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JADIS

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Jadis biography
Founded in Southampton, UK in 1982

JADIS was formed by guitarist / vocalist Gary Chandler, and drummer Stephen Christey in the 1980s. They quickly achieved notoriety by opening for IQ, and then Marillion on the "Clutching at Straws" tour. Steve Rothery was impressed enough to produce some demos tapes, which became very popular. As often happens during a band's beginnings, members move on before the big break happens. Nick May became the new bass player, and Martin Orford shared some of his spare time from IQ to help out on keyboards. This lineup proved even more popular, and JADIS became headliners. Nick didn't last very long, and they went to the IQ pool again to recruit John Jowitt.

Having established themselves as a prime live act over the course of several years, they felt it was finally time to record an album. 1992's "More than Meets the Eye" became not only the band's first release, but it was also the debut for Martin Orford's new GEP label. The album was met with much acclaim, and even got some radio play. SI Magazine voted it 'Album of the Year.' Many still maintain that this is JADIS' finest work.

They spent the next year concentrating more on a follow up than live work. Striking while the iron was hot was important, but they also had a reputation to protect. While working on the new album, they also wanted to keep interest alive. So, a mini CD called "Once Upon a Time" was offered. It was originally intended to start a series of discs dedicated to new recordings of the band's early work. The second album, "Across the Water" was released in May 1994, and sold out the first pressing in ten days. Once again the critics were also on board. Classic Rock Society voted JADIS 'Best Band,' and "Across the Water" got 'Album of the Year.'

By 1995, it was time for the "unofficial" members of the band to move on. The funny thing is, they didn't leave just because of their commitment to IQ. John and Martin joined John Wetton's band for his tour. Martin did stick around long enough to appear on one track from the 1996 EP "Once or Twice," but Mike Torr was brought in as the new keyboardist. Steve Hunt came in to fill the bass slot. This lineup stayed intact for 1997's "Somersault." This album was also an opportunity for the band to go independent. They had a friendly split with GEP, and did "Somersault" on their own. It was distributed by Steve Rothery's label, Dorian Music. This is also the point where the critical accolades start...
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No Fear of Looking DownNo Fear of Looking Down
Jadis Music 2016
$13.88
$13.87 (used)
More Than Meets The EyeMore Than Meets The Eye
Indie Europe/Zoom 2010
$12.97 (used)
Across the WaterAcross the Water
Giant Electric Pea 1995
$16.80
$16.80 (used)
PhotoplayPhotoplay
Inside Out U.S. 2006
$20.91
$9.86 (used)
See Right Through YouSee Right Through You
101 DISTRIBUTION 2012
$15.21
$15.20 (used)
FanaticFanatic
Limited Edition · Special Edition
Inside Out U.S. 2004
$23.23
$2.49 (used)
More Than Meets the EyeMore Than Meets the Eye
Special Edition
Inside Out U.S. 2005
$49.98
$19.34 (used)
View from AboveView from Above
Multiple Formats · Dolby
Mvd Visual 2003
$9.99
$7.44 (used)
SomersaultSomersault
Jadismusic 1997 2004
$83.99
$69.98 (used)
More Than Meets The Eye: 25th Annversary EditionMore Than Meets The Eye: 25th Annversary Edition
Jadis 2018
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JADIS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

JADIS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.37 | 19 ratings
Jadis
1989
3.85 | 164 ratings
More Than Meets The Eye
1992
3.54 | 100 ratings
Across The Water
1994
2.94 | 58 ratings
Somersault
1997
3.26 | 67 ratings
Understand
2000
3.28 | 100 ratings
Fanatic
2003
3.14 | 89 ratings
Photoplay
2006
3.67 | 76 ratings
See Right Through You
2012
3.66 | 43 ratings
No Fear Of Looking Down
2016

JADIS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.88 | 24 ratings
As Daylight Fades
1998
3.46 | 13 ratings
Live Outside
2001

JADIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.23 | 16 ratings
View From Above
2003

JADIS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.01 | 27 ratings
Medium Rare
2001

