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JANUS

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Janus biography
JANUS (formerly JANUM) was a band from Rome who existed from 1975-1981. They carry the unique distinction in RPI history of being one of the few bands who sailed against the prevailing winds of the leftist political counter-culture of the 1970s Italian music scene. Janus was one of the few to actually manage an album release along with a few singles. While the very small right-wing branch of the RPI tree was not exactly beloved by fellow musicians and most fans, their lone album is interesting enough to be covered in our database, and we are here to archive music, not judge the views of musicians.

Janus was led by drummer Mario Ladich who was the only consistent member, while the rest of the band continually evolved. I found little information on the others. Guitarist Stefano Recchioni was with the band briefly but died in 1978 while guitarist Fabio Torriero joined after that. Their album Al Maestrale is not exactly an RPI classic and has been panned for its weak production, but for an album recorded in just six hours it has some worthwhile moments. It was reissued on CD and is worth hunting down for serious RPI enthusiasts, while casual fans of the genre can pass. A second album was recorded in 1981 but never released.

-Jim Russell / Finnforest

Janus official website

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Buy JANUS Music


Nox AerisNox Aeris
Realid Records 2012
Audio CD$11.96
$4.95 (used)
Red Right ReturnRed Right Return
Realid Records 2009
Audio CD$19.68
$2.33 (used)
GravediggerGravedigger
Import
EMI International 2013
Audio CD$20.00
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AL STEWART Year Of The CAT Gatefold Lp JANUS Records Folk Rock Essential HIPGNOS USD $7.50 Buy It Now 1h 34m
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2h 27m
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PAUL KORDA Dancing In The Aisles '78 ORIG JANUS LP Dada SEALED SS USD $7.99 Buy It Now 6h 33m
Charlie Turning To You 7" Janus J270 EX 1977 US pressing, demo, Turning To You/T USD $8.38 Buy It Now 7h 37m
Charlie - Lines - Very nice E+ LP on Janus label - Steve Gadd on drums!!! USD $6.00 Buy It Now 10h 59m
DETROIT EMERALDS 7" single FEEL THE NEED IN ME 1971 JANUS RECORDS 6146-020 USD $5.15 [0 bids]
12h 5m
Ray Stevens 12" Stereo Vinyl Album ' Misty ' Janus Records 1975 USD $3.86 [0 bids]
12h 14m
Al Stewart ?- Year Of The Cat - 1976 - Vinyl LP Record (EX/VG+) Janus JXS-7022 USD $13.50 Buy It Now 14h 21m
GRADY TATE - She is my Lady LP SEALED Janus JLS 3050 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 14h 26m
Janus Plays Telephone by The Landau Orchestra (CD, Apr-2007, Milan) NEW USD $5.99 Buy It Now 14h 28m
Rock 45 AL STWEWART Year Of the Cat on Janus USD $3.00 Buy It Now 14h 29m
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Al Stewart "Year of The Cat" 1976 Rock LP, Nice VG++!, Orig Janus Pressing USD $3.95 Buy It Now 15h 13m
1972 Janus Gravedigger Kraut Psych Prog Original 1st Press + Insert USD $314.99 Buy It Now 15h 54m
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16h 32m
POTLIQUOR Lousiana Rock LP 1972 Janus Records EX USD $15.00 Buy It Now 17h 4m
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MOLKIE COLE (White Label PROMO) Gatefold Janus Records LP JXS 7031 Near Mint! USD $10.00 [0 bids]
17h 35m
Lennell Williams "Rocket In Motion / Lock And Keys (On Me)" 1967 Janus Records USD $34.99 Buy It Now 17h 35m
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CHARLIE LINES ORIGINAL 1978 VINYL PICTURE DISC LP GRT JANUS JXS 7036 USD $34.99 Buy It Now 18h 37m
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Ian Thomas "Long, Long Way" 1974 Blues/Rock LP, SEALED/ MINT!!, Original Janus USD $4.95 Buy It Now 21h 16m
ADAM ROGERS 45 - O BLESS THE LORD MY SOUL - JANUS J 188 USD $6.99 Buy It Now 21h 42m
1974 Janus Records JLS 3063 Al Stewart "Past, Present and Future" USD $8.00 Buy It Now 22h 3m
THE EVERLY BROS - 22 ORIGINAL CLASSICS - UK JANUS RECORDS LP USD $6.44 Buy It Now 1 day
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GRADY TATE She Is My Lady LP - 1972 JANUS Orig. Unplayed !!! USD $8.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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KAYAK, 70s progressive rock DJ 7" 45 KEEP THE CHANGE on Janus USD $6.30 Buy It Now 1 day
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Lee David " CAN'T MAKE ME STAY / DIRTY WORK " 7" SOUL 1973 JANUS PROMO USD $14.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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Alden Shuman THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES - Janus JLS-3059 SEALED USD $40.00 Buy It Now 1 day
LP * Blonde On Blonde ?- Contrasts * US album prog rock Janus records JLS-3003 USD $79.43 Buy It Now 1 day
