Sunday, April 12, 2020

Jane - 1978 - Age Of Madness

Jane
1978
Age Of Madness


01. Age of madness (5:45)
02. Memory symphony (4:25)
03. Auroville (3:40)
04. Love song (3:53)
05. Bad game (5:14)
06. Get this power (2:40)
07. With her smile (4:20)
08. Meadow (3:27)
09. Age of madness (part II) (2:39)

Klaus Hess / guitars, vocals
Martin Hesse / bass, vocals
Peter Panka / drums, percussion, vocals
Manfred Wieczorke / keyboards, vocals


"Age of Madness" has all the traits of a band on autopilot - no truly outstanding songs, mostly shorter material, repetition of simple motifs beyond their usefulness, overall brief running time, etc. After the almost uniformly adventurous and convincing "Between Heaven and Hell", given the lateness of the hour for such epic material, a disappointment was inevitable.
Yet in the case of Jane, "Age of Madness" also played to their strengths. Their ability to stick doggedly to a simplistic yet catchy theme and plod along with slight variations was without peer in the German scene and beyond. It also strangely fits with the theme of madness, when one is unable to completely escape the infinite loops and disconnected circuits in one's brain. The title cut here is such an example, spacey, textural and hypnotic. "Memory Symphony" is similar, but more symphonic, with string synth sounds galore. The marriage of Jane's trademark psychedelia with country and western motifs in "Love Song" even shows a willingness to break new ground; even if this may have been commercially motivated, it doesn't seem like compromise. For a heavier repeating loop, try "Bad Game" - again, Jane takes a riff where it has gone before, again and again, and does it better than anyone, thanks to Hess and Wieczorke, amply backed by the rhythm section.

"With Your Smile" is perhaps the best thing here, kicking off mid-song and highlighted by some of Hess' best work and a near danceable beat. It is the ultimate expression of Jane's paradoxical blend of professionalism and amateurism.

On the negative side, "Get this Power" combine the worst of all eras of Jane, and must have sounded laughably retro even in 1978, and "Auroville" fails to inspire in spite of a similar formula to the album's successes. Nevertheless, as an overall collection, this late stage album has the temperament to outlive the vicissitudes of its age. 

Jane - 1977 - Between Heaven and Hell

Jane
1977
Between Heaven and Hell


01. Between heaven and hell (19:47)
02. Twilight (8:14)
03. Voice in the wind (5:14)
04. Your circle (3:51)

- Klaus Hess / guitars, Moog, vocals
- Martin Hesse / bass, vocals
- Peter Panka / drums, percussion, vocals
- Manfred Wieczorke / keyboards, vocals

Guest musician:
- A. Zchenker / harp


A superb album which confirms the importance of this band in the history of German prog rock. The heavy rock side of the band is more evident but always highly charged of Moog synth parts and beautiful, melodic guitar sections. The opening tune is an epic, grandiose song with a constant expression of dark, desperate feelings. It starts with a long, "creepy" atmospheric introduction then goes into a heavy rock excursion. The most consistent part is given after a long church like chorus: the tune opens on a captivating, emotional guitar dominated solo...the submit of Jane's musical talent on this one, so charged of sensibility and humanity. It ends with the same heavy rock instrumentation of the debut. The second track provides a dynamic "stoned" hard rock composition with some very catchy moments (especially the second part with its epic and spacey dimension). "Voice in the Wind" is a powerful melodic ballad featuring a deep, slowing, floating accompaniment and plaintive vocals. The last song is just a mistake, a rather poor, tasteless rock 'n roll deviation. Not the highlight of the band's career but a nice start for beginners and a delicate release.

Jane - 1976 - Live At Home

Jane
1976
Live At Home


101. All my friends * (4:58)
102. Lady * (3:38)
103. Rest of my life * (4:42)
104. Expectation * (5:32)
105. River * (3:51)
106. Out in the rain * (6:22)
107. Hangman * (11:55)
108. Fire, Water, Earth & Air * (4:00)
109. Another way * (5:41)
110. Daytime * (9:41)
111. Hightime for Crusaders * (5:07)

201. Windows * (19:20)
202. Lady + (3:29)
203. Fire, Water, Earth & Air + (3:37)
204. Another Way + (5:07)
205. River + (4:02)
206. Out In The Rain + (5:46)
207. Hangman + (14:06)
208. Windows + (23:03)


* recorded live 1976 Niedersachsenhalle, Hannover
+ recorded live 1977 WDR, Cologne

- Klaus Hess / lead guitar, vocals, Taurus bass pedals
- Martin Hesse / bass, vocals
- Peter Panka / drums, vocals
- Manfred Wieczorke / keyboards, vocals


There are albums i do like, others i love and a very few I am in love with (not the same meaning!)There are albums which have been part of my life now for decades, albums i cherish beyond their musical achievments. They don't have to be perfect as there is no such thing as perfect in music as it's more of a matter of taste. But when you visit these personal treasures, or better come to visit your sound system, this is like an old good friend you can count on coming to your house to say hello. And this is like opening a door to happiness, to joy with deep feelings running inside you.