JADIS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

1.96 | 4 ratings
Baboon enquiries
1984
3.39 | 15 ratings
Once Upon A Time (EP)
1993
2.52 | 12 ratings
Once Or Twice (EP)
1996
2.21 | 5 ratings
The Great Outside
2003

JADIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Fanatic by JADIS album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.28 | 100 ratings

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Fanatic
Jadis Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3,5 stars, really. I think sometimes the wrong choice of the tracks running order has the power to spoil the overall coherence of a good work, This is at least the best explanation of why I really don´t fancy this CD too much, for it has very strong cuts and no tune is really bad. Coming 3 years after the excellent Understand, Fanatic kept the ball rolling with Jadis: The Great Outside is a powerful opener, small wonder it is the first song they played on their View From above live DVD. It´s one of their best and it segues with the equally convincing Into Temptation, where once again it´s hard to believe how good those four musicians are when they get together. Gary Chandler is also at his best both as songwriter and guitarist. He developed his very own, inimitable, style. But things get to a sudden halt with Each & Everyday: although not a bad song per se, far from it, it is nevertheless quite different, too slow and drags a bit in its 6 minutes. It really spoils the CD dynamics.

Things start to pick up the pace again with I Never Notice, although this one is less inspired than the albums two first cuts. On the other hand the nice title track puts everything on track again: a nice instrumental, atmospheric piece, this tune is very unusual for Jadis, but it works extremely well. It also serves as an intro to one of Jadis best songs ever, the reflexive Yourself Alone (also featured on their live DVD). The more mundane Take This Words is saved (as most of the tracks here) by the creative arrangements, excellent musicianship of all involved and, especially, by Chandlers unique, tasteful guitar breaks and solo. The delicate and poignant What Kind Of Reason proves that a slow, simple song can be worked up to an epic when played by four talented guys who know very well what team work is all about. it is over 8 minutes long, but you´ll think it´s too short. Brilliant!

The original CD finishes with another song that seems a little out of place here. Again Who Can We Be Sure Of is not a bad song, but really it´s not up to the remaining tracks of Fanatic, even if the arrangements and Chandler´s great guitar are well done. The extra track on some editions (like mine) The Flame is Burnt out has a fitting title!, since it seems to be just like that, a bonus track: a hard rock ditty that adds nothing to the album. Not the best way to finish an otherwise very fine CD.

Maybe I´m being too harsh and Fanatic deserved a for star rating, since it has so many fine songs on it. However, it is also clear that this time the tracklist is a bit uneven (by Jadis standards, that is). A change of a couple of songs would make this one as good as their previous one. At least that´s my opinion. So my final rating would be something between 3,5 and 4 stars. Compared to many other acts it is an excellent effort, but compared to Jadis own best works Fanatic is "just" very good.

 Understand by JADIS album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.26 | 67 ratings

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Understand
Jadis Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Three years after the good, but a bit lacklustre Somersault (1996), Jadis is back with their "classic" line up when Martin Orford (keyboards, flute, harmony vocals) and Jon Jowitt (bass) return to the fold. After the band had made some changes to their sound on the previous effort, Understand puts them back to the Across the Water (1994) style. In fact, in many ways Understand does seem to me a kind of twin brother of that album, I always had trouble relating which songs are from each album. Anyway although Somersault was not a bad CD, I was quite glad to see that Gary Chandler and company returned to the more melodic and lively sound their fans love so much.

Even if this record lacks a "classic" tune like Daylight Fades or The Beginning And The End, all the tracks are very strong, inspired and full of energy. And songs like Where In The World, Alive Inside and Giraffe Chariot all have remained in the band´s live repertoire through the years. But my favourite one is definitely Counting All The Seconds, a 7 minute mini epic that is not only a fine tune but also contains one of Chandlers best guitar solos ever. And for a musician who built up a inimitable style of his very own, this is no small feat. I really don´t understand (pun intended) why the low rates several reviewers gave to it, I guess some people take a lot of Jadis do for face value, The music here may not be symphonic or avant guard, and the melodies may be simple, but never simplistic. In fact the music is quite elaborated and demands several spins before you really get all the subtle and rich details that adorn the songs. But once you get it, you´re hooked. It´s prog music indeed: varied, exciting and made with passion, done by a very unique band.

