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JANE

Heavy Prog • Germany


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Jane biography
Playing a melodious synthesis of symphonic hard rock that has occcasionally been compared to Pink Floyd, Hanover Krautrockers Jane can trace their origins back to the late sixties psychedelic band Justice Of Peace. Releasing a single Save Me/War, the band featured future Jane members Peter Panka on vocals, Klaus Hess on bass and Werner Nadolny on saxophone. By late 1970 Justice Of Peace had dissolved and regrouped as Jane with Panka on vocals and drums, Hess switching to guitar and Nadolny assuming keyboards. Charly Maucher joined on bass and power vocalist Berndt Pulst completed the band in April 1971 and their first LP "Together" was released in the spring of 1972. Singing in broken English, which helped create passionate effects, a heavy expressive bluesy sound emerged with blistering Les Paul solos and slabs of Hammond organ backdrops that was consolidated by Peter Panka's almost hypnotic oscillating drum beats that would charcterize Jane's music for almost 40 years. "Together" was warmly recieved by the German music press including Sound magazine who had declared Pulst it's vocalist of the year for 1971.

The first of an almost continual succesion of lineup changes occurred later that year with Pulst departing and Maucher bowing out for health reasons. Former Justice Of Peace guitarist Wolfgang Krantz joined on bass and guitar with Panka and Hess sharing the vocals which displayed even more lethargic and stoned out sonic timbres. Applying their proven formula, their 1973 follow up "Here We Are" was somewhat more harmonious with the the addition of synthesizers that provided spacier atmospheres and produced a fan favourite in the form of the sombre rock ballad "Out In The Rain" . Shortly after the album's release Nadolny left to form a new band Lady with the recovered Maucher returning on bass and vocals. Jane's third endeavour, simply entitled Jane III, was a scorching guitar blowout and with Krantz on second guitar. The void left by departing keyboardist Nadolny was adequately compensated for with two dueling guitarists as demonstrated by an impressive in-studio jam entitled " Jane Session" as well as a spaced out extended track "Comin' Again" featuring Maucher's harder edged vocals. Not long after the release of Jane III, Maucher and Krantz departed, eventually forming Harlis on the fledgling Sky Records label. In May 1974 Jane rejuevenated itself by absorbing two members from the recently disbanded hard rock band Dull Knife with Martin Hesse ...
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Jane Powell ?- Silver Screen Star Series LP - CC 100/4 - VG+ USD $10.81 Buy It Now
They Moved In Shadow All Together - Emily Jane White (Vinyl Used Very Good) USD $16.98 Buy It Now
SARAH JANE MORRIS Loving A Dream 12" VINYL UK Jive 1988 3 Track Album Version USD $2.84 Buy It Now
ICICLE WORKS Understanding Jane 12" VINYL UK Beggars Banquet 1986 3 Track B/W I USD $5.68 Buy It Now
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DR FEELGOOD Baby Jane 12" VINYL UK United Artists 1977 3 Track B/W Looking Back USD $6.75 Buy It Now
RAINLAND Jane's Not Talking 12" VINYL UK Extravaganza 1990 3 Track B/W West USD $5.67 Buy It Now
MARY JANE GIRLS Boys 12" VINYL UK Gordy 1983 2 Track Green Label Promo With USD $6.75 Buy It Now
JANE WIEDLIN Inside A Dream 12" VINYL UK Emi 1988 4 Track 12" Mix B/W Rush USD $6.75 Buy It Now
JANE HARRISON Ave Maria 12" VINYL UK Bbc 1988 4 Track B/W One Fine Day, Oh My USD $6.75 Buy It Now
JANE WIEDLIN Rush Hour 12" VINYL UK Manhattan 1988 4 Track Extended Remix USD $6.75 Buy It Now
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Jane - It's A Fine Day 7" - Cherry 65 - Ex USD $13.51 Buy It Now
