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JANE

Heavy Prog • Germany


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Jane picture
Jane biography
Founded in Hanover, Germany in 1970 - Split in 1994 - Continued activity as 3 different bands (see text below)

Playing a melodious synthesis of symphonic hard rock that has occcasionally been compared to Pink Floyd, Hanover Krautrockers Jane can trace their origins back to the late sixties psychedelic band Justice Of Peace. Releasing a single Save Me/War, the band featured future Jane members Peter Panka on vocals, Klaus Hess on bass and Werner Nadolny on saxophone. By late 1970 Justice Of Peace had dissolved and regrouped as Jane with Panka on vocals and drums, Hess switching to guitar and Nadolny assuming keyboards. Charly Maucher joined on bass and power vocalist Berndt Pulst completed the band in April 1971 and their first LP "Together" was released in the spring of 1972. Singing in broken English, which helped create passionate effects, a heavy expressive bluesy sound emerged with blistering Les Paul solos and slabs of Hammond organ backdrops that was consolidated by Peter Panka's almost hypnotic oscillating drum beats that would charcterize Jane's music for almost 40 years. "Together" was warmly recieved by the German music press including Sound magazine who had declared Pulst it's vocalist of the year for 1971.

The first of an almost continual succesion of lineup changes occurred later that year with Pulst departing and Maucher bowing out for health reasons. Former Justice Of Peace guitarist Wolfgang Krantz joined on bass and guitar with Panka and Hess sharing the vocals which displayed even more lethargic and stoned out sonic timbres. Applying their proven formula, their 1973 follow up "Here We Are" was somewhat more harmonious with the the addition of synthesizers that provided spacier atmospheres and produced a fan favourite in the form of the sombre rock ballad "Out In The Rain" . Shortly after the album's release Nadolny left to form a new band Lady with the recovered Maucher returning on bass and vocals. Jane's third endeavour, simply entitled Jane III, was a scorching guitar blowout and with Krantz on second guitar. The void left by departing keyboardist Nadolny was adequately compensated for with two dueling guitarists as demonstrated by an impressive in-studio jam entitled " Jane Session" as well as a spaced out extended track "Comin' Again" featuring Maucher's harder edged vocals. Not long after the release of Jane III, Maucher and Krantz departed, eventually forming Harlis on the fledgling Sky Records label. In May 1974 Jane...
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Favourite Organ Masterpieces: Jane Parker-Smith LP (Music for Pleasure) 1973 USD $1.24 [0 bids]
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JANE discography


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

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

3.71 | 148 ratings
Together
1972
3.44 | 86 ratings
Here We Are
1973
2.97 | 80 ratings
Jane III
1974
3.12 | 60 ratings
Lady
1975
3.42 | 91 ratings
Fire, Water, Earth & Air
1976
3.43 | 74 ratings
Between Heaven And Hell
1977
2.88 | 48 ratings
Age Of Madness
1978
2.86 | 34 ratings
Sign No. 9
1979
3.02 | 28 ratings
Jane
1980
2.28 | 27 ratings
Germania
1982
1.64 | 25 ratings
Beautiful Lady
1986
1.37 | 11 ratings
Peter Panka's Jane: Resurrection
1996
2.70 | 18 ratings
Genuine
2002
1.91 | 15 ratings
Peter Panka's Jane: Shine On
2003
2.67 | 14 ratings
Peter Panka's Jane: Voices
2007
3.50 | 6 ratings
Werner Nadolny's Jane: Proceed With Memories ...
2008
3.47 | 17 ratings
Peter Panka's Jane: Traces
2009
3.52 | 27 ratings
Werner Nadolny's Jane: Eternity
2011
3.69 | 16 ratings
Peter Panka's Jane: Kuxan Suum
2011
5.00 | 1 ratings
Werner Nadolny's Jane: The Journey I - Best Of Jane '70-'80
2014
5.00 | 1 ratings
Werner Nadolny's Jane: The Journey II - Transformation
2014
3.50 | 2 ratings
Werner Nadolny's Jane: In Between
2015
3.57 | 7 ratings
Werner Nadolny's Jane: The Journey III - Arrival
2016

