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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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Red Right ReturnRed Right Return
Realid Records 2009
Audio CD$9.95
$4.35 (used)
Nox AerisNox Aeris
Realid Records 2012
Audio CD$9.65
$4.69 (used)
GravediggerGravedigger
Import
EMI International 2013
Audio CD$20.00
$93.46 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
MUNGO JERRY Self Titled LP Janus Rec JXS-7000 US 1970 VG++ 12E USD $19.98 Buy It Now
Kayak-Phantom Of The Night-Sealed Lp Vinyl Record-Janus-9098-7039 Ruthless Queen USD $7.38 [0 bids]
Janus Plays Telephone by The Landau Orchestra (CD, 2007) NEW USD $2.99 Buy It Now
Al Stewart Year Of The Cat 1976 Vinyl LP Janus Records JXS-7022 USD $39.95 Buy It Now
THE JANUS MIRROR EMANUEL AND THE FEAR CD USD $41.70 Buy It Now
Ray Stevens The Streak 7" Single Janus Label 6146201 (blue label) USD $3.75 Buy It Now
Michael Gately - Gately: Still 'Round - Janus JLS 3049 - Sealed! USD $9.99 Buy It Now
CHARLIE Lines LP 1978 Janus SEALED Cheesecake Sexy 12" USD $11.95 Buy It Now
BLONDE ON BLONDE CONTRASTS JANUS WHITE LABEL PROMO VG++/EX USD $85.00 Buy It Now
Mindexploding Lucifer's Friend orig. LP 1976 Janus Records USA USD $13.79 Buy It Now
THE BEST OF MANFRED MANN RARE JANUS LABEL PSYCH IN SHRINK EX+ USD $9.99 Buy It Now
MIKE COOPER RARE LP OH REALLY JANUS 1969 USD $34.99 [0 bids]
51m 4s
SAMANTHA JANUS-A MESSAGE TO YOUR HEART 12" EUROVISION SAMANTHA WOMAK,EASTENDERS USD $6.25 Buy It Now 1h 12m
THOMPSON,ELLA-JANUS (AUS) CD NEW USD $14.34 Buy It Now 2h 54m
RAY STEVENS - MISTY (JANUS 6146 204) UK 1975 7" EX USD $3.75 Buy It Now 3h 35m
Harvey Mandel The Snake Janus LP 1972 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 5h 17m
Charlie Vinyl LP Janus Records, 1978, JXS-7036, Lines USD $6.99 Buy It Now 6h 46m
Al Stewart - Year Of The Cat (1976 Janus Records/GRT Tapes) Used 8-Track Tape USD $7.50 Buy It Now 7h 4m
THE FLYING MACHINE Self titled Janus JLS-3007 album vinyl USD $21.99 Buy It Now 7h 5m
Janus / Concerto 2 / Symphony 4 USD $44.99 Buy It Now 7h 37m
Local H, Janus, The Attraction, The Life Q101.1 Local 101 Volume 3 CD ***NEW*** USD $3.42 Buy It Now 8h 46m
Al Stewart LP Janus Records,1977, 2JXS-7026, (Demo Copy) The Early Years~ NM- ! USD $14.99 Buy It Now 9h 58m
EVERLY BROTHERS: DON & PHIL'S FABULOUS 50's TREASURY Janus LP 6310300 22 tracks USD $10.02 Buy It Now 10h
Janus 4-14 (CD Used Very Good) USD $10.87 Buy It Now 11h 33m
DETROIT EMERALDS: Feel The Need In Me + 1 (NM/1971/UK/JANUS/SINGLE) USD $9.95 Buy It Now 11h 51m
BAKER GURVITZ ARMY SELF TITLED 1974 GINGER BAKER JANUS USD $9.99 Buy It Now 11h 57m
GOLDIE ZELKOWITZ - VINYL-LP-1974-JANUS RECORDS USD $6.25 [0 bids]
12h 6m
Janus Stark - Great Adventure Cigar (1998) USD $1.24 [0 bids]
12h 14m
Sealed 1971 Original LP : Pot LIquor ~ Levee Blues ~ Janus JLS 3033 Stereo USD $40.00 [0 bids]
12h 21m
Paul Korda " Dancing in the aisles " End of the line " LP VG+ JAN USD $3.81 Buy It Now 12h 29m
PAUL KORDA - DANCING IN THE AISLES- JANUS RECORDS- USA - JXS 7038 USD $0.61 [0 bids]
12h 34m
Kayak Phantom of the Night LP NEW Sealed Janus 7039 USD $12.95 Buy It Now 12h 38m
Al Stewart - The Early Years (1977 Janus 8-Track Tape Cartridge) Canadian Import USD $5.00 Buy It Now 13h 26m
HARVEY MANDEL Shangrenade LP Original 12" JANUS USD $21.74 Buy It Now 14h 6m