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JANE AND BARTON I Want To Be With You 7" VINYL UK Issue Pressed In France USD $5.67 Buy It Now
JANE OLIVOR Stay The Night 7" VINYL UK Cbs 1978 Promo B/w Let's Make Some USD $6.75 Buy It Now
JANE KENNAWAY AND STRANGE BEHAVIOUR Iou 7" VINYL UK Deram 1980 B/W Take Me Away USD $2.83 Buy It Now
JANE KENNAWAY I'm Missing You 7" VINYL UK Iou B/W Way We Really Are (Iou999) USD $6.75 Buy It Now
CLIFF RICHARD From A Distance 7" VINYL UK Emi 1990 B/W Lindsay Jane Ii (Em155) USD $5.67 Buy It Now
Harry Bidgood & His Broadcasters - Me & Jane In A Plane / Charmaine, 8" 78rpm USD $6.75 [0 bids]
SERGE GAINSBOURG AND JANE BIRKIN Je T'aime...moi Non Plus 7" VINYL UK Antic USD $6.75 Buy It Now
WHO THE HELL DOES JANE SMITH THINK SHE IS Use Imagination 7" VINYL UK Influx USD $12.03 Buy It Now
AMERICA Woman Tonight 7" VINYL French Warner Bros 1975 B/W Daisy Jane (16597) USD $6.75 Buy It Now
ROD STEWART Baby Jane 7" VINYL Brazillian Warner Bros 1983 B/W Ready Now But USD $6.75 Buy It Now
DEFINITION OF SOUND Moira Jane's Cafe 7" VINYL UK Circa 1992 E-smoove's Groovy USD $6.75 Buy It Now
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Jane Powell, Date With Jane Powell, 33 RPM USD $15.99 Buy It Now
Jane Morgan, Traces of Love, 33 RPM USD $9.99 Buy It Now
Vintage "JANE FONDA'S WORKOUT RECORD" Double |Album 33 VINYL Record SET USD $19.51 Buy It Now
Kettle Whistle by Jane's Addiction (CD, Nov-1997, Warner Bros.) USD $4.95 Buy It Now
Nothing's Shocking [PA] by Jane's Addiction (CD, Oct-1990, Warner Bros.) USD $3.95 Buy It Now
LOIS JANE: Across The Bridge LP Southern Gospel USD $15.00 Buy It Now
Jane Weaver-Cupboard Love CD Single Very Good USD $7.17 Buy It Now
JANE SCHECKTER I've Got My Standards LP VINYL US Drg 1988 12 Track (Mrs711) USD $12.03 Buy It Now
JANE HORROCKS Further Adventures Of Little Voice LP VINYL European Liberty 2000 USD $26.23 Buy It Now
JANE FONDA'S WORKOUT RECORD Various Artists DOUBLE LP VINYL UK Cbs 1981 14 USD $6.75 Buy It Now
JANE FONDA Complete Workout LP VINYL German Warner Bros 1989 12 Track With USD $6.75 Buy It Now
JANE SIBERRY Bound By The Beauty LP VINYL German Reprise 1989 10 Track With USD $9.19 Buy It Now
Maroon 5 - Songs About Jane (2003) USD $1.35 Buy It Now
Songs About Jane by Maroon 5 (CD, Jun-2002, Octone Records) USD $0.01 [0 bids]
EVY JANE Closer 12" VINYL European Ninja Tune 2014 4 Track Still Sealed USD $10.40 Buy It Now
RAINLAND Jane's Not Talking 12" VINYL UK Extravaganza 1990 3 Track B/W West Of USD $4.25 Buy It Now
Gillman, Jane-Piscean Dreams CD Import Very Good USD $7.45 Buy It Now
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KINGMAKER Queen Jane 12" VINYL UK Scorch 1993 4 Track B/W Sick And Angry USD $5.67 Buy It Now
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Bunnett, Jane, Alma De Santiago, Very Good USD $5.42 Buy It Now
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Jane Morgan - Now and Forever US 7" Kiss Goodbye USD $2.97 Buy It Now
ROD STEWART Baby Jane 7" VINYL South African Warner Bros 1983 B/W Ready Now USD $6.75 Buy It Now
JANE KENNAWAY Year 2000 7" VINYL UK Decca 1981 B/W 5 On 84Th Street (Dm444) USD $6.75 Buy It Now
JUICE NEWTON Hey Baby 7" VINYL UK Capitol 1978 Demo B/W Good Luck Baby Jane USD $4.25 Buy It Now
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JANE MORGAN Where Do I Go 7" VINYL US Rca 1969 Promo But Has Dj Writing On USD $4.25 Buy It Now
JANE MORGAN Day The Rains Came 7" VINYL UK London 1958 Tri Centre Label Design USD $6.75 Buy It Now
LOUISA JANE WHITE Take The Money And Run 7" VINYL UK Pye 1976 4 Pronged Label USD $4.25 Buy It Now
JANE WIEDLIN Inside A Dream 7" VINYL UK Emi 1988 Limited Edition Double USD $6.75 Buy It Now
JEFFERSON STARSHIP Jane 7" VINYL UK Grunt 1979 B/W Freedom Point (Fb1750) Pic USD $6.75 Buy It Now
