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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$2.75 (used)
Nox AerisNox Aeris
Realid Records 2012
Audio CD$9.65
$4.49 (used)
GravediggerGravedigger
Import
EMI International 2013
Audio CD$20.00
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NOEL JANUS..WHAT HAPPENED TO..VERY GOOD 1977 DJM POP 7"...DJS 10781 USD $3.94 Buy It Now
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Charlie Turning To You 7" Janus J270 EX 1977 US pressing, demo, Turning To You/T USD $8.56 Buy It Now
Ray Stevens - The Bridge - 7" Vinyl - Janus - 6146 201 - P1974 USD $2.62 [0 bids]
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1h 18m
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1h 38m
JANUS CD - GRAVEDIGGER plus 5 bonus tracks USD $18.46 [0 bids]
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Cymande - S/T LP - Janus VG++ USD $37.00 [9 bids]
2h 28m
Cymande - Second Time Round LP - Janus USD $10.50 [4 bids]
2h 29m
Don Covay - Different Strokes For Different Folks LP - Janus VG++ USD $10.50 [6 bids]
2h 53m
Funk Breaks 45 CYMANDE "Bra" Janus LISTEN USD $8.00 [0 bids]
3h 38m
Funk Breaks 45 CYMANDE "The Message" Janus LISTEN USD $8.00 [0 bids]
3h 39m
Al Stewart - "Year of the Cat - Original Vinyl LP 1976 Janus Records (JXS 1022) USD $7.99 Buy It Now 3h 52m
Al Stewart ?- Year Of The Cat - 1976 - Vinyl LP Record (EX/VG+) Janus JXS-7022 USD $7.93 Buy It Now 3h 53m
GRADY TATE - She is my Lady LP SEALED Janus JLS 3050 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 3h 57m
Janus Plays Telephone by The Landau Orchestra (CD, Apr-2007, Milan) NEW USD $9.89 Buy It Now 3h 59m
Rock 45 AL STWEWART Year Of the Cat on Janus USD $3.00 Buy It Now 4h
Al Stewart "Year of The Cat" 1976 Rock LP, Nice VG++!, Orig Janus Pressing USD $3.95 Buy It Now 4h 44m
1972 Janus Gravedigger Kraut Psych Prog Original 1st Press + Insert USD $314.99 Buy It Now 5h 25m
Whispers - Love Story LP - Janus VG+ USD $6.00 [1 bids]
6h 9m
POTLIQUOR Lousiana Rock LP 1972 Janus Records EX USD $15.00 Buy It Now 6h 36m
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Lennell Williams "Rocket In Motion / Lock And Keys (On Me)" 1967 Janus Records USD $34.99 Buy It Now 7h 7m
Jukka Tolonen Crossection LP janus 1975 In Shrink FOLK EX USD $18.00 Buy It Now 7h 10m
AL STEWART year of the cat / broadway hotel JANUS 45 USD $3.49 Buy It Now 7h 24m
ILLUSTRATION - Self Titled s/t 1970 PROG JAZZ FUNK ROCK Janus USD $7.00 [0 bids]
9h 19m
CHARLIE - Lines Sealed Vinyl LP Record 1978 Janus. JXS-7036 USD $5.00 [0 bids]
9h 47m
Sealed Original Funk Rock LP : Freddie Roulette ~ Sweet Funky Steel ~ Janus 5.94 USD $60.00 Buy It Now 9h 59m
Sealed 1971 Original LP : Pot LIquor ~ Levee Blues ~ Janus JLS 3033 Stereo USD $40.00 Buy It Now 10h
JUDAS PRIEST ~ SAD WINGS OF DESTINY LP ~ NEAR MINT ORIGINAL JANUS PRESS USD $11.50 [3 bids]
10h 19m
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Ian Thomas "Long, Long Way" 1974 Blues/Rock LP, SEALED/ MINT!!, Original Janus USD $4.45 Buy It Now 10h 48m
Early Times JOHNNY WINTER Orig JANUS Bad News BLUES Spiders Of The Mind PSYCH Lp USD $15.15 Buy It Now 10h 51m
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Vinyl LP New Sealed The BAKER GURVITZ ARMY 1975 Janus Record JXS 7015 USD $10.00 Buy It Now 11h 17m
Al Stewart"Past Present and Future"Vinyl-LP 1974-1ST Edit Janus-JLS-3063 rock US USD $2.09 [0 bids]
12h 6m
Best of Manfred Mann LP VG+/NM 1972 on Janus USD $7.00 Buy It Now 12h 13m
Charlie - Lines - Very nice E+ LP on Janus label - Steve Gadd on drums!!! USD $6.00 Buy It Now 19h 46m
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GRADY TATE She Is My Lady LP - 1972 JANUS Orig. Unplayed !!! USD $8.00 Buy It Now 20h 57m
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1976 JANUS RECORDS JXS-7022 LP AL STEWART "YEAR OF THE CAT" EX USD $2.99 [0 bids]
1 day
THE WHISPERS - P.O.W. - M.I.A. - super clean 45 rpm - Janus 212 USD $10.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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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Minnie Riperton - Come To My Garden LP - Janus USD $10.50 [6 bids]
