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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


Red Right ReturnRed Right Return
Realid Records 2009
Audio CD$9.93
$4.97 (used)
Nox AerisNox Aeris
Realid Records 2012
Audio CD$9.63
$0.98 (used)
GravediggerGravedigger
Import
EMI International 2013
Audio CD$11.35
$10.52 (used)
The Real ABBA GoldThe Real ABBA Gold
Import
Prestige Records Limited 2007
Audio CD$7.49
$0.01 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
JEFFERSON SELF-TITLED EX BABY TAKE ME INTO YOUR ARMS STEREO JANUS JLS-3006 LP USD $2.99 Buy It Now 31m 15s
SEALED ORIGINAL Funk Afro Soul LP Cymande Second Time Round on Janus USD $50.00 Buy It Now 41m 58s
Kayak -1975-Janus-12"-33RPM-LP- Prog Rock - "Royal Bed Bouncer" USD $5.99 Buy It Now 2h 3m
MUNGO JERRY - Memoirs of a Stockbroker LP 1971 Janus Original NMINT USD $29.99 Buy It Now 2h 53m
POT LIQUOR Jim Brown Riverboat 45 WLP SINGLE Janus Rec USD $9.99 Buy It Now 3h
CAMEL "Moonmadness" LP Original Recording JANUS JXS-7024 Gatefold Vinyl Record USD $10.95 Buy It Now 3h 23m
The Whispers Greatest Hits, Janus Records JXS 7013, 1974, Soul USD $10.00 Buy It Now 3h 41m
AMBIVALENT Janus 12" NEW VINYL Valence Truncate LA-4A USD $13.99 Buy It Now 3h 41m
POT LIQUOR "Levee Blues" NM LP Vinyl : Janus 3033 @ 1972 Blues ROCK USD $35.00 Buy It Now 4h 38m
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Potliquor - Louisiana Rock & Roll LP Gatefold Janus JLS 3036 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 5h 45m
Camel Rain Dances LP Record Janus US Pressing EX/VG+ 1977 Brian Eno USD $12.99 Buy It Now 6h 8m
Kayak, Phantom of the Night, 1978 Janus Records, Sealed 8 Track tape, Rock USD $5.00 Buy It Now 6h 26m
CAMEL: Snow Goose RARE vinyl lp JANUS Prog Monster VG++ Nice! USD $15.00 Buy It Now 6h 34m
? Ian Thomas - Ian Thomas (Janus 3058) (with "Painted Ladies") (PL) USD $14.99 Buy It Now 6h 35m
? Ian Thomas - Long Long Way (Janus 7005) ('74) USD $14.99 Buy It Now 6h 42m
Kayak, Starlight Dancer, 1977 Janus Records, Sealed 8 Track tape USD $5.00 Buy It Now 6h 43m
POTLIQUOR-CHEER/CHATANOOGA JANUS 179 VG+ 45 USD $6.98 Buy It Now 6h 50m
AL STEWART - YEAR OF THE CAT - 1976 - 12" LP - JANUS RECORDS GATEFOLD JACKET VG+ USD $3.25 Buy It Now 8h 6m
MUNGO JERRY Janus 7000 gate fold Vinyl Lp Ex+ USD $13.58 Buy It Now 8h 21m
AL STEWART- YEAR OF THE CAT - LP- 1976 Janus USD $3.50 Buy It Now 8h 43m
Bobby Sherman 45 JANUS 254 Our Last Song Together 1975 HIS LAST 45 USD $7.00 [0 bids]
8h 51m
LOT of 2 70s SOUL 45 RPMs - THE WHISPERS - JANUS 200 & SOUL TRAIN 10700 USD $15.00 Buy It Now 9h 17m
? Al Stewart - The Early Years (1 LP Promo) (Janus 2JXS-7026-EP) USD $14.99 Buy It Now 9h 30m
Al Stewart - The Early Years (2 LP set) (Janus 2JXS-7026) (PL) ('77) Hipgnosis USD $19.99 Buy It Now 9h 30m
? Al Stewart - Past, Present and Future (Janus 3063) (with "Roads to Moscow") USD $14.99 Buy It Now 9h 30m
? Al Stewart - Modern Times (Janus 7012) (rare early LP) USD $14.99 Buy It Now 9h 30m
CONCERT IN STEREO - CARMEN SUITE - JANUS FST-1001 LP USD $12.99 Buy It Now 12h 22m
HALEY,BILL/COMETS JANUS 3035 TRAVELIN' BAND VG+/M- ST $30.00 USD $35.00 Buy It Now 12h 30m
PICKETTYWITCH Self-Titled Rare US Janus Records JLS-3015 Stereo Lp Psych/Rock EX USD $49.99 Buy It Now 13h 34m
Illustration 1970 Vinyl Lp Record on Janus Records JLS 3010 White Label Promo EX USD $29.99 Buy It Now 13h 36m
