As Keith Richards once said of Mick Jagger, Perry Farrell is a great bunch of guys. Musician, artist, surfer, businessman, traveller of the astral highways… the Jane‘s Addiction frontman and alt.rock godfather has followed many paths over his 61 years, often at the same time.
This lavish box set embodies that anything-goes mind-set. Bringing together his pre- and post-Jane’s career, The Glitz; The Glamour is a sprawling portrait of an artist whose quicksilver approach has made him eternally intriguing, if not consistently successful.
The gold here is the five tracks from Farrell’s first band, PsiCom, originally released on an impossible-to-get EP in 1985. Their tribal sway may be indebted to the gloomier end of British post-punk, but the sense of a man building a universe of his own was in place early on.
How much you enjoy the rest depends on how far down the road you’re willing to travel with him. Where Satellite Party’s Ultrapayloaded is gleaming mid-00s rock featuring Extreme’s Nuno Bettencourt on guitar, 2001’s Kabbalh-inspired Song Yet To Be Sung finds the singer exploring his Jewish faith to a club beat, with mixed results.
Last year’s terrific Kind Heaven works as a snapshot of his entire career: a chaotic circus of colour and noise, with Farrell as the wild-eyed ringmaster. A bonus disc of dance remixes is excessive, but a song with youthful Starcrawler singer Arrow DeWilde squares the LA alt.rock circle nicely.
It’s a Jane’s Addiction-free zone, although it would have been great to represent the woefully unappreciated Porno For Pyros somehow. But even without them, it makes for a unique journey.