JANE 'LIVE AT HOME'' is one of those albums! I bought the double LP back then in 1982, still playing it with the new CD as well, always loving it to death and still feeling those goosebumps everytime i am playing it! This is like a long lasting faithfull friendship between this album and I never to be broken.

JANE is a German band which started in Hannover in 1972 with a wonderful space-rock LP named TOGETHER full of wonderful symphonic keyboards and featuring one of the most tasteful guitarist i know KLAUS HESS capable of playing the most melodic lines you will ever hear in the Gilmour style or blistering energetic riffs a la David Brock from Hawkwind. Add some great vocal melodies BJH would have been proud of,mix with some early Pink Floyd space tapestry and Eloy symphonism, pour some Wishbone Ash guitar Argus style and you have JANE: a wonderful German Progressive band that deserves more than 10 reviews.

If you have read my reviews about this band, you know not everything has been perfect with them, even once forgetting their prog roots to release a ..blues/hard rock album (JANE III) and the average more mainstream LADY. They came back progging with FIRE WATER & EARTH, a competent 3 star concept album sure to please any space-rock fan, but not a complete masterpiece. JANE ''LIVE AT HOME'' was their first album i bought from them and it's still my favorite. This is where JANE got it all together!

All the best songs from the past are present like the masterful DAYTIME and HANGMAN from their first album. HANGMAN is one of those typical JANE songs i adore with slow spacey start with wonderful organ, a nice melody BJH style before the song accelerates in a frenetic guitar bravado every hard rock gutarist would have liked to perform on their own. This is one of my 10 all times favorite guitar solos. I think KLAUS HESS is a monument to prog guitar. This is not only about virtuosity or playing 1000 notes in a minute, this is about bringing life to you guitar, bringing the emotions from the chords he plays, giving soul to any solo HESS performs. There is not one solo (and there are plenty) that is not melodic, not tasteful even of the hardest songs, not one!

JANE ''LIVE AT HOME'' is all what we are looking in a prog record: beauty, virtuosity, creativity, a trip sure to take you away from your everyday life and its worries. Listen to HIGHTIME FOR CRUSADERS and tell me if you are not back to ATOM HEART MOTHER or MEDDLE magic and this is as good.Sure HESS has listened to a lot of Gimour, but he plays his own way which can be hard rockish as well, but always in good taste, something between BROCK and ANDY POWELL from WISHBONE ASH.

Also worth noting is that the keyboardist on this album is no less than MANFRED WIECZORKE who just left the great symphonic band ELOY to join JANE. So for Eloy or other German symph.bands fans and there are many on this site , please do not disregard this album as it would be a miss for you.

There are also a lot of unreleased tracks which only appear on this album like the 20mns epic WINDOWS, sometimes so haunting, so spacey before the guitar brings you in HAWKWIND world with scorching riffs, a hard rock mayhem embellished by mysterious synth sounds . A inter-planetary real trip it is, believe me! ANOTHER DAY is another ''hard-rocking'' tune with a wonderful riff intro and of course a fantastic solo. ALL MY FRIENDS is typical JANE with lush keyboards, nice melody and tasty energetic guitar again.

JANE never has been known for the high quality of their vocals (like a lot of German bands sadly) but they find a way to manage better live than on studio.KLAUS HESS, MARTIN HESSE the bassist and PETER PANKA the drummer are alternating behind the mike and it sounds better than when they had someone else doing bthis job like JANCKO or PULST.

The CD comes with one track less (the marvelous DAYTIME) due to time contritions. Hopefully, JANE ''LIVE AT HOME'' will be released one day as a complete 2 CD package. But you still can get the present edition as it won't disapoint you if you are into space/symphonic melodic rock with beautiful guitar sounding. Don't believe me? try OUT IN THE RAIN and tell me if this is not heaven yet!