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GOLDIE ZELKOWITZ lp SELF-TITLED PROMO JANUS JLS-3060 1974 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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Grady Tate "She Is My Lady" 1972 Soul LP, SEALED/ MINT!, Original Janus Pressing USD $7.95 Buy It Now 1 day
CAROL CHASE -- One Woman Band (WHITE LABEL PROMO 45 / JANUS #256) USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Mungo Jerry: In the Summertime / Mighty Man 45 RPM JANUS J-125 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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Al Stewart Year Of The Cat LP RECORD ALBUM GATEFOLD JANUS VERY GOOD PLUS VINYL USD $3.99 Buy It Now 1 day
JANUS CD - GRAVEDIGGER plus 5 bonus tracks USD $19.36 [0 bids]
1 day
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THE WHISPERS - Your Love Doggone Good Mono & Stereo 45 JANUS 150 wlp promo NM USD $2.99 [0 bids]
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The Whispers CAN'T HELP BUT LOVE YOU / A HOPELESS SITUATION 1971 Janus 174 45rpm USD $3.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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Baker Gurvitz Army Self Titled S/T LP 1975 Janus Records Sealed USD $15.95 Buy It Now 1 day
HUNTRESS-STATIC-2015 NAPALM LP VINYL-LIMITED-JILL JANUS-NEW & SEALED USD $25.80 Buy It Now 1 day
KIASMOS s/t 2x LP NEW VINYL Erased Tapes Olafur Arnalds Janus Rasmussen USD $37.99 Buy It Now 1 day
CAMEL Another Night 45 LUNAR SEA Janus 1976 British Prog Pop Rock GENESIS YES M- USD $9.98 Buy It Now 1 day
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CYMANDE ~ The Message/Zion I ~ funk ~ JANUS $ USD $34.21 Buy It Now 2 days
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SAMANTHA JANUS (GAME ON, EASTENDERS) @ 18 magazine PHOTO/clipping 10x8 inches USD $8.97 Buy It Now 2 days
TRAPPED BY A THING CALLED LOVE/KEEP IT COMING - DENISE LASALLE - JANUS 6146 002 USD $6.45 [0 bids]
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Samantha Janus - A Message To Your Heart - Vinyl Record 7" Single - HWD 104 USD $5.79 Buy It Now 2 days
PAUL VAN NEVEL - MUSIC FROM THE COURT OF KING JANUS AT NICOSIA - SONY CD NM USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2 days
MEL NIXON - EV'RY LITTLE BEAT OF YOUR HEART - JANUS USA PROMO EX LOOK IN MY SHOP USD $32.27 Buy It Now 2 days
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Johnny Winter"About Blues"Vinyl-LP 1970-1ST Edit Janus JLS-3008 rock 33rpm USA USD $16.88 Buy It Now 2 days
JANUS AUNT MARY STILL SEALED REISSUE LP RECORD USD $249.99 Buy It Now 2 days
CAMEL Rain Dances 1977 JANUS PROG ROCK US PRESS USD $18.00 Buy It Now 2 days
M-Halo : The Road of Janus CD USD $4.12 Buy It Now 2 days
Seventh Wave Things To Come vinyl LP 1974 Janus Records Sealed Prog Rock USD $11.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Al Stewart On The Border / Flying Sorcery 7" 45 rpm 1977 Janus J-261 USD $6.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Lenny Herman - Music In Motion Vol. 2 Vinyl LP - Janus - LP-5 - Oldies USD $11.05 Buy It Now 2 days
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JANUS - 'THE REAL ABBA (1999 CD)'. USD $0.25 [0 bids]
2 days
RAY STEVENS " THE STREAK " 7" SINGLE JANUS 1974 VG USD $3.21 Buy It Now 2 days
Janus Stark : Great Adventure Cigar CD USD $3.19 Buy It Now 2 days
AMBIVALENT Janus 12" NEW VINYL Valence Truncate LA-4A USD $13.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Kayak Sealed Janus Prog Rock LP 1978 Netherlands USD $12.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Al Stewart - Past, Present And Future, Janus JLS 3063, 1973 Stereo LP USD $18.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Ray Stevens ?- Misty Label: Janus Records ?- 9109 401 UK Vinyl LP Album USD $12.85 [0 bids]
2 days
JOHNNY WINTER Early Times JANUS JLS-3023 Original (1970) USD $23.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Al Stewart Flying Sorcery 7" Janus J267 EX 1977 US pressing, Flying Sorcery/On T USD $8.38 Buy It Now 2 days
EXC/VG+ LP~IAN THOMAS~Self Titled~[1973 GRT/JANUS~Gatefold] USD $2.88 Buy It Now 2 days
Pot Liquor Levee Blues LP Janus 1971 VG+ gatefold USD $11.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Charlie Watching T.V. PROMO 1978 Janus J-275 ROCK 7" 45 rpm NM Vinyl USD $7.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Sun Ra JANUS Limited Edition RSD 2017 New Sealed Black & Yellow Colored Vinyl LP USD $28.99 Buy It Now 2 days
? Ian Thomas - Ian Thomas (Janus 3058) (with "Painted Ladies") (PL) USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2 days
? Ian Thomas - Long Long Way (Janus 7005) ('74) USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Walrus (Everyone Deserves a Fat Chance) (Janus 3051) ('72) (Sealed) USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Chuck Berry's Greatest Hits Chess/Janus CH 1485 VG+ LP 1974 USD $29.95 Buy It Now 2 days

