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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$7.97
$5.41 (used)
Nox AerisNox Aeris
Realid Records 2012
Audio CD$9.63
$4.94 (used)
GravediggerGravedigger
Import
EMI International 2013
Audio CD$20.00
$93.58 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Johnnie Morgan Band CD Janus , Private Label, 2014 USD $6.40 Buy It Now
C.B. Victoria - Dawning Day GRT/Janus Vint. Orig. Canadian SEALED MINT LP Record USD $7.63 [0 bids]
Al Stewart - Year of the Cat - Janus JXS-7022 Gatefold LP Vinyl Record 1976 EX USD $7.99 Buy It Now
Mindnapping 18-Janus Audio CD USD $19.65 Buy It Now
Canned Heat - Vintage LP JANUS 3009 ~Vinyl VG++ USD $17.95 Buy It Now
Kayak. Phantom of the night. Janus records JXS7039.~Vinyl NM~Shrink USD $7.95 Buy It Now
Paul Korda, Dancing In the Aisles, Janus Records JXS 7038, 1978 SEALED Rock Soul USD $10.00 Buy It Now
CYMANDE~FUG~ A MONSTER FUNK SOUND~ NEAR MINT~ANTHRACITE JANUS 225~ FUNK 45 USD $29.99 Buy It Now
Janus Boyfriend Audio CD USD $29.75 Buy It Now
Don Covay 7" 45 HEAR Sweet Thang JANUS STOCK COPY Standing In The Grits Line USD $10.00 Buy It Now
Charlie . Fight Dirty . 1979 Janus LP USD $11.46 Buy It Now
FREDDIE HUGHES WILL YOU BE HERE JANUS WLP MONO/STEREO NORTHERN SOUL 45 USD $17.50 [0 bids]
(EI888) The Real Abba Gold, Janus - 1998 sealed CD USD $6.22 Buy It Now
Ray Stevens - The Streak / You've Got The Music Inside - Janus 6146 201 USD $6.22 Buy It Now 1h 28m
CHARLIE Lines (1978, 12" Vinyl LP, Janus Records, JXS-7036) SEALED USD $5.99 Buy It Now 2h 52m
IAN THOMAS (1973) JANUS JLS 3058 - MINT SEALED LP - GATEFOLD PROG KRAUT ROCK USD $7.99 Buy It Now 3h 15m
WHISPERS: ONCE MORE WITH FEELING & BINGO; 1974 JANUS 238 MINT- SOUL 45 RPM USD $6.00 Buy It Now 4h 37m
EMANUEL AND THE FEAR - THE JANUS MIRROR CD NEW+ USD $25.63 Buy It Now 8h 39m
Lucifer's Friend ~ Mind Exploding ~ Original NM Lp~ Krautrock ~ Janus JXS-7030 USD $19.95 Buy It Now 10h 43m
MIKE COOPER 'Oh Really?' Original 1969 Janus Blues Folk LP USD $37.49 Buy It Now 10h 49m
Janus Stark "Great Adventure Cigar" CD feat. Prodigy USD $4.98 Buy It Now 10h 54m
GRADY TATE nm lp on JANUS, 1972 USD $11.95 Buy It Now 11h 45m
JANUS BLECHMANN - TABLE SKETCHES CD NEW+ USD $20.04 Buy It Now 12h 18m
AL STEWART Year Of The Cat Record Janus JXS-7022 #728 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 12h 27m
DETROIT EMERALDS feel the need in me*and i love her (BEATLES SONG) 1970s JANUS USD $8.72 Buy It Now 13h 41m
DONOVAN LP on JANUS - HEAR ME NOW - NEAR MINT USD $12.00 Buy It Now 13h 59m
SEALED - SEXY CHARLIE LP - LINES on JANUS LABEL USD $7.50 Buy It Now 14h 2m
Ray Stevens - Misty - 1975 UK - Janus Records - 6146 204 USD $6.17 Buy It Now 14h 11m
RAY STEVENS - MISTY - 7" VINYL 1975 JANUS RECORDS USD $4.23 Buy It Now 14h 30m
Rock Promo NM! 45 POTLIQUOR Riverboat on Janus (promo) USD $5.00 Buy It Now 14h 45m
Kayak, I Want You To Be Mine ~ NM 1978 Janus 45 USD $3.77 Buy It Now 14h 56m
JEFFERSON Baby Take Me In Your Arms/I Fell Flat On My Face 7" 45 late-60's Janus USD $1.00 Buy It Now 15h 21m
LP Al Stewart Year Of The Cat Orig 1976 Gatefold Janus JXS-7022 VG-EX Vinyl USD $3.99 Buy It Now 15h 50m