JANE HARRISON New Day 7" VINYL UK Tribute 1988 B/W Hard To Say Goodbye (Trib2) USD $5.67 Buy It Now
JANE HARRISON New Day 7" VINYL UK Tribute 1988 With Press Release B/W Hard To USD $4.25 Buy It Now
PERFECT DAY Jane 7" VINYL UK London 1988 B/W Preying On My Mind (Lon188) Pic USD $4.25 Buy It Now
PLAIN JANE Too Serious 7" VINYL UK Creole B/W Made In Hongkong (Cr220) USD $4.25 Buy It Now
MO MC GUIRE Scarecrow Jane 7" VINYL UK Derelict B/W Time And Time Again (Drl USD $4.25 Buy It Now
JANE OLIVOR Stay The Night 7" VINYL UK Cbs 1979 Promo B/w Let's Make Some USD $4.25 Buy It Now
BARBARELLA JANE FONDA ORIG DYNOVOICE SOUNDTRACK RECORDING SEALED! USD $99.99 Buy It Now
Jane Taylor Montpelier USD $6.75 Buy It Now
LOUISA JANE WHITE Take The Money And Run 7" VINYL UK Pye 1976 Solid Label USD $2.83 Buy It Now
MODERN Jane Falls Down 7" VINYL European Mercury 2005 7" Version In Signed Pic USD $4.25 Buy It Now
SARAH JANE MORRIS Loving A Dream 7" VINYL UK Jive 1989 B/W No One USD $6.75 Buy It Now
JANE WIEDLIN Inside A Dream 7" VINYL UK Manhattan 1988 Promo B/W Song Of The USD $6.75 Buy It Now
PERFECT DAY Jane 7" VINYL UK London 1988 Limited Edition Unopened In Original USD $8.78 Buy It Now
JANE KENNAWAY AND STRANGE BEHAVIOUR Iou 7" VINYL Dutch Deram 1980 B/W Take Me USD $4.25 Buy It Now
JANE HARRISON I Will Protect You 7" VINYL UK Stylus 1989 B/w On My Own (trib3) USD $4.25 Buy It Now
REDBEARDS FROM TEXAS Gudbye T Jane 7" VINYL UK Receiver 1986 B/W Drinkin On A USD $5.67 Buy It Now
WHITE TOWN I Wanna Be Your Ex 7" VINYL US Golly Jane 2015 Limited Edition USD $8.78 Buy It Now
MO MC GUIRE Scarecrow Jane 7" VINYL UK Derelict B/W Time And Time Again (Drl2) USD $5.67 Buy It Now
SARAH JANE MORRIS Can't Get To Sleep Without You 7" VINYL UK Jive 1988 B/W The USD $2.83 Buy It Now
CALAMITY JANE/ROCKIN ROD AND THE STRYCHNINES Strychnine/Lady Jane 7" VINYL US USD $6.75 Buy It Now
JANE KENNAWAY AND STRANGE BEHAVIOUR Iou 7" VINYL UK Growing Up In Hollywood USD $4.25 Buy It Now
ROD STEWART Baby Jane 7" VINYL Peru Warner 1983 B/W Ready Now (Fwbr00296087) USD $4.25 Buy It Now
RAINLAND Jane's Not Talking 7" VINYL UK Extravaganza 1990 B/W West Of The USD $5.67 Buy It Now
JANE WIEDLIN Inside A Dream 7" VINYL UK Manhatan 1988 B/W Song Of The Factory USD $4.25 Buy It Now
JANE AIRE AND THE BELVEDERES Call Me Every Night 7" VINYL UK Virgin 1979 USD $4.25 Buy It Now
JANE WIEDLIN Inside A Dream 7" VINYL UK Emi 1988 12" Edited Version Promo USD $4.25 Buy It Now
PERFECT DAY Jane 7" VINYL UK London 1989 With Press Release Group Together USD $4.25 Buy It Now
CHRISLAND Blue Is My Balloon 7" VINYL UK Seville 1977 Promo B/W May Jane USD $6.75 Buy It Now
DEFINITION OF SOUND Now Is Tomorrow 7" VINYL UK Circa 1991 B/w Moira Jane's USD $6.75 Buy It Now
ROD STEWART Baby Jane 7" VINYL UK Warner Bros 1983 Competition Sleeve B/W Ready USD $4.25 Buy It Now
JANE HARRISON I Will Protect You 7" VINYL UK Tribute 1989 B/W On My Own (Trib3) USD $4.25 Buy It Now
KINGMAKER Queen Jane 7" VINYL UK Chrysalis 1993 Numbered With Postcards USD $6.75 Buy It Now
AIRBORNE (70'S POP GROUP) Give It Up 7" VINYL UK Tiffany 1974 B/W Emily Jane USD $4.25 Buy It Now
PERFECT DAY Jane 7" VINYL UK London 1989 Group Together Sleeve Design USD $2.84 Buy It Now
PERFECT DAY Jane 7" VINYL UK London 1988 Gatefold Booklet Sleeve B/W Preying On USD $6.75 Buy It Now
LOUISA JANE WHITE Um Um Um Um Um Um 7" VINYL UK Mca 1973 Demo B/W Deep Down In USD $4.25 Buy It Now
VENDETTA I Gotta See Jane 7" VINYL UK Plaza 1983 B/w One Step At A Time USD $6.75 Buy It Now
Helen Jane Long - Porcelain [New CD] USD $9.63 Buy It Now
MARY JANE GIRLS SELF LP 1983 ORIGINAL PRESS RICK JAMES GREAT COND! VG++/VG+!! USD $12.99 Buy It Now
JANE MORGAN If Only I Could Live My Life Again 7" VINYL UK London 1958 Tri USD $6.75 Buy It Now

