars[11]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[12]
The Philadelphia Inquirer 4/4 stars[13]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[14]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4.5/5 stars[15]
The Village Voice B−[16]

Farrell created the cover image, which features a sculpture of nude female conjoined twins on a rocking chair with their heads on fire. He hired Warner Bros. employees to create the sculpture, but – after learning how to create sculptures by watching them closely – fired them and created the artwork himself.[17] "The idea came from a dream I had," he recalled. "There were these two women swinging back and forth. They were joined at the hip and shoulder, and their hair was on fire. I just went from there, and [girlfriend] Casey [Niccoli] assisted me. We had a fellow come and do a plaster body-casting of her, then we made the twins' hair and head gear from pipe cleaners. You'll notice the chair rocks from side to side, as opposed to back and forth, so we had to have that made specially. We also went shopping for fake eyeballs."[18]

Owing to the cover, nine of the eleven leading record store chains refused to carry Nothing's Shocking. It was issued covered with brown paper.[19]

"Mountain Song" was released as a single; however, MTV refused to air the song's music video owing to a scene containing nudity.[20] Farrell decided to release the video commercially, adding twenty minutes of live footage to create the Soul Kiss home video.[21]

Lack of airplay on MTV and modern rock radio meant Nothing's Shocking sold only 200,000 to 250,000 copies in its first year.[22] It went on, however, to sell over one million and is certified Platinum in the U.S. by the RIAA.

In a retrospective review, AllMusic's Greg Prato called Nothing's Shocking "a must-have for lovers of cutting-edge, influential, and timeless hard rock."[3] In 2006, Q magazine placed it at #32 in a list of the "40 Best Albums of the '80s".[23]

2012 Remaster[edit]

A remastered edition of Nothing's Shocking was released on June 19, 2012 on a 24 karat gold disc.[24]

Other than the addition of remastering production credits and a cardboard slipcase over the standard jewel case, the liner notes and artwork are almost identical to the original release. Likewise, the track list remained unchanged. The most notable artwork difference between the original and the remaster is in the color of band name typeface on the cover: the original is rendered in a deep teal color with black outline while the remaster features a light grey type with purple outline.

Produced by Audio Fidelity, the remaster had a limited production run of 5,000 units. Each pressing came individually numbered.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Perry Farrell; all music composed by Jane's Addiction.

No. Title Length
1. "Up the Beach" 3:00
2. "Ocean Size" 4:20
3. "Had a Dad" 3:44
4. "Ted, Just Admit It...[**]" 7:23
5. "Standing in the Shower... Thinking" 3:03
6. "Summertime Rolls" 6:18
7. "Mountain Song" 4:03
8. "Idiots Rule" 3:00
9. "Jane Says" 4:52
10. "Thank You Boys" 1:01
11. "Pig's in Zen[*]" 4:30

^ * Does not appear on the vinyl edition of the album.
^ ** Also known as "Sex Is Violent". Contains a sample of Ted Bundy.

Personnel[edit]

Jane's Addiction

Additional musicians

Recording personnel

  • Dave Jerden – production, mixing, & recording engineer
  • Perry Farrell – production, mixing
  • Ronnie S. Champagne – recording engineer
  • Andy Harper – recording engineer
  • Jeff Piergeorge – second recording engineer
  • Steve Hall – mastering (original album)
  • Kevin Gray – mastering (2012 remastered album)

Additional personnel

  • Perry Farrell – album design, sculpture and photography
  • Casey Niccoli – art assistant, photography
  • Kevin Westenberg – band photography
  • Kim Champagne – art hostess
  • Paul Fisher – castings
  • Roberta Ballard – production coordinator (2012 remastered album)

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[25] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[26] 1× Platinum 1,000,000^

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

Charting positions[edit]

Album[edit]

Year Chart Position
1988 Billboard Top 200 103

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
1988 "Jane Says" Modern Rock Tracks 6

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Loud Love: Soundgarden and the Heyday of Alternative Metal - Noisey". Retrieved 5 January 2017. 
  2. ^ Browne, David (January 29, 2014). "Jane's Addiction Performing Full 'Nothing's Shocking' Shows". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 5, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c Prato, Greg. "Nothing's Shocking – Jane's Addiction". AllMusic. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  4. ^ Mullen, p. 165
  5. ^ Mullen, p. 166
  6. ^ Mullen, p. 168
  7. ^ Halbert, James (August 2001). "Nasy habits". Classic Rock. No. 30. p. 58. 
  8. ^ Mullen, p. 169–71
  9. ^ Mullen, p. 167
  10. ^ Halbert, James (August 2001). "Nasy habits". Classic Rock. No. 30. p. 60. 
  11. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8. 
  12. ^ Cromelin, Richard (August 28, 1988). "Jane's Hard and Soft Edges". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  13. ^ Tucker, Ken (September 22, 1988). "Jane's Addiction: Nothing's Shocking (Warner Bros.)". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 
  14. ^ Pond, Steve (October 20, 1988). "Nothing's Shocking". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  15. ^ Hochman, Steve (2004). "Jane's Addiction". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 421–22. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  16. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 14, 1989). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  17. ^ Mullen, p. 177
  18. ^ Halbert, James (August 2001). "Nasy habits". Classic Rock. No. 30. p. 56. 
  19. ^ Mullen, p. 178
  20. ^ Mullen, p. 179
  21. ^ Mullen, p. 180
  22. ^ Mullen, p. 190
  23. ^ Q August 2006, Issue 241
  24. ^ "Jane's Addiction: Nothing's Shocking". Audio Fidelity. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  25. ^ "British album certifications – Jane's Addiction – Nothing's Shocking". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Nothing's Shocking in the search field and then press Enter.
  26. ^ "American album certifications – Jane's Addiction – Nothing's Shocking". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

Bibliography

  • Mullen, Brendan. Whores: An Oral Biography of Perry Farrell and Jane's Addiction. Da Capo, 2005. ISBN 0-306-81347-5

External links[edit]