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JANUS discography


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

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

2.89 | 9 ratings
Al Maestrale
1978

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

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

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JANUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Al Maestrale by JANUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.89 | 9 ratings

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Al Maestrale
Janus Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator RPI

3 stars Janus was formed in 1976 by young members of the Italian right wing Il Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI), the youth front of which organised cultural events called Campi Hobbit (Hobbit fields) from 1977-81. The campi were of course named after the well-known novel by J. R. R. Tolkien and the author's work in general provided a cultural touchstone for the politicised youth of the right. This was mainly due to Italian philosopher Elemine Zolla's introduction (which was interpreted as neo-fascist) to the first edition of the 'Lord of the Rings' novel in 1970, but also in part because of Tolkien's regard for Nordic culture.

Progressive folk band La Compagnia dell'Anello (The Fellowship of the Ring) was another of the leading right wing formations (although Janus was undoubtedly foremost among them, even having a tribute album released in 1990s) and both groups took part in the inaugural campo at Montesarchio in June 1977. In fact there is also a strong folk element to 'Il Maestrale' thanks to its frequent flute and recorder forays, although overall it's a truly eclectic work and the wah wah on 'Tempo di Vittoria' (Time of Victory) that rounds out the album recalls the ramshackle vigour of Guru Guru. Anyway, by the time Janus played at the same event in the following year guitarist Stefano Recchioni was dead, having been shot and mortally wounded by police gunfire during a political riot that became known as the Massacre of Acca Larentia; singer-songwriter Fabrizio Marzi dedicated the song 'Giovinezza' to the memory of Recchioni.