JERRY MUNGO VINYL LP ORIGINAL 1970 JANUS RECORDS JXS-7000, STEREO EX USD $16.99 Buy It Now 13h 37m
MUNGO JERRY "MEMOIRS OF A STOCKBROKER" 1971 JANUS RECORDS JLS-3027, STEREO EX USD $36.99 Buy It Now 13h 38m
Harvey Mandel The SNAKE vinyl LP 1972 JANUS USD $9.95 Buy It Now 14h 32m
M. Applebaum - Mark Applebaum: Janus Remixes CD USD $19.29 Buy It Now 17h 31m
Aunt Mary-Aunt Mary/Janus CD PL 584 Hard Rock! USD $10.00 [0 bids]
19h 2m
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JOHNNY WINTER Before The Storm JANUS RECORDS 2LP EX Gatefold USD $18.21 Buy It Now 19h 17m
Charlie ~ No Second Chance ~ LP ~ (1977) ~ Janus JXS-7032 USD $5.99 Buy It Now 20h
The Coldstream Gaurds & Black Watch 'Sounds Ceremonial' 1960s LP Janus USD $20.00 Buy It Now 21h 32m
Gurdjieff - IMPROVISATIONS - Original 1971 pressing on Janus AAB 559 - EX+ ! lp USD $79.99 Buy It Now 22h 34m
WHISPERS-A MOTHER FOR MY CHILDREN/WHAT MORE CAN I ASK FOR JANUS 231 NM 45 USD $9.98 Buy It Now 22h 48m
THE WHISPERS-A HOPELESS SITUATION /CAN'T HELP BUT LOVE YOU-70s SOUL 45 on JANUS USD $8.00 [0 bids]
23h 22m
SEALED ORIGINAL Psych Funk LP Mer-Da Long Burn the Fire MERDA on Janus USD $75.00 Buy It Now 1 day
AL STEWART - YEAR OF THE CAT - 1ST PRESS LP (JANUS RECORDS - JXS-7022) USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Seven Wonders of the World by Key Tones Doo Wop Janus Gold 1957 near mint USD $19.00 Buy It Now 1 day
HARVEY MANDEL Feel The Sound Of Harvey Mandel JANUS LP VG++/VG+ USD $8.00 [0 bids]
1 day
MUNGO JERRY Mighty Man / In The Summertime JANUS 125 ROCK 45 USD $4.50 Buy It Now 1 day
Q5-65 Vinyl Record Album 45 Janus The Whispers It Sure Aint pretty Love For All! USD $29.95 Buy It Now 1 day
NORTHERN SOUL - Al Downing - I`ll Be Holding On on UK Janus - HEAR IT USD $3.02 [0 bids]
1 day
WHISPERS does she care 45 JANUS --- northern soul promo --- LISTEN USD $8.00 Buy It Now 1 day
CAMEL - Moonmadness LP Original Recording JANUS JXS-7024 Gatefold Vinyl Record USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Grady Tate "She Is My Lady" 1972 Soul LP, SEALED/ MINT!, Original Janus Pressing USD $9.95 Buy It Now 1 day
MUNGO JERRY - 1970 - JANUS - IN THE SUMMERTIME - EXC - GATEFOLD USD $1.50 [0 bids]
1 day
Funk Blues Psych HARVEY MANDEL Baby Batter RaRe Import LP on Janus USD $29.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Charlie Sealed Janus LP 1978 Pin-Up Cover USD $12.00 Buy It Now 1 day
CYMANDE Second Time Around LP NEW VINYL JANUS Funk Gatefold USD $17.99 Buy It Now 1 day
SAMANTHA JANUS A Message To Your Heart Ex+ Hollywood 1991 P/S 7" USD $6.01 Buy It Now 1 day
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? C. B. Victoria - Dawning Day (Janus 7029) (with "Anytime at All") USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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KAYAK ivory dance / keep the change JANUS 45 USD $1.89 Buy It Now 1 day
PAUL KORDA more than a friend / same PROMO JANUS 45 USD $3.49 Buy It Now 1 day
Janus Peter King Audio CD USD $24.94 Buy It Now 1 day
Mungo Jerry Self titled(In the summertime)1970 Janus 7000 USD $9.00 [0 bids]
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Potliquor - Levee Blues - Gatefold LP Record/Vinyl Janus Rec. JLS-3033 USD $22.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Potliquor - First Taste - 12" Gatefold LP Record/Vinyl Janus Rec. JLS 3002 USD $22.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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Al Stewart Year Of The Cat b/w Broadway Hotel on Janus #J-266 1976 45-rpm Record USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