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JANE discography


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

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

3.70 | 137 ratings
Together
1972
3.39 | 77 ratings
Here We Are
1973
2.94 | 68 ratings
Jane III
1974
3.11 | 52 ratings
Lady
1975
3.38 | 81 ratings
Fire, Water, Earth & Air
1976
3.41 | 66 ratings
Between Heaven And Hell
1977
2.90 | 41 ratings
Age Of Madness
1978
2.80 | 27 ratings
Sign No. 9
1979
2.93 | 24 ratings
Jane
1980
2.15 | 22 ratings
Germania
1982
1.51 | 20 ratings
Beautiful Lady
1986
1.25 | 9 ratings
Peter Panka's Jane: Resurrection
1996
2.64 | 16 ratings
Genuine
2002
1.80 | 13 ratings
Peter Panka's Jane: Shine On
2003
2.64 | 12 ratings
Peter Panka's Jane: Voices
2007
3.50 | 4 ratings
Werner Nadolny's Jane: Proceed With Memories ...
2008
3.27 | 15 ratings
Peter Panka's Jane: Traces
2009
3.44 | 25 ratings
Werner Nadolny's Jane: Eternity
2011
3.64 | 14 ratings
Peter Panka's Jane: Kuxan Suum
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
Werner Nadolny's Jane: The Journey I - Best Of Jane '70-'80
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
Werner Nadolny's Jane: The Journey II - Transformation
2014
2.00 | 1 ratings
Werner Nadolny's Jane: In Between
2015
3.33 | 6 ratings
Werner Nadolny's Jane: The Journey III - Arrival
2016

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

3.99 | 53 ratings
Jane At Home Live
1977
3.40 | 10 ratings
Jane Live '89
1990
3.02 | 7 ratings
Live 2002
2002
3.50 | 2 ratings
Live at Meta's
2007

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

4.00 | 6 ratings
Tribute To Peter Panka
2008

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
Crowns
1977
3.00 | 1 ratings
Waiting For The Sunshine
1979

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

JANE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Age Of Madness by JANE album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.90 | 41 ratings

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Age Of Madness
Jane Heavy Prog

Review by Progfan97402

2 stars I will have to be honest about this album: it's disjointed, it's messy. Age of Madness was the end of their space rock phase, and what they demonstrated on Between Heaven & Hell, you'd think they were able to continue on the greatness of that album. Unfortunately that's not the case. The instrumental title track is actually quite good, has more than a hint of Eloy in it, which is really no surprise when you know that Manfred Wieczorke is responsible for the keyboard playing (he left Eloy after the fiasco of Power and the Passion - itself a great album - for a more financially stable band, in this case, Jane). But there is so much questionable stuff that just doesn't appeal to me. They attempt to sound like the Kinks with Ray Davies type of vocals on one song, and much of the rest of the album left little impression on me. I have to say that Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Live at Home, and Age of Madness show Jane at their finest (particularly their space rock phase), so I'd suggest you go for those albums instead.
 Together by JANE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.70 | 137 ratings