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

4.05 | 59 ratings
Jane At Home Live
1977
3.58 | 12 ratings
Jane Live '89
1990
3.05 | 9 ratings
Live 2002
2002
4.00 | 3 ratings
Live at Meta's
2007
5.00 | 1 ratings
Werner Nadolny's Jane: ... And In The Darkest Night (Live auf der Seebühne)
2018

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

4.04 | 6 ratings
Tribute To Peter Panka
2008

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
Crowns
1977
3.00 | 1 ratings
Waiting For The Sunshine
1979

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

JANE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Jane III by JANE album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.97 | 80 ratings

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Jane III
Jane Heavy Prog

Review by Vinyl Hoth

3 stars A real disappointment after some of the heights they scaled on the first two albums. It explores similar territory to Wishbone Ash using the same twin guitar line up but there is still enough of Jane in there somewhere to give the album an identity which is unique. The real problem with this album are some truly abysmal vocal performances. It seems like the band was trying to be democratic but handing the vocal duties on a potentially great track like 'Mother You Don't Know' to Charly Maucher is a disaster. The results are a great composition married to the worst pub rock vocals.

' I Need You' fares better its a great composition and a fine melody, but the vocal is still the weakest part . The version which appears as 'Rest Of My Life' on the live album 'At Home' is miles better. Piano and acoustic guitar feature on the ballad `Way to Paradise' which has a passable lead vocal . Despite the flaws its still a good album , interesting and a part of the Jane story so 3 stars .

 Here We Are by JANE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.44 | 86 ratings

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Here We Are
Jane Heavy Prog

Review by Vinyl Hoth

4 stars This album is one of those which could have been an all time classic but fails because of the way the tracks have been compiled. It contains the sensational 'Out In The Rain' which is enough on its own to guarantee greatness. one of the all time peaks of progressive rock

So what went wrong ? ...well 'Redskin' for a start is a disastrous choice to open a vital album. It would have been OK tucked away to close Side 2 but as a grand opener it just doesn't work. There is not enough melody form and it soon gets repetitive. Everything else is just dandy. 'Waterfall' is great too. I tend to skip side 1 but on the odd occasion I do give it a spin its an enjoyable experience. Jane are always interesting and this is indeed an excellent addition to any prog collection, so I'm saying 4 stars.

 Jane At Home Live by JANE album cover Live, 1977
4.05 | 59 ratings

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Jane At Home Live
Jane Heavy Prog

Review by Vinyl Hoth

5 stars This surely must be worth 5 stars. Its a very bold idea to mix classic tracks with unreleased material in a live album. This wonderful collection consists of familiar material from the first 5 albums plus previously unreleased tracks . The ratio is 50/50 of classic tracks to new tracks but everything blends together remarkably well. It's probably because the tempos , keys , melodic ranges of the lead lines and the feel of the tracks is very similar. Its true symphonic prog. A masterpiece which was a huge seller in Germany and even broke the band in America (well a little bit anyway)

The cover picture of the surface of Mars was also a bold move for an album released in 1977. Everything is perfect. This album should be hailed alongside Made In Japan, Strangers In the Night and Uriah Heep Live as one of the all time double live albums.

The unreleased material consists of 'All My Friends', Expectation', 'Another Way' ,'River', 'High Time For Crusaders' and 'Windows' This is a real masterpiece. If you only try one Jane album this will have you hooked. Then you can move on to the first album, possibly skipping Jane III and go as far as 'Masque'. 'Masque' is where I leave the Jane fold , but I'm always prepared to be lured back in!

 Fire, Water, Earth & Air by JANE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.42 | 91 ratings

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Fire, Water, Earth & Air
Jane Heavy Prog

Review by Kingsnake

4 stars I love the combination of bluesy stonerrock and progrock.

Jane is a great bluesy spacerock band with less emphasis on the synth and more emphasis on the guitar.