So, in the end I found this CD to be an excellent effort: It has no filler or even weaker tracks, and the performances and arrangements are as impeccable as ever. I was really glad that this line up came back, because certainly there is magic when those guys play together.

Rating: four strong stars.

 Somersault by JADIS album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.94 | 58 ratings

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Somersault
Jadis Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars You know the kind of albuns where everything seems to be good and still you don´t fancy them that much? The same thing happens to me on titles like Uriah Heep´s Return To Fantasy, for example. Something´s missing and you can´t figure out what it is. For every time I put Somersault on I do like the songs. Especially if I listen carefully. But t me is one of Jadis least successful works. Ok, the line up changed but I believe it´s not the newbies fault. By the time the band have to record this CD both IQ members Martin Orford and Jon Jowitt had commitments to their main group and could not be around. Keyboardist Mike Torr took over Orford´s duties and bassist Steve Hunt replaced Jowitt. And the new duo does a fine job here.Sometimes they even excel and do have more room to show their skills then the previous ones. Gary Chandler and Steve Christey are in fine form. The production is also excellent. So I made an attempt to solve this case by carefully listening to the record exclusively for a few days.

To me Somersault´s main problem is about the songwriting: it´s their most dense and less accessible work to date. Like if they want to complicate things for the sake of it. Or so it seems. On the other hand it is also undeniable that there is no bad song here either. Upon listening carefully you discover that you like the album after all and that al the tracks have their charm. Some even deserved a little more attention by the public in general like Losing My Fear and Tomorrow Always Arrive. Certainly they are both the album´s highlights and, not coincidentally, the most melodic and the closest to their previous work. The other tracks are also good, with several strong moments on them. Chandlers guitar solos are maybe less inspired than before, but Torr´s keyboards are very creative and quete unique. Still it looks like they tried to bit more than they could chew, some parts just dragging too long affecting the CD´s flow. Long tunes don´t mean necessarily good ones.

Conclusion: I still think that Somersault´s tracks are, individually, very good, buy their running order and maybe the lack of a really powerful, memorable song makes it sound less good then it is. So in the end I can say it sounds actually better than I initially thought. So my rating would be be something between 3,5 and 4 stars. Compared to their more popular albums this is surely a less pleasant one. So I guess 3 stars is a fair grade. It is good, most of the time very good, but not as striking and captive as the bands previous work, or its follow up, 2000´s Understand. .

 Across The Water by JADIS album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.54 | 100 ratings

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Across The Water
Jadis Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars What really surprises me about Jadis second album (third if you count their very rare self titled album of demos of 1989) is that although Gary Chandler and company created a whole sound of their own since the very beginning Across The Water is very different from the celebrated More Than Meets The Eye, released only two years before. In fact, Jadis, for good or for bad, would never repeat itself along its career through the years.

Across the Water won´t grab you so easily as its predecessor, it really takes more time to sink in, but once it does, you´re hooked and a great showcase for Chandlers fine songwriting skills, as well as the band´s prowess and originality. The classic line up of Chandler on guitar and vocals, Steve Christey on drums plus the IQ members Martin Orford (keyboards, flute, harmony vocals) and Jon Jowitt (bass) works as a tight unit, delivering a series of exquisite tracks like In Isolation, Touch and The World On Your Side. But their very best is the prog classic Daylight Fades, probably their best know song: an ethereal tune with a strong Pink Floyd leaning that is one of my favourite prog songs ever. The jazz piano break in the middle is both subtle and fantastic. The remaining tracks are not on that league, but they are very good anyway, especially if you like Chandlers unique guitar style: melodic, economical, very soulful and never overdone (traces of PF´s David Gilmour again). His vocal delivering may not be the greatest, but he does a good job on it, being both pleasant and emotional.

