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Nothing's Shocking

4.7 out of 5 stars 144 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Certified platinum by the RIAA (1/98).

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Though the songs aren't quite as good as those on Ritual De Lo Habitual, this album is much more consistent, with a heavy rock-funk-punk mix that's a pleasure to hear. The slower songs (especially "Summertime Rolls" and "Jane Says") work well, while the up-tempo material--in particular the closer "Pig's in Zen"--is both catchy and ambitious. It's a fine album overall, and if the band's Zeppelin-ward aspirations don't quite work, their music is still quite good in its own right. --Genevieve Williams
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: August 23, 1988
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Off Roster
  • ASIN: B000002LEE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,268 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
One of the most original and unique records of its era, "Nothing's Shocking" is the album that turned into the bar for alternative music. In many ways the LA variant of grunge, Jane's Addiction successfully combines the sounds of '70s arena rock with a punk sensibility and a post-punk feel, adding Perry Farrell's esoteric and often dense lyrics on top of this. While commercial success would follow with "Ritual de lo Habitual", its controversial artwork and its hit single, this is in my assessment the superior album, and the benchmark for alternative music since. Its a testament to Jane's Addiction that few records have been able to match this.

Admittedly, Jane's is probably not for everyone-- its hard to deny the instrumental prowess of this band: guitarist Dave Navarro can wail away with the best of them, and its through him that the influence of '70s and '80s arena sounds come through. Bassist Eric Avery has a very different sensibility, if there's one thing about Avery, its that he's really a master of sitting in a pocket, whether featured in a melodic context or even just marching to the guitar line-- he phrases slightly off to provide that sort of groove feeling. And drummer Stephen Perkins is probably the best of his generation, with a fine technique and an expressiveness that is really quite rare to find in modern drummers. But the band's calling card is really Perry Farrell, and he's the kind of thing you sort of like or dislike straight off-- his kind of punk-meets-Queen vocal approach, very much over the top the way Freddie Mercury was, but filtering out much of the technique in place of passion and a raw wail. It's not for everyone.
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10 Comments 49 of 53 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on April 21, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Nothing's Shocking is one of the most amazing displays of musical force there is. The primal, screaming energy contained within is a revelation in the purest sense. Although it's not nearly as raging today as it was when it was released, it still contains enough power to impress anyone.
The music is incredible. Perry Farrell's manic howls provide some of the best lyrics that can be found in alternative rock. Dave Navarro plays guitar like a maniac, and Eric Avery's bass is what truly helps drive the band, simple yet utterly brilliant. Stephen Perkin's drumming is incredible. Every song on this album is good.
The opener, "Up The Beach" is a sort of swaying, gentle track that provides a perfect introduction. "Ocean Size" hits with the force of a tidal wave - play the song LOUD. "Had a Dad" is melodic and groovy, and truly excellent. "Ted, Just Admit It" is an epic, funky song. "Standing in the Shower . . . Thinking" is a quick, hard blast of funk. "Summertime Rolls" is a great song with a sort of dream-like quality.
"Mountain Song" is simply one of the greatest things ever recorded. The bassline is one of the best ever, and the song explodes with a force that dwarfs most others. Perry howling "coming down the mountain . . ." and "cash in now, honey" will send chills down your spine. "Idiots Rule" rocks. "Jane Says" is a classic, one of the all-time great songs. "Pigs in Zen" is a brilliant, clever, insightful song, listen closely.
Nothing's Shocking is simply an album you have to own.
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Format: Audio CD
It's hard to believe that this album came out in 1988 and still holds its own as one of the most rock-out albums of all time. Even when standbys such as Mother Love Bone, Fugazi and even Guns 'n Roses sound a little too stale and cliched these days, "Nothing's Shocking" still carries tremendous power in it's super-charged rock sound. Perry Farrell's shrieking, startling vocals never fail to make me take notice.

From the opening bludgeon of "Up the Beach" to the staccato aggressiveness of "Pigs in Zen", this album never lets up. Even the cheeky "Thank You Boys" is delivered with impish delight that could only come from the mind of the half-mad, feral Farrell. Compare Dave Navarro's chops with anything on your local flaccid rock station and you'll see what I mean.

It's high time to treasure this gem all over again.
1 Comment 30 of 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
The Amazon reviewer says that the songs on this album aren't as good as those on "Ritual De Lo Habitual," but that this album is "much more consistent." What is that supposed to mean? This album DEFINED Janes Addiction and set them apart from the world of hair-band slop during the late Eighties. It's "much more consistent" than "Ritual" because it's much BETTER than "Ritual." "Nothing's Shocking" showed us that bands don't have to follow formulas to be successful. This album defied categorization at the time. Is it metal, like Metallica? Is it alternative, like The Smiths? Is it funk-based like Red Hot Chili Peppers? The answers are, YES, YES, and YES. With Eric Avery's pounding bass-rhythms and Stephen Perkins' virtuoso percussions providing the true foundation of the music, Dave Navarro's trippy/Zep-esque guitars were free to weave a tapestry of sound that was complimented by an unconventional singer/screamer in Perry Farrell. Metalheads could appreciate songs like "Had A Dad," "Mountain Song," and "Pigs in Zen" while the alternative crowd got into the more psychedelic and funk-based songs like "Summertime Rolls" and "Idiots Rule." This is the definitive Janes Addiction album. "Ritual" was more pop-heavy and erratic, wheras this album is dark, often funny, daring, emotional, and much more involved with the human spirit than "Ritual." It really is the perfect encapsulation of the power of Janes Addiction, and it should not be overlooked in favor of their more radio-friendly, but thematically inferior second studio album, "Ritual De Lo Habitual."
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