Thursday, May 31, 2007

Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking

I don't know if there's ever been an album cover as ironic as this one. I would think that if naked adult siamese twins with their heads on fire isn't shocking, then indeed nothing is. I like the realism despite the subject matter (it goes along with the realistic surrealism thing I'd mentioned before). I believe this is one of the truly outstanding albums of all time; one that changed the face of music. It's only appropriate that it should have such a great cover.



Blogger Metal Mark said...

It's alright. I think the dark photo and the squiggly logo don't stand out much. Love the title though.

May 31, 2007 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger taotechuck said...

The album cover caught the tail end of the censorship that ran rampant in the Reagan and Bush I years, most famously between 1985's PMRC witch hunt and the 1989/1990 drama over NEA-supported artists like Serrano and Mapplethorpe.

Interestingly, Nothing's Shocking didn't generate as much controversy as Ritual did. Were our nation's leaders/censors homophobic misogynists who were less offended by the portrayal of burning two "deformed" women than by a menage a trois? Is the depiction of sexual nudity worse than the depiction of violent nudity? Or was it simply that nobody knew Jane's Addiction when Shocking was released?

Regardless, I think this is an interesting and thought-provoking cover. Much like Serrano's Piss Christ, if one chooses to dig beneath the obvious interpretations, there are layers of sociopolitical commentary in Perry Farrell's sculpture.

Or maybe it's just a couple of sexy women with their heads on fire. You never can tell with these crazy artist types.

May 31, 2007 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

I think someone cheated with two posts this week. Hmmmm... Just kidding; I understand the contrasts you were making. I think this cover reflects the title quite accurately, and definitely what you say about its influence and importance musically is dead-on

May 31, 2007 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

I think it's not half as clever as the band thinks it is. An attempt at shock or art or ... something, but it looks desperate to me.

-- david

June 1, 2007 at 7:34 AM  
Blogger countshockula said...

How many cow's were harmed? That's the real question.

June 1, 2007 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger countshockula said...

I mean cows.

June 1, 2007 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

Mark - I like the photo and log. The only complaint I have is the cow background. I'm not quite sure where that came from.

Chuck - I suspect that Nothing's Shocking didn't generate enough mainstream sales to ruffle any feathers, but your point about what might work up the powers that be is interesting. Obscenity is so subjective that most of it falls into a gray area. This is particularly true because things can have multiple interpretations as you say. One man's art is another man's porn. Still, I think this one was just intended to be ironic more than any kind of social commentary.

Ray - I believe that Nothing's Shocking is the single most important release that led to the alt rock explosion of the early 90s, so much so that I wonder if it would have even happened without this release.

David - Obviously, I disagree. I find the irony of it to be really clever. But I certainly didn't find JA to be a more-clever-than-thou band like maybe Sonic Youth or the Pixies.

Count - Hopefully, none since I'm a vegetarian!

June 1, 2007 at 4:41 PM  

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