Kettle Whistle

Jane's Addiction

Warner Brothers, 1997

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


Jane’s Addiction was only around a brief time but they left a huge mark on the alternative rock scene, helping push it into the mainstream a couple of years before the Seattle scene completed the job. By that time, Jane’s was no more. The group left behind two studio albums while the band members went their separate ways (Dave Navarro to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stephen Perkins and Perry Farrell to Porno For Pyros). In 1997, however, the band reformed for its Relapse tour and released Kettle Whistle as a promotional disc to accompany the tour.

As with most odds-and-ends compilations, Kettle Whistle is disjointed, but as a greatest hits collection it’s actually pretty darn good. Seven of the 15 songs are live cuts (five specifically from a 1990 show at the Hollywood Palladium), two are new tracks, and the rest are outtakes from recordings of the two studio albums. There’s no real substitute for owning both of those (or, at minimum, the 2006 Up From The Catacombs disc). But if you ever were a fan of these guys, Kettle Whistle is at least worth picking up as a supplement.

Jane’s Addiction always put on a good live show and the songs here are evidence of that, including the stellar steel-drum version of “Jane Says,” which became a minor alt-rock hit in its own right, and the long instrumental workout that makes up the second half of “Three Days” (the first half features Farrell singing horribly off-key and should be skipped). Both new songs (“Kettle Whistle” and “So What!”) were written during the band’s prime but never recorded until 1997 for this collection; both feature Flea on bass, as Eric Avery did not return.  

As for the outtakes, they’re pretty much standard fare for this sort of collection, including demo versions of “Mountain Song,” “Been Caught Stealing,” “Ocean Size,” and “Had A Dad” that don’t differ all that much from the final versions. However, “Slow Divers” is a revelation and almost worth the price of admission, quite frankly. The band wrote the song in 1986 and used it to open their shows, but for some reason it didn’t make it onto either album, so for this collection they touched it up in the studio with an additional acoustic guitar track, some extra bass work and some hand percussion. The end result is an acoustic psychedelic number that stands as one of the band’s best songs and serves as a testament to their range.

So a handful of tracks are not enough to recommend this to the casual fan, but again, those who were fans all along will definitely find some things here to add to their playlist.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2017 Benjamin Ray and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Warner Brothers, and is used for informational purposes only.