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Together
Jane Heavy Prog

Review by Igor91

4 stars Jane's debut album, "Together," is a prime example of early heavy prog from Germany. They also inject a bit of psychedelia into their brand of heavy prog. The reviews/ratings of this album are varied here on PA, and good points are made both to praise and to criticize this album. I, for one, really enjoy this album.

The songs are all good, but what really stands out for me is the singing of vocalist Bernd Pulst. This would be the only album he would be featured on, and the next year he was dead. Such as shame for a great talent to die so young. I have not been able to find any information on why he passed away, but I'm guessing it was drug related. Anyway, to give you an idea what he sounded like, think of something like Joe Cocker with a German accent. Some people don't care for it, but I think his vocal performance gives the music an emotional element often missing in prog rock. While none of the musicians are technical masters of their instruments, the performances are solid. At times some of the songs sound a bit like Eloy circa "Inside" or "Floating," but this album actually predates those, so I guess Eloy sounded a bit like Jane! The opener "Daytime," and the closer "Hangman" are the two standout tracks for me, primarily for their emotional impact. The most progressive track is the 11+ minute "Spain," which changes direction several times.

While Jane would go on to greater success on subsequent albums, their first is by far my favorite. Recommended to those who can enjoy a progressive rock album without all the technical wizardry that often goes with it. 4 stars.

 Jane III by JANE album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.94 | 68 ratings

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Jane III
Jane Heavy Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars A band with constant revolving door line-ups, the sudden departure of keyboard player Werner Nadolny from German rock band Jane meant the sound of their eventual third album in 1974 would be powered by guitars. Acid, psychedelic and hard rock still dominate, no surprise as those are all part of the usual Jane template, but perhaps `Jane III' was still their least ambitious album to date at the time. However, although the lack of keyboards and that beautiful glistening Hammond organ from their previous discs means `III' is initially quite disappointing from a progressive rock standpoint, patient listeners will still find a decent collection of Seventies rock tunes with plenty of instrumental fire to interest them here.

Just listen to the way the bass murmurs in constant delight throughout the plodding opener `Comin' Again', with repetitive guitars strums chiming into infinity and Charly Maucher's mud-thick bass and rough-as-guts vocals slurring through the mix. There's definitely a stoned, wasted Krautrock lethargy to the thick atmosphere, but the manic rising guitar solo in the finale is quite joyous and transcending. Dusty bluesy fire grooves through `Mother You Don't Know', `I Need You' starts as a dreamy ballad that grows in gutsy power as it moves on, and nice piano and acoustic guitar floats through weary ballad `Way to Paradise'.

`Early in the Morning' is wailing acid rock with oceans of electric guitar feedback and some very hazy hallucinogenic panning feedback back and forth in the mix to really bring your mind grinding to a halt! `Jane-Session' starts as a mellow jam with just a hint of droning menace before guitars rage in every direction as it builds in tempo. While the tune of `Rock N Roll Star' is pretty unmemorable, it picks up during a fuzzy heavy psychedelic second half, `King of Thule' is a brief regal instrumental, and `Baby What You're Doin' closes the album, a stomping grooving rocker with a fairly inane boogie chorus, but it's throwaway fun in a fairly brainless way.

`Jane III' is a good little rock album from a great psychedelic hard rock band, and while they made better (and slightly proggier!) albums, this is still a fine collection of rocking tunes and great playing, with a welcome heavy wasted quality throughout the entire disc. The gorgeous psychedelic artwork makes it just a little better as well - lucky those who have it on vinyl!

Three stars.

 Fire, Water, Earth & Air by JANE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.38 | 81 ratings

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Fire, Water, Earth & Air
Jane Heavy Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars Although probably more at home playing tough bluesy jamming rock, German band Jane on occasional albums incorporated slight prog, psych and spacerock elements into their chugging rock sound that sometimes delivered decent results. Their fifth album `Fire, Water, Earth and Air' from 1976 is one of their more successful works, still hardly essential but a decent heavy churning space-rocker all the same. There's a strong emphasis on spacey keyboards in much the same manner as numerous other German bands from the time such as Eloy, Epidaurus and Novalis, making it a nice background listen for undiscriminating prog/spacerock fans.

"Fire, Water, Earth and Air come together in my soul" slurs Klaus Hess during the 17 minute opening side-long piece, his voice not unlike a drowsy David Gilmour. Thick Hammond organ, hard drums, searing electric guitar soloing and eerie drawn-out synth washes comprise the piece, a repetitive and plodding track that always retains a lazy sunny warmth. The second passage moves up in tempo with melodic leaping bass moving through fiery drumming, then abruptly falling away into a drifting Eloy-like outer-space drone and later some bluesy guitar wailing. The third section floats on chiming electric guitars and gentle ocean ambience that unfolds beautifully into punchy drumming and fiery guitar grooves over extended synth builds. Thankfully the music is better than the tired and uninspired `Keep on rollin', `she gives me some sweet luvin' every day' lyrics.

The second side opens with the 5 minute breather `Earth', a straight-forward rock track highlighted by a wasted and bedraggled lead vocal with double tracked electric guitar soloing on either side of the speakers. The nearly 11 minute closer `Air and the End' races through a range of slow to mid-tempos sprightly changes, light organ and riffing guitars, but the `Superman, cool again' chorus is baffling! Better is the second half, scorching Hammond, darting Moogs and pulsing bass weave around mellow emotional guitar noodling before ending on a nice shuffling come-down. Really the second side is more or less just the same as the first, making the album safe, predictable and a little forgettable, even if always pleasing and undemanding.

Jane are still not the most exciting of prog-related bands, but they are decent and consistent in the style they work in at the same time. The debut remains far and away the strongest of their works that I've heard, but `Fire, Water, Earth and Air' is a short n' sweet 33 minute hard-rocking cosmic trip that German spacerock fans will likely dig very much.

Three stars.

 Age Of Madness by JANE album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.90 | 41 ratings

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Age Of Madness
Jane Heavy Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Age of Madness, indeed: 1978 was all that and more, to fans of Progressive Rock. After reaching a creative plateau on their ambitious 1977 album "Between Heaven and Hell", the hard-rockers of Jane followed a lot of other prog acts into shallow waters toward the end of the decade. But let's face it: unlike some groups they didn't have to swim very far.

In fact the band sounded very much at ease in the less sophisticated musical tide pools of the late '70s, at least over the initial three tracks here. That burst of classic Hammond organ grunge kicking off the album was a conscious throwback to an earlier, heavier Jane: the musical equivalent of slipping into an old pair of sneakers after a formal night on the town. The song itself was still uncomfortably in debt to PINK FLOYD, but with a welcome economy of style compared to the bloated, faceless wall Roger Waters was erecting at the time.

And then we arrive at the bluntly-titled "Love Song", sounding like a different group altogether: a soft rock ensemble from the beaches of southern California, perhaps. It helps to hear the track as a clever parody of a radio-friendly single, which I'm sure wasn't the intention, but the almost robotic repetition of rhythm and verse might have worked as satire in another context. From that point on, the madness in the album's title can be officially diagnosed as schizophrenia: half creative energy, half commercial tripe.

Okay, so that last comment was a little harsh, and not entirely true. Yes, there's a 50/50 separation in quality over the album's nine tracks, divided almost equally between songs and instrumentals (and here I count the two-part title track as an instrumental, with singing). But even at its lowest common denominator the album is occasionally lit by incandescent flashes of energy, typically sparked by guitarist Klaus Hess, in the dramatic sustained notes of "Bad Game"; or his striking solo turn in "With Her Smile"; or the driving pace of "Get This Power", the latter effort shortchanged only by Peter Panka's lack of traditional New Wave drumming chops.

The overall structure of the album helps it too, with the better (wordless) selections bookending the weaker songs, in effect supporting them in a firm musical embrace. And despite its split personality the complete package strikes a more unified tone than the somewhat contrived prog stylings of their more popular "Heaven and Hell". While not a triumph by any means, it's hardly the stumble I might have expected, and actually compares well to the late-inning rallies of other, bigger prog bands nearing the end of their relevance.

 Between Heaven And Hell by JANE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.41 | 66 ratings

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Between Heaven And Hell
Jane Heavy Prog

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.