Walrus Original Sealed LP 1972 Janus Psych US Press Gatefold USD $15.99 Buy It Now 16h 18m
HARVEY MANDEL Baby Batter/Midnight Sun 7" 45 promo early-70's funk Janus USD $29.99 Buy It Now 16h 31m
Al Stewart, Year of the Cat ~ 1976 Janus 45 USD $3.77 Buy It Now 16h 36m
RAY STEVENS - Misty - Excellent Condition LP Record Janus 9109 401 USD $7.47 Buy It Now 16h 50m
POTLIQUOR Riverboat / Down The River Boogie JANUS 139 PROMO 45 7" USD $14.99 Buy It Now 17h
AL STEWART LP -YEAR OF THE CAT - NEAR MINT ORIGINAL JANUS LABEL USD $7.00 Buy It Now 17h 4m
KAYAK Royal Bed Bouncer '75 Janus Canada import Dutch Prog M- beauty USD $20.00 Buy It Now 17h 10m
Janus, Morgan, Jonnie, Very Good USD $1.00 Buy It Now 17h 30m
RAY STEVENS - MISTY - 7" VINYL 1975 JANUS RECORDS USD $4.35 Buy It Now 17h 31m
Feel the Sound of Harvey Mandel Original 1974 Janus Promo LP NM Guitar Psych USD $9.99 [1 bids]
17h 40m
CISSY HOUSTON - LP - JANUS RECORDS - UK - 6310205 USD $14.96 [0 bids]
18h 28m
Damon Shawn - Feel The Need - Janus - Northern Soul Crossover Motown Tmg Rare Mo USD $9.98 Buy It Now 19h 12m
Charlie ?- Lines - Janus Records JXS-7036 Vinyl UK LP Album + inner Lyric Sleeve USD $23.65 [0 bids]
19h 43m
Mungo Jerry 45rpm In the Summertime Janus Records J-1299 USD $8.95 Buy It Now 20h 2m
Janus Stark - Great Adventure Cigar (1998) USD $1.23 [0 bids]
20h 50m
GRADY TATE: Movin Day LP JANUS RECORDS JXS7010 US 1974 VG++ USD $21.24 Buy It Now 21h 51m
Nox Aeris Janus Audio CD USD $23.79 Buy It Now 22h 5m
? Charlie - No Second Chance (Janus 7032) (Flower on FC USD $14.99 Buy It Now 22h 12m
Cissy Houston - I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself - Janus Promo - VG USD $9.36 [0 bids]
22h 13m
SEALED CHARLIE LINES LP 1978 JANUS RECORDS PSYCH ROCK USD $9.99 Buy It Now 22h 33m
Charlie Lines LP SEALED Janus Records JXS7036 USD $8.20 Buy It Now 23h 12m
Johnny Winter"About Blues"Vinyl-LP 1970-1ST Edit Janus JLS-3008 rock 33rpm USA USD $16.95 Buy It Now 23h 37m
SEALED STEREO COMEDY LP - ALEN ROBIN - JANUS 7001 - "SUPERSHRINK" USD $10.00 Buy It Now 23h 41m
1-JANUS, 1-JAY JAY COMPANY 45's SLEEVES LOT # A-504 USD $2.00 Buy It Now 23h 51m
AL STEWART THE EARLY YEARS VINYL 2LP'S JANUS WITH INNER SLEEVES USD $3.95 Buy It Now 1 day
KAYAK Phantom Of The Night LP Janus Rec. JXS-7039 US 1979 SEALED M USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
VG++/NM- BEAUTIFUL! Judas Priest Sad Wings Destiny LP ORIG. JANUS PRESS! Steel USD $9.50 [5 bids]
1 day
PICKETTYWITCH Self-Titled Rare US Janus Records PROMO JLS-3015 Stereo Lp Record USD $30.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Mungo Jerry 45 JOHNNY B. BADDE / MY FRIEND ~ Janus VG++ USD $5.60 Buy It Now 1 day
Ray Stevens - Indian Love Call - 1975 UK - JANUS - 6146 205 USD $6.17 Buy It Now 1 day
8-Track Tape CANNED HEAT Vintage rock 1969 Charm/Janus as is USD $14.98 Buy It Now 1 day
MOE KOFFMAN MUSEUM PIECES US PRESS VG- ALBUM VINYL LP RECORD 1978 JANUS CUTOUT USD $2.49 Buy It Now 1 day
VINYL LP Charlie - Lines / Janus JXS-7036 USD $12.99 Buy It Now 1 day
POTLIQUOR LOUISIANA ROCK & ROLL LP-PROMOTIONAL COPY-JANUS-3036-VG+ USD $7.49 Buy It Now 1 day
Grady Tate She Is My Lady Janus JLS 3050 lp stereo 1972 promo Jazz soul vocal USD $12.49 Buy It Now 1 day