Jane sounds somewhat like Eloy (Floating, Inside) but with less organ. Because Jane doesn't have a strong vocalist, the vocals are minimal and most of the music is instrumental. Somehow it also sounds a bit like real early Wishbone Ash.

I love the concept of Fire, Earth, Water and Air, but it's not really important to the music. I think that a lot of people expect the band to play some cosmic krautrock, but they are essentially a heavy guitarband with a proggy side to it.

 Age Of Madness by JANE album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.88 | 48 ratings

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Age Of Madness
Jane Heavy Prog

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I will have to be honest about this album: it's disjointed, it's messy. Age of Madness was the end of their space rock phase, and what they demonstrated on Between Heaven & Hell, you'd think they were able to continue on the greatness of that album. Unfortunately that's not the case. The instrumental title track is actually quite good, has more than a hint of Eloy in it, which is really no surprise when you know that Manfred Wieczorke is responsible for the keyboard playing (he left Eloy after the fiasco of Power and the Passion - itself a great album - for a more financially stable band, in this case, Jane). But there is so much questionable stuff that just doesn't appeal to me. They attempt to sound like the Kinks with Ray Davies type of vocals on one song, and much of the rest of the album left little impression on me. I have to say that Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Live at Home, and Age of Madness show Jane at their finest (particularly their space rock phase), so I'd suggest you go for those albums instead.
 Together by JANE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.71 | 148 ratings

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Together
Jane Heavy Prog

Review by Igor91

4 stars Jane's debut album, "Together," is a prime example of early heavy prog from Germany. They also inject a bit of psychedelia into their brand of heavy prog. The reviews/ratings of this album are varied here on PA, and good points are made both to praise and to criticize this album. I, for one, really enjoy this album.

The songs are all good, but what really stands out for me is the singing of vocalist Bernd Pulst. This would be the only album he would be featured on, and the next year he was dead. Such as shame for a great talent to die so young. I have not been able to find any information on why he passed away, but I'm guessing it was drug related. Anyway, to give you an idea what he sounded like, think of something like Joe Cocker with a German accent. Some people don't care for it, but I think his vocal performance gives the music an emotional element often missing in prog rock. While none of the musicians are technical masters of their instruments, the performances are solid. At times some of the songs sound a bit like Eloy circa "Inside" or "Floating," but this album actually predates those, so I guess Eloy sounded a bit like Jane! The opener "Daytime," and the closer "Hangman" are the two standout tracks for me, primarily for their emotional impact. The most progressive track is the 11+ minute "Spain," which changes direction several times.

While Jane would go on to greater success on subsequent albums, their first is by far my favorite. Recommended to those who can enjoy a progressive rock album without all the technical wizardry that often goes with it. 4 stars.

 Jane III by JANE album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.97 | 80 ratings

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Jane III
Jane Heavy Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars A band with constant revolving door line-ups, the sudden departure of keyboard player Werner Nadolny from German rock band Jane meant the sound of their eventual third album in 1974 would be powered by guitars. Acid, psychedelic and hard rock still dominate, no surprise as those are all part of the usual Jane template, but perhaps `Jane III' was still their least ambitious album to date at the time. However, although the lack of keyboards and that beautiful glistening Hammond organ from their previous discs means `III' is initially quite disappointing from a progressive rock standpoint, patient listeners will still find a decent collection of Seventies rock tunes with plenty of instrumental fire to interest them here.

Just listen to the way the bass murmurs in constant delight throughout the plodding opener `Comin' Again', with repetitive guitars strums chiming into infinity and Charly Maucher's mud-thick bass and rough-as-guts vocals slurring through the mix. There's definitely a stoned, wasted Krautrock lethargy to the thick atmosphere, but the manic rising guitar solo in the finale is quite joyous and transcending. Dusty bluesy fire grooves through `Mother You Don't Know', `I Need You' starts as a dreamy ballad that grows in gutsy power as it moves on, and nice piano and acoustic guitar floats through weary ballad `Way to Paradise'.