I also take the opportunity of this review to salute the memory of PETER PANKA the drummer who just passed away last june from cancer. He was still to the last day leading a modern version of JANE (but with no KLAUS HESS) even releasing a new album at the beginning of this year with first-hour keyboardist NADOLNY and bassist MAULCHER.

Fans of PINK FLOYD, ELOY,GROBSCHNITT, NOVALIS ,ARGUS- period WISHBONE ASH, give a chance to JANE ''LIVE AT HOME''. This is THE album!!! JANE ''LIVE AT HOME'' is like one of my best friend always present when i need it sure to make me feel great everytime we are together, a friendship that will last to my old days! 

Jane - 1976 - Fire, Water, Earth & Air

Jane
1976
Fire, Water, Earth & Air


01. Fire, water, earth & air
02. Fire (you give me some sweet lovin')
03. Water (keep on rollin') (16:57)
04. Earth (Angel) (5:20)
05. Air (let the sunshine in) &
06. The end (10:53)

- Klaus Hess / Les Paul De Luxe, Gibson Firebird guitars, lead vocals
- Martin Hesse / Gibson Thunderbird bass, backing vocals
- Werner Nadolny / organ, strings, Moog synth, piano
- Peter Panka / Ludwig drums, vocals


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.

Jane - 1975 - Lady

Jane
1975
Lady


01. Waiting for the sunshine(3:25)
02. Scratches on your back (3:37)
03. Music machine (6:05)
04. Make me feel better (4:10)
05. (Wishdream) Lady (3:51)
06. Lord love (5:12)
07. Midnight mover (8:33)
08. Silver knickers (but you are all right) (5:01)
09. So, so long (4:31)

- Klaus Hess / guitars, vocals
- Martin Hesse / bass
- Gottfried Janko / organ, synth, electric piano, vocals
- Peter Panka / drums, vocals


Jane's well composed heavy-prog was never accompanied by great vocalists, as this album, 'Lady', can attest to. The music here is very, very good indeed, but lead vocalist Gottfried Janko sounds kind of like a gruff blues singer who's hit 'rock bottom' - but man, he surely makes up for it with his driving keyboard work, particularly on the Hammond Organ. He also uses a synthesizer to good effect. This time around all tracks were composed by lead guitarist Klaus Hess (who also sings lead on 'Music Machine'), and this actually shows - the songs sound more focused and tight, and quite 'complete'. The tracks are enthusiastically performed, many tempo changes, interesting arrangements and addictive melodies. The only thing they've done wrong here was give Gottfried a microphone, but the more you listen to the album, the less 'offensive' his voice is - it almosts sounds like he sports some sort of profound innocence - he can be really passionate.
Top marks go to : 'Music Machine', 'Lord Love' (Gott's vocals actually work perfectly in this tune) and 'Midnight Mover' - the latter being a classic space-rock ramble, with swooping synths and hard-core jammin'. Once the taste has been acquired for the vox, the entire affair is an excellent listen. After this album, Jane released a fine slew of excellent albums, reminiscent of Floyd and Eloy (comparisons are inevitable - apologies to those who disagree).

Jane - 1974 - Jane III

Jane 
1974 
Jane III


01. Comin' again (9:40)
02. Mother, you don't know (5:52)
03. I need you (4:50)
04. Way to paradise (3:25)
05. Early in the morning (5:20)
06. Jane-session (4:20)
07. Rock'n'roll star (4:47)
08. King of thule (0:40)
09. Baby, what you're doin' (3:05)

- Klauss Hess / acoustic & electric guitars
- Wolfgang Krantz / electric guitar, piano (4)
- Charly Maucher / bass, vocals
- Peter Panka / drums, percussion, vocals (4)


As usual , this album holds another line-up change with members leaving to form other bands but coming back soon after their new adventures did not work out. In this case it is the KB player but he will be back by the next album. Fellow reviewer Ian Gledhill is right to denounced the fact that Keyboards are missing bar some piano on Way to Paradise.

Some people denounce this album as weaker because of this lack of KB , but I find I enjoy more tracks on this one than the pevious Here We Are and the following Lady. Many blistering guitar heroics with twin leads is the novelty but this does not change the sound that much and one can spot the typical Jane sound. Again a lenghty opener in Comin' Again makes for a great plunge into JaneWorld. Early In The Morning Jane Session, R'nR Star and Mother makes this album an enjoyable hard-rock with prog leanings listening adventure.