Harvey Mandel The Snake LP TOP PLAYER Janus JLS 3037 G/F Blues Psych USD $3.33 [0 bids]
14h 17m
Ian Thomas Long Long Way vinyl LP 1974 Janus Records Sealed USD $9.95 Buy It Now 14h 53m
AL STEWART - YEAR OF THE CAT, JXS-7022 JANUS USD $15.75 Buy It Now 15h 25m
Northern Soul The Whispers Janus Records 212 1973 45rpm Pow-Mia Does She Care NR USD $13.49 Buy It Now 16h
1977 - Camel - Rain Dances - Janus Records - Plays VG+ USD $4.99 Buy It Now 16h 31m
HUNTRESS - Jill Janus - Heavy Metal band autographed / signed POSTER USD $29.99 Buy It Now 17h 5m
HUNTRESS (Jill Janus) STATIC fully autographed / signed digipak Heavy Metal CD USD $29.99 Buy It Now 17h 6m
Janus: I Am Not Treuting Audio CD USD $21.36 Buy It Now 18h 8m
Al Stewart Year of the Cat VG+ vinyl gatefold 70s pop rock Janus USD $3.99 Buy It Now 18h 31m
JANUS REMIXES, New Music USD $13.20 Buy It Now 20h 5m
AL STEWART - YEAR OF THE CAT LP Janus JXS-7022 USD $3.50 Buy It Now 20h 59m
Janus - Thompson,Ella CD-JEWEL CASE USD $21.42 Buy It Now 21h 5m
ALEN ROBIN Supershrink Janus Comedy LP SIS NMINT-/NMINT USD $15.00 Buy It Now 21h 23m
Al Stewart - The Early Years (Janus Records - 2JXS 7026) Vinyl LP USD $2.95 Buy It Now 23h 13m
Ray Stevens - 'Misty' 1975 UK Janus LP. Ex! USD $6.25 Buy It Now 23h 44m
Johnny Nash - Falling In And Out Of Love / You Got To Change Your Ways - Janus J USD $313.38 Buy It Now 1 day
Ray Stevens : Boogity Boogity : Vinyl Album : Janus Records : 6310 301 USD $8.51 Buy It Now 1 day
Janus-Gravedigger US German prog psych expanded 2 cds remastered USD $18.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Janus - Ella Thompson (2015, CD New) USD $4.75 Buy It Now 1 day
Ella Thompson - Janus [CD New] USD $9.60 Buy It Now 1 day
MUNGO JERRY MIGHTY MAN/IN THE SUMMERTIME JANUS RECORDS 45 RPM 7" USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Whispers - Bingo / Someone's Waiting - Janus 6146 026 - Northern Soul Crossover USD $15.04 Buy It Now 1 day
Whispers - Bingo / Once More With Feeling - Janus 6146 031 - Northern Soul Cross USD $15.04 Buy It Now 1 day
Various - Mus.hofe Koenig Janus - Various CD AFVG USD $29.37 Buy It Now 1 day
CANNED HEAT vintage JANUS (JLS 300) US ORIGINAL LP  USD $4.25 Buy It Now 1 day
KAYAK - PHANTOM OF THE NIGHT , JANUS 1979 , VERY GOOD PLUS PLUS/ EXCELLENT ,LP USD $6.19 Buy It Now 1 day
JANUS: Gravedigger CD +5 bonus tracks SPM/World Wide Records 1992 Issue USD $10.92 Buy It Now 1 day
AL STEWART - Year Of The Cat LP | Janus JXS-7022 | 12 inch Vinyl 33RPM Gatefold USD $3.98 Buy It Now 1 day
Donovan - Janus JL2S-3022 "Donovan P. Leitch" 2record gatefold LP NM USD $14.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Bill Haley & The Comets RAZZLE DAZZLE JANUS 2 RECORD SET JX2S 7003 STEREO USD $5.59 Buy It Now 1 day
JLS 3062 Kraut Psych VINYL LP Eloy Inside Janus Records '74 rare prog gatefold!! USD $65.00 Buy It Now 1 day
RAY STEVENS - Misty - Excellent Condition 7" Single Janus 6146 204 USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Jefferson self titled LP Near Mint vinyl Janus 3006 USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Harvey Mandel - The Snake - Janus JLS 3037 USD $9.87 Buy It Now 1 day
Al Stewart: Past, Present And Future LP VG++ Canada Janus Records 9098-3063, Al USD $11.98 Buy It Now 1 day
