Music News

Jane's Addiction cover art for The Great Escape Artist isn't so controversial

While Jane's Addiction's fourth full-length, The Great Escape Artist, the follow-up to 2003's Strays, was originally slated to hit stores September 27, the album was pushed back to October 18. The just-released album art -- a semi-naked guy wearing a thong -- harks back somewhat to Perry Farrell and Casey Niccoli's sculpture on the cover of 1990's Ritual de lo Habitual, only without the nudity. And it's the nudity that had record-store chains refusing to sell the first two albums. While Jane's Addiction hasn't been to Denver since May 2009, here's hoping they make it back in 2012.

Have a look at the sometimes controversial history of the band's album covers:

Nothing's Shocking After Jane's Addiction released its self-titled debut EP on the indie label Triple X Records, the band released Nothing's Shocking in 1988. Farrell's cover artwork is of a sculpture of naked female conjoined twins sitting in a chair with their heads on fire. Not surprisingly, most record chains refused to carry the album.

Ritual de lo Habitual As with Nothing's Shocking, Farrell did artwork for the cover of Ritual de lo Habitual (1990), featuring a sculpture of a fully nude man and woman and a gal wearing a bra. Again, stores refused the album due to the nudity; the band came up with a clean cover with black lettering on a white background that lists the band's name, album name and text from Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution.


Strays The first studio album in thirteen years, the cover art of Strays (2003) is a dramatic departure from the previous two releases. Strays features a picture of the band with new bassist Chris Chaney -- definitely the most lackluster of the bunch.

The Great Escape Artist While the sculpture of the guy on the cover appears to be somewhat similar to the three people on the cover of Ritual de lo Habitual, it looks like Farrell might again be involved in the artwork. The dude is wearing a thong, but there shouldn't be any issue with chains refusing to stock this one.

In the meantime, here's the latest single from the band:

Follow Backbeat @westword_music and facebook.com/westwordmusic

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon