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BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL

Jane

Heavy Prog


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Jane Between Heaven and Hell  album cover
3.37 | 45 ratings | 9 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Between heaven and hell (19:47)
2. Twilight (8:14)
3. Voice in the wind (5:14)
4. Your circle (3:51)

Total Time: 37:06

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Klaus Hess / guitars, Moog, vocals
- Martin Hesse / bass, vocals
- Peter Panka / drums, percussion, vocals
- Manfred Wieczorke / keyboards, vocals

Guest musician:
- A. Zchenker / harp

Releases information

LP Brain 60055 (1977)

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JANE Between Heaven and Hell ratings distribution


3.37
(45 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
13%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
38%
Good, but non-essential (36%)
36%
Collectors/fans only (11%)
11%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

JANE Between Heaven and Hell reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
2 stars This one and its predecessor are supposed to be the height of Jane's prog achievements. Like their countrymen Birth Control , Jane felt that by the mid-70's , they should recycle their good hard rock into prog rock. Both bands started to write more ambitious tracks and both bands were only partially succesful at it.

I must say that most of the reviewers comparing them to Floyd or Eloy are overdoing it a little. There are hints of Floyd, yes, but this does not come to knee height. The title track has moments that directs your brains to Atom or Saucerful albums in its first part but there is hardly nothing worth remembering in the first ten minutes , abruptly and clumsily ended to start with some Gregorian chants in the second part. This second part is much better and probably the highlight of the album.

Side 2 is made up of a great old-Jane track Twilight but the rest of the tracks are simply fill- in stuff and again some very clumsy chord progression (I am not sure we can qualify those as abrupt changes as such but this is very clumsy) should make most progheads cringe.

IMHO , both Jane and birth Control lost a bit of their credibility and their purposes to veer off their excellent Hard-Prog (or Prog'N Roll) to do progressive albums. It just sounds too much like they were jumping on the bandwagon and somehow lost their soul while doing so.

All right , Give another halfstar.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#4056) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, April 11, 2005

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Content Development & Krautrock Team
4 stars A superb album which confirms the importance of this band in the history of German prog rock. The heavy rock side of the band is more evident but always highly charged of Moog synth parts and beautiful, melodic guitar sections. The opening tune is an epic, grandiose song with a constant expression of dark, desperate feelings. It starts with a long, "creepy" atmospheric introduction then goes into a heavy rock excursion. The most consistent part is given after a long church like chorus: the tune opens on a captivating, emotional guitar dominated solo...the submit of Jane's musical talent on this one, so charged of sensibility and humanity. It ends with the same heavy rock instrumentation of the debut. The second track provides a dynamic "stoned" hard rock composition with some very catchy moments (especially the second part with its epic and spacey dimension). "Voice in the Wind" is a powerful melodic ballad featuring a deep, slowing, floating accompaniment and plaintive vocals. The last song is just a mistake, a rather poor, tasteless rock 'n roll deviation. Not the highlight of the band's career but a nice start for beginners and a delicate release.

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Send comments to philippe (BETA) | Report this review (#84664) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, July 24, 2006

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
5 stars Between Heaven and Hell is far and away the crowning achievement of German hard rock band Jane. From a progressive perspective only "Earth Air Fire and Water" comes close, but it suffers from much weaker material.

Needless to say, the dominant piece on this album is the "side-long" title cut, a very dark piece of music indeed, with some nods to Pink Floyd's echoes especially in the main vocal theme which is introduced in the 7th minute and reprised near the end. But the epic really comes into its own in between, starting with monk-like chants and followed by trademark Jane minimalism built on a backdrop of mellotron and plodding rhythm section, upon which initially gentle and later searing yet melodic lead guitar is built. The monks return one final time to bracket this breathtakingly beautiful section.