With a crystal clear production, this is the kind of prog music that may not please much those who prefer the more bombastic side of the genre, but will certainly give great pleasure for those who like fine music delivered with subtlety and finesse.

Conclusion: a terrific release from one of the greatest neo prog bands of all time.

 No Fear Of Looking Down by JADIS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.66 | 43 ratings

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No Fear Of Looking Down
Jadis Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars The last release before this one, 2012's 'See Right Through You', was seen as one of Jadis's best albums, and rightly so. But, for me there was a key element missing and at least for this album, he's back. Jadis has had some great musicians play with them over the years, but it has always been built around the voice, guitar and songs of Gary Chandler, and he has been aided and abetted for more than quarter of a century by Stephen Christey on drums. These two were joined by Andy Marlow (bass) and Arman Vardanyan (keyboards) for the last album after the departures of the IQ boys, but although Andy is still there, Arman has left to be replaced by the incomparable Martin Orford. This is Martin's third stint with Jadis, and it is wonderful to see him back again, as I know from conversations with him some years ago that he had felt the need to leave the scene and was planning never to return. But, one thing led to another, and here he is again, rekindling a relationship with Gary that is very special indeed. I was lucky enough to see Jadis play live quite a few times, both with and without Martin, and also caught some of Martin and Gary's duet gigs, which were always incredible.

Although this album was released towards the end of 2016 I have only just got my copy, and to say that it I something I have been eagerly awaiting is something of an understatement. But would it live up to expectations? Of course it would. From the first note to the last, this is solid, classic Jadis. They are a band that sound like no other, and have kept true to their roots for many years, with everything built around the vocals and guitar and then layered and built from there. The drums have a rawer sound than normal, while Andy's bass is quite a long way back in the mix, but with Gary and Martin harmonising vocally, and providing the backdrop for each other musically, this could only ever be Jadis.

I only have a few criticisms, namely that the album is only forty-five minutes long, we had to wait four years for it, and they're never likely play New Zealand so the chances are I'll never catch up with them in concert again! While this is playing, I am transported to another world, and I am just so pleased to have yet another Jadis album that I can return to time and again. Let's hope we don't have to wait quite so long for the next one, as yet again this is quite superb.

 No Fear Of Looking Down by JADIS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.66 | 43 ratings

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No Fear Of Looking Down
Jadis Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Jadis first release since the excellent See Right Through You (2012). The stakes were high since that was their best album since 2000´s Understand , and we all wondered if Gary Chandler and company would come up with something as powerful and refreshing after a few not so good records before SRTY (although the band never did put out a bad record). At first I was not really convinced by No Fear Of Looking Down: it sounded different and I was not sure if I liked what I was listening. But from the second spin on it was clear that the new stuff was every bit as good as the previous one. I guess it was a good thing that they did not want to repeat themselves.

The song structures, bar the first track, Listen To Me, which could have been in See Right Through It, are indeed different, sometimes plowing fields that Jadis have never venture before, like the obvious celtic sounds of the instrumental Change Of The Season. But careful observations show that Chandler´s trademark guitar sounds are still all around the album. He overdubs a lot of those making some fine patterns of sounds together with subtle and delicate keyboards on the background. And that´s what really makes the record so great: he has a unique style that always set Jadis apart. Some people will say this band is not really "progressive" due the lack of more symphonic keys and things like that, but prog music was always about going further away from the run-of-the-mill music of the moment and that´s exactly what this band does: they sound like no one else. And that´s something a lot of other more "progressive" bands try so hard for years and years and never seems to get (Glass Hammer and The Watch come to mind, but there are many more).

The good news are that the compositions are inspired, strong and there is no filers. Great melodies and clever arrangements. And Martin Orford (of IQ fame) is back to the fold. The bad news: it seems that he just guested on this album, it´s not a permanent come back. In any case he adorns the music with his keyboards, his harmony vocals skills and sometimes with his flute. As usual, the production is very good and the performances are impeccable. I dont´think any track really stands out that much, since the track list is very well balanced and all the songs are very good. When I listen to it, I listen it from beginning to end with the same pleasure. This is surely one of my top ten albums of 2016.

