The influence of Jane’s Addiction on the alternative music scene and subculture can not be underestimated. On a surface level, the band appeared to have much in common with their hair metal, spandex-clad LA contemporaries, but chip away at the surface and it was obvious that Jane’s Addiction were a much more subversive, cerebral act who encompassed a diverse range of influences. Metal, goth, funk, psychedelia, reggae and punk were all crucial elements that made up their kaleidoscopic sound and acted as a bridge 80s excess and 90s integrity.
The success of Ritual de lo Habitual, the band’s second studio album (and third album overall; 1987’s self-titled debut is a live album) was instrumental in forging the path for a gigantic wave of rock bands to take over the mainstream throughout the best part of the 90s. Would Geffen have gone to the trouble of signing Nirvana had Ritual de lo Habitual not sold half a million copies just one month after it’s release? Doubtful, especially considering that Nirvana’s debut Bleach had sold just 40,000 copies in North America prior to Nevermind’s release.
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