The following two songs are both uniformly excellent. "Twilight" is like a miniature version of the suite, with a harder rock vocal section followed by yet another inspired buildup on a simple theme. No one could stick with a motif as doggedly as Jane and yet leave me asking for more when they finally give it up. In fact, could one not consider this as progressive music by definition? "Voice in the Wind" is more mellow and features slightly humourous if sad accented lyrics. For all intents and purposes the album should have ended here, with "Your Circle" being a very typical hard rock song. Since it is the closer, it can simply be programmed out without loss of continuity. Since the rest is such a landmark, I have no choice but to render a five star rating.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#120863) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, May 05, 2007

Review by febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
3 stars AN ATTEMPT AT GRANDEUR SOMEWHAT FLAWED!

After the commercial and artistic success of their last 2 albums FIRE WATER & EARTH and JANE ''LIVE AT HOME'', JANE was on a roll and decided to go further into prog territory with an attempt at producing the ''classic'' JANE masterpiece that would be viewed as their artistic crowning achievement later on. Not that this goal has been met, but BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL is often considered as one of their best.

JANE like any real good prog band tried to produce a ''suite'' or ''epic'' with the almost 20mns long title track. BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL is a good song sure to please any space progger but is no 5 star masterpiece in my scale as the different sections sometimes don't adjust well together. It starts with a very creepy spacey 2mn athmosphere before a gilmouresque guitar/vocal appear leading to a little hard rockish part that could have used a little bit more creativity, especially on the vocal side. Then it's time for ex-ELOY M. WIECZORKE to create a mellotronish soundscape giving guitarist KLAUS HESS room to play a SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS-like guitar athmospherique solo.

Then all of a sudden, monk chants appear before the main Pink-floydish AHM/MEDDLE style theme ends the suite. That's a good piece, but that's not HAMBURGER CONCERTO if you know what i mean.Not all the parts fit well as the suite sometimes suffer from a lack of unity and could have used more creative brainstorm before entering the studio. But i suspect the recording company pressured the band to take advantage of their new popularity and record a new album as fast as possible.

The second song TWILIGHT is more on the hard rock side starting slowly before an addictive guitar riff enters the scene with a great guitar solo ( as usual) and the song goes back to prog-Jane with beautiful melancholic spacey keyboards sounds...and a harp! very nice indeed! VOICE IN THE WIND is a very spacey romantic ballad, very sad with again lush dramatic keyboards, Gilmouresque sensitive guitar and reflective vocals.

I don't know why the last song YOUR CIRCLE has been included here! It has nothing to do with the rest of the album. This is a simple hard rock tune with a riff MARC BOLAN would have loved. There is absolutely nothing remotely prog on this song . I know we were in 1977 and times were changing, but i think it was again the fact that the band was rushed in the studio and didn' t have enough new material to release. A few more months to think this product over and BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL could have been perfect, but that's not the case.

BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL is a good JANE album, but if you are starting with band, i recommend their first album TOGETHER, their second HERE WE ARE and of course the sublime JANE ''LIVE AT HOME ''.

3 STARS.

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Send comments to febus (BETA) | Report this review (#143581) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, October 11, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars "Jane" already explored some spacey Floydian moods on their debut album "Together". The fantastic opener "Daytime" was an ode to this genre and my all-time fave from this very good German band.

They try to somehow redo this experience with the epic and title track : "Between Heaven And Hell". But this track is not evenly strong. The long instrumental intro for instance lacks some more grandeur. But after five minutes of the same treatment, the vocals and the mood are fully Floydian. The one of the early days ("Piper" / "ASOS"). But this section is alas too short.

It rocks alright for some moments (which is fully in-line with most of their hard-prog-rock) but there is no smooth links between the different part of this song. From hard-rock, we are transported into a chorale sort of vocal parts. A quite abrupt change to say the least.

The next and longest portion of this very good song (about seven minutes) is a great crescendo and symphonic passage. It is the second brilliant section of this "suite" and is bringing this song more into the four stars category. Nice but discreet keyboards and a very emotional guitar play are superbly combined. The last two minutes is a kaleidoscope of three previous parts : hard-rock, choir inspired vocals and Floydian atmosphere coming back for the finale. It ensures some consistency. This is of course the highlight of this album.