Hardly essentail for a proghead but all early Jane albums can please , but especially those who enjoy similar Birth Control , Wallenstein , Uriah Heep and many more.

Jane - 1973 - Here We Are

Jane
1973
Here We Are


01. Redskin (8:53)
02. Out in the rain (5:38)
03. Dandelion (2:17)
04. Moving (3:53)
05. Waterfall (4:24)
06. Like a queen (2:38)
07. Here we are (5:35)

Bonus tracks on cd release:
08. Here we are (single) (3:48)
09. Redskin (single) (2:41)

Line-up / Musicians
- Klaus Hess / lead guitar, bass
- Wolfgang Krantz / lead guitar, bass
- Werner Nadolny / organ, Mellotron
- Peter Panka / drums, vocals
Guests:
- Brigitte Blunck / backing vocals (1), vocals (5)
- Dieter Dierks / electronic f/x (6)
- Ariane Gottberg / backing vocals (1), vocals (5)
- Peter Heinemann / backing vocals (1)
- Miriam Kalenberg / backing vocals (1), vocals (5)
- Günter Körber / words, backing vocals (1)
- Angelika Winkler / backing vocals (1), vocals (5)


After their excellent first album TOGETHER, JANE came back one year later with HERE WE ARE! This album follows the same pattern than the first one by mixing space rock, psychedelism with hard rock guitar bravado. A new bassist WOLFGANG KRANTZ took over CHARLY MAUCHER and plays guitar as well.

The album starts strongly with quite a unique tune REDSKIN , a 8mns extravagant odyssey of groovy beats accompanying a psychedelic guitar solo before some spoken words appear with nice organ texture...and female vocals sounding like indian chants (yes the title of the song is REDSKIN, i told you!). At least this is a very different track that i cannot compare to anything else. You may like it or you may not; that's not here to leave you indifferent for sure.

OUT IN THE RAIN is pure JANE at its best: a wonderful melodic ballad well sung with a beautiful mellotron soundscape and of course another emotional guitar solo just playing the right notes, but the ones which will touch you deep inside if you are into melody.DANDELION and MOVING follow in the same style, slow paced with a lot of organ and more beautiful guitar sounds. KLAUS HESS guitar technic is not about playing 20000 notes a minute, this is about making his guitar cry and transport deep emotions from his playing to your inner self making you feel good. A guitar with a heart so to speak!!

WATERFALL is another mid-tempo spacey track with again beautiful guitar, angelic mellotron and....those delicate female vocals! Oh my gosh!! such a beauty! and this wonderful symphonic ending is sure to bring you to heaven prog!

LIKE A QUEEN is another dreamy symphonic piece, albeit short but showcasing perfectly the JANE spirit and how good they can be at producing the best romantic melodic prog you will ever hear, sometimes reminding me of NOVALIS. HERE WE ARE the title track is more on the rock side with strong guitar riffs, but not that hard, don't worry!This song was the single of the album (the fanous 45 rpm of the time). An excellent opportunity for KLAUS HESS to show us how he can carry a song with a long powerful guitar solo getting more and more furious towards the end, but still played so tastefully!

HERE WE ARE is the perfect complement to TOGETHER. My edition includes 4 bonus tracks, the single versions OF DAYTIME nad HANGMAN from the first album and HERE WE ARE plus REDSKIN from this album. Nothing to hurt you!!

Jane - 1972 - Together

Jane 
1972 
Together


01. Daytime (8:05)
02. Wind (4:52)
03. Try to find (5:23)
04. Spain (11:53)
05. Together (3:42)
06. Hangman (9:28)

Klaus Hess / lead guitar
Charly Maucher / bass, vocals (4)
Werner Nadolny / organ, flute (5)
Peter Panka / drums, percussion (4)
Bernd Pulst / vocals


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 rejuevenated itself by absorbing two members from the recently disbanded hard rock band Dull Knife with Martin Hesse on bass and Gottfreid Janko on vocals and keyboards. The slightly more upbeat Lady album was recorded by this lineup in early 1975 during which time Matthias Jabs of Scorpions fame would also join them for a breif period for some live performances.