BOYFRIEND - JANUS [THE 1ST ALBUM] CD (SEALED) $2.99 S&H K-POP USD $17.99 Buy It Now 1 day
AL STEWART - YEAR OF THE CAT [LP vinyl JANUS JXS 7022, 1976] USD $6.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Johnny Winter Before the Storm 8 Track Janus GRT 1973 Double Album USD $14.35 Buy It Now 1 day
Kayak Phantom of the Night LP NEW Sealed Janus 7039 USD $12.95 Buy It Now 1 day
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AL STEWART - Past Present and Future; 1974 Janus Records; Roads To Moscow USD $10.75 Buy It Now 1 day
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Ray Stevens The Streak 7" Single Janus Label 6146201 (blue label) USD $4.54 Buy It Now 1 day
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CHARLIE Lines LP 1978 Janus SEALED Cheesecake Sexy 12" USD $9.56 Buy It Now 1 day
CHARLIE "Lines" Original STILL SEALED LP from 1978 (Janus JXS-7036) USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1 day
KAYAK (Starlight Dancer) 8-Track Tape Cartridge ~ Vintage NEW Sealed - Janus USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1 day
TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI: Milky Way Moses, Janus Records, Promo,Prog, OOP LP! USD $9.99 [0 bids]
1 day
HARVEY MANDEL Uno Ino 7" B/w Shangrenade UK Janus 1972 USD $7.57 Buy It Now 1 day
JIMMY DEAN I.o.u. 7" B/w Let's Pick Up The Pieces UK Janus 1976 USD $7.57 Buy It Now 1 day
JANUS Out Of Time 7" B/w War Machines Pic Sleeve GERMAN World Wide 1990 USD $3.94 Buy It Now 1 day
JANUS STARK Floyd What Are You On 7" Numbered And Limited To 2000 Copies With St USD $7.57 Buy It Now 1 day
RAY STEVENS Streak 7" B/w You've Got The Music Inside US Janus 1974 USD $5.52 Buy It Now 1 day
RAY STEVENS Moonlight Special 7" B/w Just So Proud To Be Here UK Janus 1974 USD $3.93 Buy It Now 1 day
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RAY STEVENS Indian Love Call 7" B/w Piece Of Paradise UK Janus 1975 USD $3.93 Buy It Now 1 day
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WHISPERS Bingo 7" B/w Someone's Waiting UK Janus 1974 USD $7.57 Buy It Now 1 day
EVERLY BROTHERS Don And Phil's Fabulous Fifties Treasury LP 22 Track UK Janus USD $7.57 Buy It Now 1 day
IAN THOMAS S/t LP 10 Track Gatefold But Has Deletion Cut To Sleeve US Janus 197 USD $5.52 Buy It Now 1 day
KAYAK Phantom Of The Night LP 10 Track With Inner Sleeve US Janus 1979 USD $7.57 Buy It Now 1 day
NOEL JANUS Heroes Of The World LP 8 Track Sleeve Has Laminate Bubbles And Edge S USD $54.15 Buy It Now 1 day
RAY STEVENS Boogity Boogity LP 12 Track UK Janus 1974 USD $5.52 Buy It Now 1 day


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JANUS discography


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

2.93 | 5 ratings
Al Maestrale
1978

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

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

JANUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Al Maestrale by JANUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.93 | 5 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.

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 Al Maestrale by JANUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.93 | 5 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.

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