AL STEWART- YEAR OF THE CAT - LP- 1976 Janus (G4) USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
AL STEWART- YEAR OF THE CAT - LP- 1976 Janus (X3) USD $3.99 Buy It Now 1 day
PAUL KORDA - DANCING IN THE AISLES- JANUS RECORDS- USA - JXS 7038 USD $1.23 [0 bids]
1 day
Eska Janus. Whispers in the Wind.CD 1991 Very Good USD $3.50 Buy It Now 1 day
Long John Baldry Wait For Me vinyl 2x LP JANUS Records VG+ USD $9.95 Buy It Now 1 day
AL STEWART Year Of The Cat 12" Vinyl LP Janus 1976 ~v USD $6.95 Buy It Now 1 day
The Janus Game by Jez Lowe/Steve Tilston. USD $16.54 Buy It Now 1 day
GOLDIE ZELKOWITZ - VINYL-LP-1974-JANUS RECORDS USD $6.22 [0 bids]
1 day
POT LIQUOR LP " Levee Blues " JANUS Usa 1971' USD $22.90 Buy It Now 1 day
THE EVERLY BROTHERS 'DON AND PHIL'S FABULOUS FIFTIES TREASURY'- LP JANUS USD $18.71 Buy It Now 1 day
Charlie Lines Self Titled LP 1978 Janus Records EX [John Anderson Steve Gadd] USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1 day
TIGER B. SMITH 'WE'RE THE TIGER BUNCH" LP 1975 RARE JANUS LABEL USD $22.39 Buy It Now 1 day
Ray Stevens ?- Misty Janus Records ?- 6146 204 UK Vinyl 7 inch Single 45 USD $4.95 [0 bids]
1 day
John Kongos Confusions about A Goldfish vinyl LP JANUS USD $18.00 Buy It Now 1 day
LOT of 2 70s SOUL 45 RPMs - THE WHISPERS - JANUS 184 & 200 "SOMEBODY LOVES YOU" USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Soul 45 The Champs' Boys Orchestra - Fleur / Tubular Rebels On Janus Records USD $10.00 Buy It Now 2 days
VINYL LP Al Stewart - Year Of The Cat / Janus USD $12.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Kayak - Royal Bed Bouncer ~ 1975 Janus Promo Gatefold USD $4.98 [0 bids]
2 days
JANUS RECORDS Al Stewart Year Of The Cat Vinyl USD $9.99 [0 bids]
USD $25.99 Buy It Now
2 days
MOLKIE COLE (self-titled)-NM1977LP JANUS LABEL GATEFOLD COVER USD $13.10 Buy It Now 2 days
CAMEL "Rain Dances" LP Original Recording JANUS JXS-7035 Vinyl Record USD $12.49 Buy It Now 2 days
Hear - Rare R&B/Soul 45 - Dianne Davidson - Sixty Minute Man - Janus # 161 - M- USD $4.99 Buy It Now 2 days
AL STEWART Year Of The CAT Gatefold Lp JANUS Records Folk Rock Essential HIPGNOS USD $15.00 [0 bids]
2 days
Charlie "Lines" (1978) LP : Janus Records / Near Mint! USD $0.99 [0 bids]
2 days
1972 BILL HALEY & THE COMETS LP JANUS / Travelin' Band ORIG PRESS SEALED USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2 days
JEFFERSON LP on JANUS ( Self Titled ) / BLUES ROCK AM SUNSHINE POP USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2 days
DENISE LASALLE Trapped By A Thing Called Love 1971 JANUS RECORDS near mint USD $5.24 [2 bids]
2 days
CISSY HOUSTON I'll Be There JANUS 7" Records Single Northern Soul 45 Vg+ USD $8.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Samantha Janus A Message To Your Heart UK 7" vinyl single record HWD104 USD $12.40 Buy It Now 2 days
Dianne Davidson Backwoods Woman vinyl LP album record UK 6310209 JANUS 1972 USD $17.40 Buy It Now 2 days
A Mother For My Children Whispers UK 7" vinyl single record 6146023 JANUS 1973 USD $13.02 Buy It Now 2 days
Al Stewart Year Of The Cat Janus LP 1976 On The Border USD $4.99 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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