 Fire, Water, Earth & Air by JANE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.38 | 81 ratings

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Fire, Water, Earth & Air
Jane Heavy Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A purist (and what else is a true Proghead if not an Apollonian purist?) might tell you these guys had no business sitting at the Progressive Rock banquet table. If you listen to their albums leading up to this 1976 epiphany, you won't find a band in the Symphonic Rock or Jazz Fusion or Avant- Garde tradition (and certainly not from the more seditious culture of Krautrock). But at least they tried. And unless we're misleading our children it's the effort that counts, isn't it?

For this album, the band's most ambitious to date (ambition being a relative term for such an earthbound collective), Jane raised its PINK FLOYD banner higher than ever, with the tempos, the melodies, and especially the vocals all but screaming, "Wish We Were There". Jane might have started life as a gang of rock 'n' roll delinquents, but they fell eagerly in step with Progressive music trends in the mid '70s, and better late (almost too late, in 1976) than never.

Clearly the band members had done some homework, and learned their lessons well. The album opens with an actual Classical Rock fanfare, en route to an extended Klaus Hess guitar solo: quintessential Jane, and still exhilarating. And it's a concept album too, recalling Peter Sinfield's employment of the four Platonic elements in his lyric for the KING CRIMSON tune "In the Wake of Poseidon", with each 'movement' cued, somewhat obviously, by the appropriate sound effect.

The album may be secondhand Floyd, but Jane was a more unified band in 1976, when the Floyd was already showing symptoms of creative malaise. Jane's music at the time was also far more melodic, if not quite so elemental as the title suggested...diluted perhaps (like a lot of Prog Rock) by too much air and not enough fire. And the lyrics, when audible, never rose above the standard give-me-some-sweet-lovin' plateau of '70s banality. But this was the more consistent of the band's proggier efforts, less self-consciously ornate than its popular follow-up "Between Heaven and Hell". Over the album's 33-minute flow of more-or-less continuous music, the group walked a precarious tightrope between the artless guitar rock of their earlier recordings and the extended Prog cosmetics of the later LP, without ever missing a step.

Having only just heard it for the first time (on the recommendation of a Fellow Traveler in these Archives), I'm standing up for the maligned 3-star rating with a possibly too conservative trio of sympathetic stars here. The album is hardly a classic, but when measured by the yardstick of nostalgia it's still a classic slice of the 1970s.

 Lady by JANE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.11 | 52 ratings

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Lady
Jane Heavy Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The Hanover quartet of Jane was beginning to sound more American than German by 1975, yet another reason why Krautrock elitists have always ignored them. The Kosmische Musik geek inside me wants to likewise turn up his nose, but after belatedly taking some time to explore their music in depth his teenage garage-band doppelgänger simply won't allow it.

The band's fourth studio album saw yet another line-up shuffle, this time arguably to their benefit. New vocalist (and keyboard player) Gottfried Janko possessed a more distinctive singing voice than drummer Peter Panka, something a prosaic outfit like Jane desperately needed (imagine CAPTAIN BEEFHEART, after years of expensive therapy). Janko's keyboard playing didn't have the same raw vitality as his predecessor (and eventual replacement) Werner Nadolny, but it was a moot point: the bedrock of Jane remained guitarist Klaus Hess, still in good form despite the weaker material here.

The music itself was nowhere near the creative acme of Progressive Rock, despite the occasional synthesizer squirt. And the songwriting is rarely strong enough to be entirely convincing four decades later. As usual the band was at its best when flexing its instrumental muscles and sticking to the riffs, as heard in the "Midnight Mover" jam, not coincidentally also the longest cut off the album. And the intro to the title track is an air-guitarist's fantasy come true: one of those quintessential '70s anthems able to drive an acne-damaged high school dropout to headphone ecstasy.

It would be easy for a musical snob like me to simply accept bands like Jane as a guilty pleasure, and move on. But isn't that akin to damning them with faint praise? And why feel any guilt at all? Jane never quite met the ideals of Progressive Rock (transcendence, virtuosity, so forth), but as a boilerplate hard-rocking ensemble with higher-than-average aspirations they were close to peerless in their mid-'70s heyday. And Progheads know better than anyone how to live with a guilty pleasure: by ditching the pointless guilt and unearthing the buried pleasure.