Another important figure to the right wing was Julius Evola who placed great importance on mythology. He saw it as the intersection of history and superhistory, and the likes of Arthurian legend and, as a consequence, the Celtic cross became important symbols for the MSI. You might wonder where this review is going but the album is a product of the Italian right wing and all the above strands come together in the album's art and its title- track: 'How I love you, mistral wind... we are born of one womb... we were forever predestined to be heirs to heavy burdens and great battles... climb higher and hang in the sky because the world will see it and be truer.' The artwork mirrors these words with a Norse longboat climbing into the sky above the sea, its sail emblazoned with the Celtic cross that dominated the campi skylines. And similar themes recur throughout the album - a blistering guitar rips through the bedlam of the Arthurian-inspired 'Il Ritorno del Cavaliero Nero' (The Return of the Black Knight), while 'King of the Fairies' (based on Alberich, the dwarf chieftain who guards the treasure of the Nibelungen) is all folksy recorder and psychedelic organ.

Getting specific on the few lyrics on the album, 'Il Fuoco e La Spada' (Fire and Sword) concerns the 'just' fight of the last of a race of warriors riding on celestial steeds: 'I am an exile on this earth, inhabited by small scheming men without honour... yet I see a new sun will rise to illuminate the few hearts that were pure, free and proud and true.' Sonically this track is reminiscent of Calvert-era Hawkwind, but their take on the crisis of Italian terrorism, the hectic 'Manifestazione Non Autorizzata' (Unauthorised Demonstration), is even punkier and carries a less ambiguous message: 'the joy of the struggle and the victory' against the safe side 'who live by dollars and roubles.'

Of historical importance, 'Il Maestrale' is also *extremely* rough around the edges which probably makes it one for RPI aficionados only.

 Al Maestrale by JANUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.89 | 9 ratings

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Al Maestrale
Janus Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Nice low-fi mix of hard prog with folk touches

JANUS (formerly JANUM) was a band from Rome who existed from 1975-1981. They carry the unique distinction in RPI history of being one of the few bands who sailed against the prevailing winds of the leftist political counter-culture of the 1970s Italian music scene. Their album "Al Maestrale" is not exactly an RPI classic and has been panned for its weak production, but for an album recorded in just six hours it has some worthwhile moments.

"Al Maestrale" is an RPI mixture of hard-rock a bit like the first two Il Rovescio Della Medaglia albums (not "Contaminazione!") with folk elements, lots of flute, and some nice keyboards. "An Dro" begins with a wonderful combination of flute solo, flanged guitar, and piano. A perfect seafaring anthem that conjures well the painting on the cover. The title track introduces vocals and while nothing to write home about, I've heard worse. Despite the challenged production the sound really isn't that bad, and more importantly the music has heart, I love this kind of homegrown garage work. After a jazzy piano solo the hard rock kicks in with guitars and drums blazing, with the flute coming back over the top. "Trotto" is a cool little flute/bass interlude (or is it a recorder?) at breakneck speed, sort of a folk jig but heavy at the same time. "Il Ritorno del Cavaliere Nero" is a brash number, with slow tortured guitar chords producing a menacing sound, followed by a blistering solo. This is a bit primitive but it is enjoyable.

Side two opens with "Il Fuoco e la Spada" which again has that effects laden guitar strumming with a piano and some punchy drumming, with an eventual overdriven guitar solo. "Neapolis" is a short keyboard interlude with piano and flute and a brisk, marching pace. "Manifestazione non autorizzata" has an abrasive, heavy sound which other sites have said sounds like a clear punk influence, which is possible given the album's date. "King of the Fairies" almost sounds like Ralefun-era Antonius Rex with flute over a primitive bass line, and an erratic, somewhat cheesy synth solo prefacing another heavy guitar solo. I don't know how it does it, but somehow, it works. "Tempo di Vittoria" closes this short album with its most aggressive track last, another fast-paced driving rock number with pure drum bashing, guitar wailing, and a real dingy low-ceilinged live sound.

Reports are that the album was recorded in a dumpy space in six hours flat. Because it often sounds like that I'll issue a buyer-beware warning on this album, but the fact is that I like the album quite a bit. It has the right blend of sass, heartfelt piano, and flute to make it memorable, if not to the usual refined standards of bands with more resources. If you love slightly seedy, hard-rock oriented RPI bands, of which there are quite a few, you may enjoy Janus.

Thanks to Finnforest for the artist addition.

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