`Early in the Morning' is wailing acid rock with oceans of electric guitar feedback and some very hazy hallucinogenic panning feedback back and forth in the mix to really bring your mind grinding to a halt! `Jane-Session' starts as a mellow jam with just a hint of droning menace before guitars rage in every direction as it builds in tempo. While the tune of `Rock N Roll Star' is pretty unmemorable, it picks up during a fuzzy heavy psychedelic second half, `King of Thule' is a brief regal instrumental, and `Baby What You're Doin' closes the album, a stomping grooving rocker with a fairly inane boogie chorus, but it's throwaway fun in a fairly brainless way.

`Jane III' is a good little rock album from a great psychedelic hard rock band, and while they made better (and slightly proggier!) albums, this is still a fine collection of rocking tunes and great playing, with a welcome heavy wasted quality throughout the entire disc. The gorgeous psychedelic artwork makes it just a little better as well - lucky those who have it on vinyl!

Three stars.

 Fire, Water, Earth & Air by JANE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.42 | 91 ratings

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Fire, Water, Earth & Air
Jane Heavy Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars Although probably more at home playing tough bluesy jamming rock, German band Jane on occasional albums incorporated slight prog, psych and spacerock elements into their chugging rock sound that sometimes delivered decent results. Their fifth album `Fire, Water, Earth and Air' from 1976 is one of their more successful works, still hardly essential but a decent heavy churning space-rocker all the same. There's a strong emphasis on spacey keyboards in much the same manner as numerous other German bands from the time such as Eloy, Epidaurus and Novalis, making it a nice background listen for undiscriminating prog/spacerock fans.

"Fire, Water, Earth and Air come together in my soul" slurs Klaus Hess during the 17 minute opening side-long piece, his voice not unlike a drowsy David Gilmour. Thick Hammond organ, hard drums, searing electric guitar soloing and eerie drawn-out synth washes comprise the piece, a repetitive and plodding track that always retains a lazy sunny warmth. The second passage moves up in tempo with melodic leaping bass moving through fiery drumming, then abruptly falling away into a drifting Eloy-like outer-space drone and later some bluesy guitar wailing. The third section floats on chiming electric guitars and gentle ocean ambience that unfolds beautifully into punchy drumming and fiery guitar grooves over extended synth builds. Thankfully the music is better than the tired and uninspired `Keep on rollin', `she gives me some sweet luvin' every day' lyrics.

The second side opens with the 5 minute breather `Earth', a straight-forward rock track highlighted by a wasted and bedraggled lead vocal with double tracked electric guitar soloing on either side of the speakers. The nearly 11 minute closer `Air and the End' races through a range of slow to mid-tempos sprightly changes, light organ and riffing guitars, but the `Superman, cool again' chorus is baffling! Better is the second half, scorching Hammond, darting Moogs and pulsing bass weave around mellow emotional guitar noodling before ending on a nice shuffling come-down. Really the second side is more or less just the same as the first, making the album safe, predictable and a little forgettable, even if always pleasing and undemanding.

Jane are still not the most exciting of prog-related bands, but they are decent and consistent in the style they work in at the same time. The debut remains far and away the strongest of their works that I've heard, but `Fire, Water, Earth and Air' is a short n' sweet 33 minute hard-rocking cosmic trip that German spacerock fans will likely dig very much.

Three stars.

 Age Of Madness by JANE album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.88 | 48 ratings

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Age Of Madness
Jane Heavy Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Age of Madness, indeed: 1978 was all that and more, to fans of Progressive Rock. After reaching a creative plateau on their ambitious 1977 album "Between Heaven and Hell", the hard-rockers of Jane followed a lot of other prog acts into shallow waters toward the end of the decade. But let's face it: unlike some groups they didn't have to swim very far.

In fact the band sounded very much at ease in the less sophisticated musical tide pools of the late '70s, at least over the initial three tracks here. That burst of classic Hammond organ grunge kicking off the album was a conscious throwback to an earlier, heavier Jane: the musical equivalent of slipping into an old pair of sneakers after a formal night on the town. The song itself was still uncomfortably in debt to PINK FLOYD, but with a welcome economy of style compared to the bloated, faceless wall Roger Waters was erecting at the time.

And then we arrive at the bluntly-titled "Love Song", sounding like a different group altogether: a soft rock ensemble from the beaches of southern California, perhaps. It helps to hear the track as a clever parody of a radio-friendly single, which I'm sure wasn't the intention, but the almost robotic repetition of rhythm and verse might have worked as satire in another context. From that point on, the madness in the album's title can be officially diagnosed as schizophrenia: half creative energy, half commercial tripe.

Okay, so that last comment was a little harsh, and not entirely true. Yes, there's a 50/50 separation in quality over the album's nine tracks, divided almost equally between songs and instrumentals (and here I count the two-part title track as an instrumental, with singing). But even at its lowest common denominator the album is occasionally lit by incandescent flashes of energy, typically sparked by guitarist Klaus Hess, in the dramatic sustained notes of "Bad Game"; or his striking solo turn in "With Her Smile"; or the driving pace of "Get This Power", the latter effort shortchanged only by Peter Panka's lack of traditional New Wave drumming chops.

The overall structure of the album helps it too, with the better (wordless) selections bookending the weaker songs, in effect supporting them in a firm musical embrace. And despite its split personality the complete package strikes a more unified tone than the somewhat contrived prog stylings of their more popular "Heaven and Hell". While not a triumph by any means, it's hardly the stumble I might have expected, and actually compares well to the late-inning rallies of other, bigger prog bands nearing the end of their relevance.

 Between Heaven And Hell by JANE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.43 | 74 ratings

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Between Heaven And Hell
Jane Heavy Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

2 stars It seems a strange thing to admit on a website advertising itself as "Your Ultimate Prog Rock Resource", but I prefer the music of Jane when the band was languishing in Hard Rock hell, instead of striving toward Progressive heaven. Their earliest work was simpler, more straightforward, and aesthetically genuine in a way this album wasn't. The band's previous LP ("Fire, Water, Earth and Air") made a virtue of its added refinement, but this effort leaned too far toward pretension: a noble aim for Prog Rockers if they understand the rules before trying to break them.

Which I don't believe was the case for Jane. The quartet deserves credit for expanding its musical boundaries, but in the end they resemble tourists from the wrong side of the tracks, trying to blend in at an upscale resort without having mastered the local language. Opening the album with an awesome four-minute cosmic drone doesn't automatically qualify it as legitimate Space Rock, no matter how openly the song later plagiarizes PINK FLOYD's "Brain Damage".

It's all part of the episodic, side-long title track, an ambitious but uneven achievement marred by sudden, arbitrary jumps in mood and direction. The rocking and rolling sections, typically Jane's raison d'être, actually sound more leaden than heavy, something no one could ever say about the band's older albums. Compare the song itself to the slowly escalating jam beginning soon afterward: one of those moody, hypnotic workouts rarely heard outside Germany at the time, and arguably the group's finest moment on record. It's too bad the rest of the album didn't follow the same improvisational path.

In between is an odd Latin Gregorian chant, not very happily integrated into the larger musical structure, to a degree suggesting unintended satire. Like the kindred Anglophonic rockers of ELOY, there was always a touch of Spinal Tap to Jane's proggier ambitions (think of the controversial Tap album "Rock 'n' Roll Creation"). The band was always more vital when manhandling a Hammond organ instead of caressing a bank of string synthesizers, although the ecclesiastic keyboards (with harp!) at the end of the mini-suite "Twilight" are very effective. In low-brow contrast, the final track ("Your Circle") is a routine bit of troglodyte machismo tossed like a raw bone to the group's less adventurous fans.

Over a career spanning multiple decades Jane approached the rarified air of Progressive Rock only twice: evidence of musical bandwagon jumping more than innovation. But in those two albums they ran the Prog Rock gamut through "Fire, Water, Earth, and Air" to somewhere "Between Heaven and Hell". Giant steps indeed for such a roughshod group, only a little unsure of its footing on this second leap of musical faith.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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