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Cabinet of Curiosities (3 CD/1 DVD)

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 21, 2009
$60.37
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Editorial Reviews

3-CD/1-DVD box set featuring over 2 hours of unreleased and rare tracks, including demos, B-sides, and live recordings. Also includes SOUL KISS, music videos, and rare live performances available on DVD for the first time.
Sounding like no one who'd come before, Jane's Addiction changed the face of modern rock when they emerged in the late 80s. Their landmark 1988 album Nothing's Shocking fused raw energy with hard rock riffs, metal, funk, punk and the avant garde musical and lyrical sensibilities that define their entire output. On A CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, the band's first-ever boxed set, Rhino explores their incomparable legacy with a 3-CD/1-DVD collection of demos, live performances and rarities, more than half of which are previously unreleased. Focusing solely on the original incarnation of Jane's Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro, bassist Eric Avery and drummer Stephen Perkins, the retrospective is a revealing portrait of one of rock n roll's greatest and most influential bands. It's all packaged in a deluxe limited-edition wooden box modeled after an old-time curiosity cabinet, perfectly complimenting the sonic wonders inside.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 21, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Label: Rhino Records
  • ASIN: B001G7HT8M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,763 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Jane's Addiction Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Fans of the original lineup of Jane's Addiction will love this box set. It's loaded with demos, b-sides, cover versions, and live tracks, without ANY filler from the studio albums. Everything has been remastered and sounds great. JA and Rhino deserve heaps of praise for not larding up the discs with songs everybody has already.

The demos document early versions of pretty much everything on JA's first two major label releases. They're an interesting way to hear how things change when bands get access to heaps of record company production dollars. Casual fans probably won't be terribly interested in the demos, but listeners with a passion for the creative process will find a lot of cool moments on the first two discs. The highlight of this box for me, though, is the full concert on the third disc. The band is hot, hot, hot, truly on fire!

Unfortunately, the limited edition packaging is a mixed bag. While the cabinet is pretty cool (even though the "wood" is really that sawdust + glue stuff used in the back of old TV's), it's a bit smaller than one might expect from the product picture. In reality, the cabinet is roughly the size of a Wii console. I also was a little disappointed by the booklet, mainly because Rhino usually produces stellar box set books. The main essay reads like a press release, the guest quotes are kind of dull, and a lot of the pix are just closeups of the booklet cover.

These are really minor quibbles though--the bottom line is that there's a heap of great music here, most of it previously unreleased. Anybody who digs Nothing's Shocking and Ritual de lo Habitual ought to pick up this box set, in either of its incarnations. New JA fans, on the other hand, should get the first three albums before diving into the deep archival stuff here.
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Format: Audio CD
The only thing that would make this perfect is another live DVD showcasing a full unedited concert. But I certainly have NO complaints here. This is amazing, especially if you can find the 5 disc version which is a great supplement to the live tracks already included. The 5th disc includes an amazing version of "Of Course" and an awesome live version of "Ted Just Admit It".

The audio quality on the demos and live tracks are very clean and definitely worth the price. The included book is everything any fan would love to have...hundreds of pictures, flyers and awesome info about one of musics greatest endeavors to date. The playing cards and mini-bead dolls of each member just ice the cake of this set. What are you waiting for....go get this before its gone. Amazon doesnt tell you there is a very limited amount of these available.
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Format: Audio CD
I guess I was expecting much more. First I will talk about the packaging. I was expecting a sturdy wooden box and as someone else has already mentioned, what I received was the sawdust type of wooden box that in my opinion is very cheap and fragile. Both of my copies were damaged during shipping so that only added to my disappointment. If I could go back in time I would have waited for the regular edition.

Now to the contents of box. The majority of the material is studio demos, and B sides and although I admit these are upgrades to what I previously already had, I was expecting more live material because that's where I think Janes Addiction really shined. You do get one full show from their peak however that's it. After listening to the CDs back to back I was really hoping that the DVD would change my opinion however the contents of the DVD are Soul Kiss, A few music videos, and a few songs from the Milan show which could have been released complete however wasn't. That DVD is around 60 mins. and why wasn't more material added and at least 1 complete show? There's a few extras like voodoo dolls and some cards that I'm sure others have already mentioned however considering this was the first Janes box I think there could have been so much more musical content.

If you're seeking Janes studio material then this is the box for you however if you were really hoping for more live material then you too will be somewhat disappointed.

Maybe Janes is planning on releasing a live box in the future. Only time will tell.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Before talking about the box set, I think it is important to state a fact not mentioned by any of the other reviewers of any of JA's disks here on Amazon. Nearly all of the great JA songs were written between 1986 and 1987, that is, before or around the XXX record. I'm not making this up. As you can learn from the band's own website, songs like "Stop!", "Ain't no right", "Three days", and "And then she did" (not to mention Mountain Song, Ted Just Admit it, Ocean Size and so on) were were written (and played) for years before their commercial release.

I have the "Life and Profane" bootlegs with all the great songs on them in performances in 1986 and 1987. You can see amazing videos of a similar vintage on youtube. The only significant differences between those old performances and the album versions, or the 1990 live disk in this box, is (much) better equipment and recording, and some better soloing by Navarro. The reason they sound so awesome in 1990 is because they'd been playing those songs, and only those songs for (nearly) four years already. Anyone who talks about the 'evolution' of JA's music from XXX to Ritual is talking nonsense. The band was just spreading out the good stuff over as many albums as possible.

As you can learn from Brendan Mullen's bio, the band was already breaking up before "Nothing Shocking" was recorded in 1988. Basically, Perry insisted on 62.5% of NS's album royalties. Eric, Dave, and Steve ended up with 12.5% each. Apparently, they were also fighting about other things, but as you can imagine, after that raw deal, the band was basically broken (Humpty-Dumpty style). By the time most people (including me) learned about them in 1990, it wasn't a band anymore. It was just some debris left over after the explosion.
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