"Twilight" is a more classic "Jane" song. On the harder edge and featuring as usual some heavy keyboards à la "Uriah Heep" and a very pleasant guitar work. A good number. Especially the bombastic pre-closing part which is just as strong as the best of "Jane".

Even if "Voice In The Wind" is not a masterpiece, vocals are rather pleasant. Somewhat Jeff Lynne related (no, I am not drunk). A mellow rock ballad. But I like it. Very emotional style. The closing and short number is a fully "prog 'n'roll" as would say Hughes.

Seven out of ten. Rounded up to four stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#153649) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 02, 2007

Review by Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars It seems a strange thing to admit on a website advertising itself as "Your Ultimate Prog Rock Resource", but I prefer the music of Jane when the band was languishing in Hard Rock hell, instead of striving toward Progressive heaven. Their earliest work was simpler, more straightforward, and aesthetically genuine in a way this album wasn't. The band's previous LP ("Fire, Water, Earth and Air") made a virtue of its added refinement, but this effort leaned too far toward pretension: a noble aim for Prog Rockers if they understand the rules before trying to break them.

Which I don't believe was the case for Jane. The quartet deserves credit for expanding its musical boundaries, but in the end they resemble tourists from the wrong side of the tracks, trying to blend in at an upscale resort without having mastered the local language. Opening the album with an awesome four-minute cosmic drone doesn't automatically qualify it as legitimate Space Rock, no matter how openly the song later plagiarizes PINK FLOYD's "Brain Damage".

It's all part of the episodic, side-long title track, an ambitious but uneven achievement marred by sudden, arbitrary jumps in mood and direction. The rocking and rolling sections, typically Jane's raison d'être, actually sound more leaden than heavy, something no one could ever say about the band's older albums. Compare the song itself to the slowly escalating jam beginning soon afterward: one of those moody, hypnotic workouts rarely heard outside Germany at the time, and arguably the group's finest moment on record. It's too bad the rest of the album didn't follow the same improvisational path.

In between is an odd Latin Gregorian chant, not very happily integrated into the larger musical structure, to a degree suggesting unintended satire. Like the kindred Anglophonic rockers of ELOY, there was always a touch of Spinal Tap to Jane's proggier ambitions (think of the controversial Tap album "Rock 'n' Roll Creation"). The band was always more vital when manhandling a Hammond organ instead of caressing a bank of string synthesizers, although the ecclesiastic keyboards (with harp!) at the end of the mini-suite "Twilight" are very effective. In low-brow contrast, the final track ("Your Circle") is a routine bit of troglodyte machismo tossed like a raw bone to the group's less adventurous fans.

Over a career spanning multiple decades Jane approached the rarified air of Progressive Rock only twice: evidence of musical bandwagon jumping more than innovation. But in those two albums they ran the Prog Rock gamut through "Fire, Water, Earth, and Air" to somewhere "Between Heaven and Hell". Giant steps indeed for such a roughshod group, only a little unsure of its footing on this second leap of musical faith.

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Send comments to Neu!mann (BETA) | Report this review (#1162593) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, April 18, 2014

Latest members reviews

4 stars I totally recommend this album to old progressive rock lovers. I was introduced to this band by a veteran prog fan when I was just getting into it, and realized that I loved long songs. He showed me between heaven and hell, the song, which is amazing I must say. It's both epic, and somewhat classi ... (read more)

Report this review (#238350) | Posted by HammerOfPink | Wednesday, September 09, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Some German music critics slammed this album when it was released in 1977. It is loaded with studio effects and is as close to sounding like Pink Floyd as the band came as they have often been compared to Floyd. The music fluctuates between the dreamy extended opening title track to the rather ... (read more)

Report this review (#4054) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Monday, September 20, 2004 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A good album, though Pink Floyd influences seems evident here and there. But why did they feel the need to include a song like "You circle", the last one, a ordinary boogie-rock, absolutly out of place in this Lp? If were not for this track, I would give BHAH 4 stars. Well worth listening, anyway. ... (read more)

Report this review (#4053) | Posted by | Thursday, February 26, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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