Conclusion: if you´re a fan of Jadis, go for it! It may sound a little different at first, but you´ll be rewarded with repeated spins. If you´re not familiar with this great band, this is a good place to start to know one of the most interesting, unique and subtle prog bands that are around for more than 20 years. Recommended!

 No Fear Of Looking Down by JADIS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.66 | 43 ratings

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No Fear Of Looking Down
Jadis Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars 2012's See Right Through You breathed some life into the old franchise. No Fear of Looking Down is a similar kind of reflective AOR with light proggy infuences. A typical Jadis song of today consists of some lazy verses followed by a more robust instrumentation. Their later albums have some good songs and some filler. See Right didn't have that problem, but here it resurfaces again. Keepers - the more energetic opener Listen To Me, lovely Celtic instrumental Change of Season, catchy A Thousand Staring Eyes, and the by Jadis standards unpredictable and atmospheric Just Let It Happen - though those characteristics may be its only good features. Instrumental part in Abandoned also sounds nice, but seems artificially attached and underdeveloped.
 Jadis by JADIS album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.37 | 19 ratings

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Jadis
Jadis Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Jadis first ever release is kind of a mystery. It´s so rare that few people are even aware of its existence. It´s not cited on several band´s discographies, It´s absent even on their official site. It was recorded in 1989 and it seems to be the sum of some recordings at the time and a few songs from older demos. It was produced by Marillion´s guitarist Steve Rothery and had a very different line up from the one we were accustomed to see as their first incarnation (1994´s "debut" More Than Meets The Eye): here only guitarist/singer/songwriter Gary Chandler is present. Even the long time sidekick Stephen Christey was not credited on this record. Here Chandler is backed by Trevor Dawkins on bass, Pete Salmon o keyboards and a couple of drummers: Mark Law on side 1 and Paul Awin on side 2.

What strikes me the most about this album is the excellent songwriting and the overall very good performances. Considering its obscureness I presumed the songs were weak and/or done by an inferior line up. Of course the production is not up to their latter, "official" releases. Still, it was far from some crap sounding albums I have heard at the period. The good news is that no cut is a lost gem, since all the tracks were either re-recorded on future CDs or available on compilations.

In the end is understandable why this LP never got a CD release. It´s just a curio, a collector´s item for the hardcore. The band would produce much better recordings of those songs on future releases even if Chandler´s talents as songwriter and performer were evident by the quality of the the stuff in here. Jadis is one of the great neo prog bands of all time.

 Medium Rare  by JADIS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2001
3.01 | 27 ratings

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Medium Rare
Jadis Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars British band Jadis plays accessible, energetic guitar-driven neo-prog (in layman's terms - long-ish songs with multiple lead themes, guitar-synth interplay), running the specter from adult-oriented rock to hard rock. This a collection of EPs and various outtakes, dating from the first decade of the band's recording career (considered to be their best, although all albums merit a spin). But given the 70-minute length, the strength of the original material and the fact that the songs have been remastered or rerecorded in a way that brings out the instrumental power of the band (important, given the later Jadis tendency to drift into blander forms of AOR), it is a worthy, if unspectacular, listen
 Once Or Twice (EP) by JADIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1996
2.52 | 12 ratings

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Once Or Twice (EP)
Jadis Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars Once or Twice is another Jadis EP of older material that was released between main albums. But the material is original and of high quality, so it merits a separate mention. Songs on Once or Twice average 5 minutes, which is shorter than the "old" Jadis standard of 6-to-7. But the emphasis is on instrumental firepower, and the song constructions resemble "old" Jadis with intricate intros, melodic verses, power chords and in-your-face solos. The EP starts with two energetic rockers, followed by a power ballad and a live rendition of one song off the classic More than Meets the Eye album. Maybe not the best songs of Gary Chandler's career, but good and three stars.
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