Keyboardist Werner Nadolny returned in 1976 for Jane's expansive 33 minute symphonic progressive rock masterpiece " Fire, Water Earth & Air". Featuring Layers of Hammonds, Moogs, mellotrons and synths, it was unquestionably Jane at their creative zenith and the Jane album that would hold the most appeal for progheads. Nadolny would split once again after the completion of "Fire, Water, Earth & Air" and was appropriately replaced by Eloy keyboardist Martin Weiczorke for an extensive tour that spawned another coup de grace for JANE resulting in the stunning " Live At Home" double live LP replete with a cover of a Martian landscape snapped by the Viking Mars lander. Released in early 1977 and broadcast nationally in it's entirety in on WDR Radio in January of that year, "Live At Home" went gold in their native Germany and helped them break the international markets in both North America as well as Japan and South America.

Containing somewhat darker conceptual atmospheres, their 7th studio album "Between Heaven & Hell" once again followed progrock pardigms. Mixed reactions within the German music press did not prevent the album from being embraced by fans that was at times similar to Pink Floyd's capacious stylings. By this time Jane had become one of the top draws in the German music scene as well as attracting followings in Switzerland and Austria even though they continued to sing in English. Recorded in the band's personal 24 track studio, 1978's Age of Madness rocked it out a little harder maintaining emotional spacey timbres and was released internationally, being presented in clear and red vinyl formats on the now defunct Canadian label Bomb Records. A successful European tour ensued but Weiczorke departed in early 1979. Jane's following album "Sign No. 9" was a near disaster with Jane being reduced to a trio forcing Hess to double on keyboards and the album inevitably had a guitar dominated sound which was devoid of the spacious moods created by lush keyboards on earlier Jane recordings. Signs of creative burnout cast some doubts not only in the minds of fans but within the band themselves.

A new direction was taken in the 1980s on a self-titled album that is sometimes referred to as "Mask" by afficiados. It incorporated new wave, punk and jazzy elements in straight rock configurations and introduced a new vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist, Yugoslavian eccentric Predrag Jonanovic or "Pedja". Vocals were never Jane's forté and Pedja's energetic deliveries gave them a fresh sound but unfortunately it was his only appearance with the band and he returned to his native Yugoslavia to form the synth-pop group D'Boys. Bassman Charly Maucher returned to the fold for 1982's "Germania" and although it contained some more experiments including a reggae excursion on the track "Get Back To You" Jane remained, for the most part, a straight hard rock band and included a reworked version of "Twighlight" from their "Between Heaven & Hell" album entitled "Southern Line" that even ventured into heavy metal territory. Internal disagreements between founding members Peter Panka and Klaus Hess resulted in Hess' departure in 1982. He would subsequently release a solo album "Stementanz" in 1983 that would recall earlier Jane stylings.

Meanwhile, after collaborating on the musical production on the German rock Opera "Warlock" with other former members of Jane, Peter Panka reformed Jane as a touring band under the moniker Lady Jane in 1984 with various musicians. Unfortunately a coherent unit failed to materialize for the remainder of the decade and only one pop-oriented album "Beautiful Lady" was released in 1986 with no real connection to past glories. Two live albums were also released in 1989 and 1990 with the former being limited to only 300 pressings and both featured Panka on drums/vocals, Nadolny on keyboards, Klaus Henatsch on bass & keyboards and Kai Rueter on guitar performing older Jane material.

In 1992 Hess and Panka attempted to reconcile and along with Nadolny on keyboards and with Jens Dettmer they embarked on a reunion tour that included 13 dates in New Zealand! But the reconciliation failed and Jane split into two factions with Hess calling his version Mother Jane while the Panka formation became unofficially known as Peter Panka's Jane as he retained the rights for the band name and logo. In `96 Peter Panka's Jane ( initially referred to as Pano's Jane) recorded the studio album " Resurrection" and introduced ex- Epitaph member Klaus Walz along with Kai Reuter ( formerly of Kasch ) on guitars with veteran Nadolny returning on keyboards and Mark Giebeler on bass. Meanwhile Hess' Mother Jane with younger musicians was also touring playing mostly Jane classics, releasing a single in 1998 and finally a suprisingly impressive live album "Comes Alive" in 2000 that reflected the heavier side of Jane.

A more cohesive attempt was made by Panka in 2002 to rekindle the classic Jane groove of the seventies with Klaus Walz joining original members Panka, Nadolny and Maucher. A new album " Genuine"( that also contained some live tracks from the failed `92 reunion ) materialized and was followed by a tour which saw the band performing the new material but focused on renditions of old classics. A live album, "Live 2002", documented the shows and although not possessing the impact of 1976's "Live at Home", it was a definite indication of Jane's return to the limelight attracting both old and new fans. Not content to tour soley as a retro-Jane band, two more studio albums were released in 2003 ( Shine On ) and 2007 ( Voices) that burned on in the classic Jane tradition.