Finish Prog LP: TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI "Milky Way Moses" Janus '74 unplayed NM! USD $26.39 Buy It Now 1 day
Jefferson - 45 RPM - Baby Take Me Into Your Arms, 1969, Janus 106, Record EXC GS USD $0.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Al Stewart - Year of the Cat (Janus JXS 7022 Stereo) USD $7.50 Buy It Now 1 day
Kayak - Phantom of the Night (Janus JXS-7039) USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Janus 4-14 [CD New] USD $12.87 Buy It Now 1 day
Janus 4-14 (2012, CD New) USD $12.30 Buy It Now 1 day
Local H, Janus, The Attraction, The Life Q101.1 Local 101 Volume 3 CD USD $4.00 Buy It Now 1 day
CHARLIE"She Loves to Be In Love / Life So Cruel"45rpm-JANUS J-276-1978 USD $8.05 Buy It Now 1 day
Eska Janus. Whispers in the Wind.CD 1991 Very Good USD $3.50 Buy It Now 1 day
70s ROCK LP - DIANNE DAVIDSON- JANUS 3031 - "BABY" USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Presenting Cissy Houston Cissy Houston vinyl LP album record UK 6310205 JANUS USD $53.84 Buy It Now 1 day
Harvey Mandel-Shangrenade-LP 1973 Janus JLS3047 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
GRADY TATE She Is My Lady LP Janus JLS 3050 US 1972 VG++ In Shrink USD $22.98 Buy It Now 1 day
Whispers Bingo UK 7" vinyl single record 6146026 JANUS 1974 USD $13.73 Buy It Now 1 day
Dianne Davidson "Baby" 1971 Folk/Rock LP, SEALED/ MINT!, Original Janus Pressing USD $8.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Ray Stevens Indian Love Call UK 7" vinyl single record 6146205 JANUS RECORDS USD $13.73 Buy It Now 1 day
Al Downing I'll Be Holding On UK 7" vinyl single record 6146032 JANUS 1974 USD $13.73 Buy It Now 1 day
Pot Liquor Levee Blues USA vinyl LP album record JLS-3033 JANUS 1972 USD $36.29 Buy It Now 1 day
Ray Stevens Moonlight Special 7" vinyl single record UK 6146002 JANUS 1974 USD $11.22 Buy It Now 1 day
KAYAK PHANTOM OF THE NIGHT LP ORIG '79 JANUS RARE PROG POP ROCK MINT- SEALED! USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Ray Stevens The Streak 7" vinyl single record UK 6146201 JANUS 1974 USD $10.74 Buy It Now 1 day
The Whispers - Planet Of Life LP VG+ JLS 3055 Janus 1973 Stereo Vinyl Record USD $32.00 Buy It Now 1 day
THE WHISPERS 7" VINYL C/S ONCE MORE WITH FEELING JANUS 1974 EX USD $3.70 Buy It Now 1 day
Scott English 1972 Janus 45rpm Woman In My Life b/w Ballad Of The Unloved USD $6.00 Buy It Now 1 day
RAY STEVENS 7" VINYL MISTY JANUS 6146 204 1975 EX (2) USD $3.70 Buy It Now 1 day
EDDIE HARRIS Smokin LP JANUS RECORDS JLS 3020 Orig US 1970 JAZZ USD $23.99 Buy It Now 1 day
CAPERS AND CARSON Janus 73 USA Folk Prog Lp USD $12.52 Buy It Now 2 days
THE CASTELLS "So This is Love" Janus Gold 738 USD $0.99 [1 bids]
2 days
Al Stewart "YEAR OF THE CAT" Vinyl LP JANUS JXS-7022 USD $6.95 Buy It Now 2 days
C.B. Victoria I Don't Believe In Miracles 45 rpm Janus Promo Record Vinyl 7" USD $8.00 Buy It Now 2 days
THE CASTELLS so this is love/sacred JANUS GOLD 738 45 USD $1.89 Buy It Now 2 days

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JANUS discography


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

2.89 | 8 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 | 8 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 | 8 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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