1 day
Alden Shuman THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES - Janus JLS-3059 SEALED USD $40.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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USD $65.00 Buy It Now
1 day
THE EVERLY BROS - 22 ORIGINAL CLASSICS - UK JANUS RECORDS LP USD $6.58 Buy It Now 1 day
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THE WHISPERS: I Love The Way You Make Me Feel JANUS '73 Funk Soul 45 VG++ USD $6.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Whispers - Love Story LP - Janus VG+ USD $7.60 [2 bids]
1 day
Whispers - Planets Of Life LP - Janus VG++ USD $6.00 [1 bids]
1 day
AL STEWART Year Of The Cat Ex Janus 1976 UK 7" USD $5.26 [0 bids]
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RAY STEVENS The Streak Ex Janus 1974 UK 7" USD $5.26 [0 bids]
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AL STEWART- YEAR OF THE CAT - LP- 1976 Janus (X3) USD $3.99 Buy It Now 1 day
AL STEWART- YEAR OF THE CAT - LP- 1976 Janus (G4) USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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Mungo Jerry: In the Summertime / Mighty Man 45 RPM JANUS J-125 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Ray Stevens - Misty (Janus 1975) 7" Single USD $3.96 Buy It Now 1 day
SAMANTHA JANUS A Message To Your Heart 12" VINYL UK Hollywood 1991 3 Track USD $10.34 Buy It Now 1 day
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EVERLY BROTHERS Don And Phil's Fabulous Fifties Treasury LP VINYL UK Janus 22 USD $8.96 Buy It Now 1 day
IAN THOMAS S/T LP VINYL US Janus 1973 10 Track Gatefold But Has Deletion Cut To USD $4.14 Buy It Now 1 day
CAPERS AND CARSON S/T LP VINYL US Janus 1973 10 Track Stereo Deletion Cut USD $6.58 Buy It Now 1 day
DIANNE DAVIDSON Backwoods Woman LP VINYL UK Janus 1972 10 Track Sleeve Has Tear USD $6.58 Buy It Now 1 day
RAY STEVENS Very Best Of LP VINYL UK Janus 1974 14 Track (6310302) USD $4.14 Buy It Now 1 day
NOEL JANUS Heroes Of The World LP VINYL UK Djm 1977 8 Track Sleeve Has Laminate USD $13.11 Buy It Now 1 day
The Whispers CAN'T HELP BUT LOVE YOU / A HOPELESS SITUATION 1971 Janus 174 45rpm USD $3.00 Buy It Now 1 day
RAY STEVENS Moonlight Special 7" VINYL UK Janus 1974 B/W Just So Proud To Be USD $2.76 Buy It Now 1 day
RAY STEVENS Streak 7" VINYL UK Janus 1974 Green/black Label Design B/w You've USD $5.53 Buy It Now 1 day
JOHN CHRISTIAN DEE 45: Come Johnnie, 1975 Mono/Stereo Promo Janus Records USD $3.95 [0 bids]
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
BAKER GURVITZ ARMY S/T LP VINYL US Janus 1975 8 Track With Inner Sleeve USD $18.65 Buy It Now 1 day
AL STEWART On The Border 7" VINYL US Janus 1977 B/W Flying Sorcery (J267) USD $5.53 Buy It Now 1 day
RAY STEVENS Streak 7" VINYL US Janus 1974 B/w You've Got The Music Inside USD $2.76 Buy It Now 1 day
AL DOWNING I'll Be Holding On 7" VINYL UK Janus 1974 B/W Hands (6146032) USD $5.53 Buy It Now 1 day
INTRIGUES To Make A World 7" VINYL UK Janus 1971 B/W Mojo Hanna (6146008) USD $6.58 Buy It Now 1 day
NOEL JANUS What Happened To 7" VINYL UK Djm 1977 B/W Stoney Broke But Has Small USD $5.53 Buy It Now 1 day
RAY STEVENS Misty 7" VINYL UK Janus 1975 B/W Sunshine (6146204) USD $2.76 Buy It Now 1 day
JANUS STARK Floyd What Are You On 7" VINYL UK Earache 1998 Numbered And Limited USD $6.58 Buy It Now 1 day
RAY STEVENS Boogity Boogity LP VINYL UK Janus 1974 12 Track (6310301) USD $4.14 Buy It Now 1 day
CLAUDINE LONGET Who Broke Your Heart 7" VINYL UK Janus 1974 Release Date USD $6.58 Buy It Now 1 day
LENNY HERMAN QUINTET Music In Motion No 1 LP VINYL US Janus 18 Track But Sleeve USD $4.14 Buy It Now 1 day

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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)

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

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
2.89 | 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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