Tragically, founding member Peter Panka passed away as result of cancer in June 2007 which put the band on hold. However, in compliance with Panka's wishes original member Charly Maucher took over as leader and another studio album "Traces" was released in 2009 with the current lineup of Charly Maucher on lead vocals/bass, Klaus Waltz guitar/vocals, Arndt Shulz guitar vocals and Fritz Randow ( ex Eloy & Saxon ) on drums plus Werner Nadolny on keyboards. Although Werner Nadolny has since left the band, he currently tours with his own Jane tribute band performing vintage Jane material. Klaus Hess' Mother Jane also remains active with a recently released 2009 album titled " In Dreams".

Along with other bands such as Amon Duul II, Grobschnitt and Guru Guru, Jane continues to bear the torch of the early seventies Krautrock phenomenom and continues on in that spirit to this day in three different guises led by original members.


Very, very cool stuff. Jane is an extremely guitar driven band, and after reading that in their description I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to get into this album. Straight guitar- rock without a lot of variation has never been my cup of tea. Jane, however, infuses their music with a heavy dose of psychedelia and the playing on this album is so good that it's more than engaging enough to make up for a slight lack of variety in the song structures.
"Daytime" begins the album with some very faint bass notes, though organ is added almost immediately and drums and guitar enter almost immediately. From there the track develops into something that sounds like a cross between Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix. It's a spaced- out, wide open track with vocals that work perfectly and (per my previous Hendrix comparison) some absolutely amazing guitar. The main guitar melody gives the track a slightly eastern feel, as well. In my mind "Daytime" is exactly how psychedelic heavy music should sound: lots of room for solos and jamming but never repetitive to the point of being boring. Stellar opener.

"Wind" is next, and it begins by launching into a Zeppelin-esque guitar part almost immediately and adding organ not soon after. After this introduction section (which goes on just a smidge too long), this motif is quickly switched into a much slower, heavier mode for the vocals to enter. The vocalist here is really excellent, belting out raw, powerful vocals that can stand up there with the best of them. Another awesome guitar solo comes next, and after that's done the song returns to its original riff and stays there until the end of the song.

"Try to Find" is much more of a ballad than the previous tracks. The first part of the track eschews electric guitars entirely in favor of calmer acoustic and relatively gentle vocals. Unsurprisingly, this doesn't last long and we're treated to another ripping guitar solo before transitioning into a bluesy section led by some more great vocals. Another solo section closes out the track with some of the best shredding on the album.

"Spain" begins with an (unsurprisingly) Spanish sounding guitar part. Before long the organ takes a rare leading moment and the song brings forth the best vocal melody thus far on the album. This gives way to a driving drum and bass part with some (surprise, surprise) guitar soloing over it. I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record here, but don't get the impression that this album is ever repetitive or uninteresting. While most of the songs are driven by the soloing, it's all absolutely brilliant and the guitarist manages to capture many different feels so that every song feels fresh and intriguing. "Spain" concludes with another great vocal section and an excellent guitar fade out. In my experience it's hard to make bluesy, guitar based rock interesting for ten minutes (in my opinion anyway), but "Spain" pulls it off brilliantly and it's a worthy epic.

The title track starts off on a calmer note after the frenetic finish of "Spain." For once the vocals are the dominating force over the guitar, though of course there's still a short solo at the end of the song. It really is a testament to Jane's songwriting and playing abilities that they were able to make so many songs cut from the same cloth and still have the album as a whole sound so passionate and powerful, and a big part of that is that this album features some of the best psychedelic guitar playing I've ever heard, bar none.

And on that note, "Hangman" features everything you could ever want from a trippy, acid- drenched guitar voyage. The song begins with a great vocal section, as has been the norm, but about 3 and a half minutes in the vocals stop, the bass picks up and the guitarist absolutely lets loose, which is all the more impressive given how well he's played thus far. Fully five minutes of amazing, psychedelic guitar make up the majority of the track before a brief vocal section closes out the album.

Overall, while this album is perhaps a little homogenous, it's one of the absolute best guitar albums I've ever heard, which is quite impressive given the surplus of great guitarists in prog music. In the past I've had a lot of problems getting into the kind of psychedelic bluesy rock this group plays, but Jane pulls it off maybe better than any band I've ever heard. Great, great, psychedelic heavy prog.