 Here We Are by JANE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.39 | 77 ratings

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Here We Are
Jane Heavy Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Jane's 1972 debut would sit comfortably on the same shelf with the earliest efforts of other stalwart German acts like GROBSCHNITT, ELOY and SATIN WHALE, all (mostly) unpretentious rock-and-rollers with a heavy emphasis on organ and guitar. Their sophomore album, released a year later, was a little more adventurous, but for a group like Jane that wasn't necessarily an improvement. To these ears their less challenging but harder rocking early work sounds better in retrospect than some of the band's later stabs at musical sophistication. But this album at least found a decent point of balance between their limited abilities and loftier ambitions.

Missing here is the dogged intensity of the first LP, and the singular vocals (to say the least) of Bernd Pulst, whose voice sounded exactly like you'd expect from someone named Bernd Pulst. The merely adequate interim singing of drummer Peter Panka leaves no impression whatsoever, good or bad, and as if to compensate for the resulting loss of identity the band made attempts to refine the music itself, adding a Mellotron here and a chorus of female backup singers there, even including an occasional touch of acoustic nuance, in songs like "Dandelion".

The writing too was more melodic in a primitive sort of way, with the faux-strings in "Like a Queen" and "Out in the Rain" bringing a little symphonic depth to Jane's typically beefy sound. But in keeping with what should have been the band's official motto (Keep It Simple, Stupid) the music shone brightest when dragged through a muck of instrumental blues-rock behind Werner Nadolny's grinding Hammond organ and the assertive lead guitar of Klaus Hess. The adrenalin really kicks in during the album-ending title track, closing the set with a suitable bang (although the song itself ends on a curious whimper).

As popular as they were in the 1970s, Jane was always an easy band for discriminating Progheads (and especially Krautrockers) to dismiss, as I did for many years. But after several decades the same music, in all its turgid sub-Floydian heaviness, can be just as easy to appreciate, not least for its nostalgic pull toward a lost age of rock guitar heroics. Sure it's uncomplicated stuff. But I'll take the authentic sow's ear of their first two albums over the imitation silk purse of the band's proggier efforts any day.

 Together by JANE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.70 | 137 ratings

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Together
Jane Heavy Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The music of Jane didn't exactly escape my attention in the 1970s, when they were one of the biggest acts in Germany and I was an ardent teen Proghead with a taste for European imports. But the Krautrock puritan in me wasn't moved at the time by their derivative Anglophilic sound...why listen to a continental PINK FLOYD / PROCOL HARUM copycat band, with so many better and more challenging groups to choose from?

But at the suggestion of a kindred Progarchivist I decided to relax my skepticism after all these years...reluctantly, I should admit, but impressed after repeated plays by the single-minded drive of their 1972 debut album, an achievement the band would never again quite match.

Of course the German Rock scene wouldn't have been the same without "A Saucerful of Secrets" to guide it. But while the more cosmic proggers east of the Rhine River were busy trying to decipher the secrets, bands like Jane were content with just the saucer, rarely aspiring to the same interstellar musical overdrive. The two-note bass guitar intro to "Daytime", the opening track of the band's first album, recalls (and not by accident) the identical ostinato driving "Careful With That Axe, Eugene", but it's only a token cosmetic loan, and quickly discarded.

The next few minutes set the pace for an album-long grind of heavy guitar blues and Hammond organ soul, played at a relentless tempo and featuring one of the most distinctive lead vocalists of any era, the awesome Bernd Pulst. His performance can still be an acquired taste, sounding not unlike Janis Joplin on a really, really bad day, forced to sing around a mouthful of marbles. But to me his voice remains one of the album's strongest attributes, perfectly matched to the grungy organ and macho guitar solos. Nobody here was a virtuoso, but the primitive rhythms, simple melodies, and uncomplicated jamming can still be effective when played at the intended volume: eleven on a Spinal Tap scale. And when the band kicks into high gear in the latter half of 'Hangman" it's almost impossible not to plug in your air guitar and swagger alongside them on the stage of your imagination.

It's easy in retrospect to hear what made Jane a superstar band in a country eager for English and American cultural residue. Their first album is worthless as Progressive Rock, but that was never its aim. This is music for the sawdust covered concrete floors of bygone rock arenas...no laser light distractions or dry-ice effects, just loud music from large amplifiers, performed with unwashed vigor and enthusiasm.

Thanks to ProgLucky.vibrationbaby for the artist addition.

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