Nothing's Shocking

Last updated
Nothing's Shocking
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 23, 1988
Studio Eldorado Studios in Los Angeles, California
Label Warner Bros.
Jane's Addiction chronology
Jane's Addiction
Nothing's Shocking
Ritual de lo habitual
Singles from Nothing's Shocking
  1. "Jane Says"
    Released: 1988
  2. "Mountain Song"
    Released: December 1988
  3. "Ocean Size"
    Released: 1989

Nothing's Shocking is the first major-label studio album by the American rock band Jane's Addiction, released on August 23, 1988 through Warner Bros. Records. Nothing's Shocking was well received by critics, though it peaked at number 103 on the Billboard 200. The single "Jane Says" reached number six on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks in 1988. Rolling Stone ranked it #312 on its "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". [4]

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily from the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Janes Addiction American rock band

Jane's Addiction is an American rock band from Los Angeles, formed in 1985. The band consists of vocalist Perry Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro, drummer Stephen Perkins and bassist Chris Chaney.

Warner Music Group American global music conglomerate

Warner Music Group Inc. (WMG), also known as Warner Music, is an American multinational entertainment and record label conglomerate headquartered in New York City. It is one of the "big three" recording companies and the third largest in the global music industry, after Universal Music Group (UMG) and Sony Music Entertainment (SME). Formerly part of Time Warner, the company was publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange until May 2011, when it announced its privatization and sale to Access Industries, which was completed in July 2011. With a multibillion-dollar annual turnover, WMG employs more than 3,500 people and has operations in more than 50 countries throughout the world.



Warner Bros. gave Jane's Addiction a list of producers to choose from. They chose Dave Jerden, whose work as engineer on David Byrne and Brian Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts frontman Perry Farrell appreciated. Jerden said he "jumped" at the chance to work with the group. [5] “I had a demo tape of 18 songs," Jerden recalled, "and I listened to it every night all summer. I picked nine songs from the tape and put them in an order. And then I said to the band, ‘Let’s do these nine songs. You’ll rehearse them in this order, and we’ll record them in this order.’ And that’s what we did.” [6]

Dave Jerden is an American record producer, engineer, and mixer who has worked with artists in various genres including alternative rock, punk rock and metal. However, Jerden has stated that he dislikes the term "producer," preferring to refer to himself primarily as an engineer.

David Byrne Scottish-American musician

David Byrne is a Scottish-American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, artist, actor, writer and filmmaker who was a founding member, principal songwriter and lead singer and guitarist of the American new wave band Talking Heads (1975–1991).

Brian Eno English musician, composer, record producer and visual artist

Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, RDI is an English musician, record producer, visual artist, and theorist best known for his pioneering work in ambient music and contributions to rock, pop, and electronica. A self-described "non-musician", Eno has helped introduce unique conceptual approaches and recording techniques to contemporary music. He has been described as one of popular music's most influential and innovative figures.

During the recording sessions, Farrell stated he wanted 50% of the band's publishing royalties for writing the lyrics, plus a quarter of the remaining half for writing music, adding up to 62.5%. Bassist Eric Avery said he and the other members – guitarist Dave Navarro and drummer Stephen Perkins – were stunned by these demands. [7] One day Jerden drove to the studio to find Farrell, Navarro, and Perkins leaving; Farrell told him the band had broken up and there would be no record. Warner Bros. called an emergency meeting to resolve the situation. Farrell received the percentage he sought, and the other members received 12.5% each. Avery said the incident had a profound effect on the band, creating an internal fracture. [8]

Eric Avery American musician

Eric Adam Avery is an American musician. He is best known as the former bass guitarist and co-founding member of alternative rock band Jane's Addiction.

Dave Navarro American guitarist, singer and songwriter, best known as a founding member of the alternative rock band Janes Addiction

Dave Navarro is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, presenter and actor.

Stephen Perkins American musician

Stephen Andrew Perkins is an American musician and songwriter. A drummer and percussionist, he currently plays with Jane's Addiction and Hellflower.

Not long after the royalties dispute, Farrell and Avery – who had cofounded the band – had a falling out. This was the result of Avery's newfound sobriety as well as an incident in which Farrell believed Avery had drunkenly tried to pick up his girlfriend. "Unfortunately," Farrell recalled, "the tensions between Eric and I affected the whole family. Some people were asked to take sides, and others just moped about because they didn't know what was going on." [9] Perkins, however, is reported to have got along with Navarro, Avery and Farrell. [10]


The writing process varied from song to song. "Some came from Eric's bass lines," noted Navarro, "some from guitar, some came from Perry, some came from drum riffs, and some just came from free-form jams. There was really no formula." Avery wrote several songs, including "Mountain Song", "Had a Dad", "Jane Says", and "Summertime Rolls" (the latter two of which he also created the guitar parts for). For his songs, Avery came up with lyrical concepts that Perry Farrell would create lyrics for; for example, "Had a Dad" dealt with Avery discovering he had a different biological father. [11]

"Jane Says" and "Pigs in Zen", which first appeared on the band's self-titled 1987 debut, were rerecorded for Nothing's Shocking. The later version of "Jane Says" features a steel drum while the spoken interlude in "Pigs in Zen" is completely different.

<i>Janes Addiction</i> (album) 1987 live album by Janes Addiction

Jane's Addiction is the eponymous live album by Jane's Addiction, released on May 15, 1987. Its basic tracks were recorded live at the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles on January 26, 1987, with additional overdubs and corrections recorded at The Edge Studio in Los Angeles. An audience applause dub from a Los Lobos concert was overlaid onto the final mix.

"Mountain Song" – originally released in 1986 on the soundtrack for the film Dudes – was also rerecorded. Musically similar to the original, it is sung in a higher key, to be consistent with the rest of the record. The 1986 original saw a more widespread release when it was included on the band's 1997 outtake/alternate/live and new compilation Kettle Whistle .

Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea played trumpet on "Idiots Rule". [12]


Farrell created the cover image, which features a sculpture of nude female conjoined twins on a rocking chair with their heads on fire. He hired Warner Bros. employees to create the sculpture, but – after learning how to create sculptures by watching them closely – fired them and created the artwork himself. [13] "The idea came from a dream I had," he recalled. "There were these two women swinging back and forth. They were joined at the hip and shoulder, and their hair was on fire. I just went from there, and [girlfriend] Casey [Niccoli] assisted me. We had a fellow come and do a plaster body-casting of her, then we made the twins' hair and head gear from pipe cleaners. You'll notice the chair rocks from side to side, as opposed to back and forth, so we had to have that made specially. We also went shopping for fake eyeballs." [14]

Owing to the cover, nine of the eleven leading record store chains refused to carry Nothing's Shocking. It was issued covered with brown paper. [15]


"Mountain Song" was released as a single; however, MTV refused to air the song's music video owing to a scene containing graphic nudity. [16] Farrell decided to release the video commercially, adding twenty minutes of live footage to create the Soul Kiss home video. [17]

Lack of airplay on MTV and modern rock radio meant Nothing's Shocking sold only 200,000 to 250,000 copies in its first year. [18] It went on, however, to sell over one million and is certified Platinum in the U.S. by the RIAA.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [3]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal 10/10 [19]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [20]
Kerrang! 5/5 [21]
Los Angeles Times Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [22]
The Philadelphia Inquirer Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [23]
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [24]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [25]
The Village Voice B− [26]

In a retrospective review, AllMusic's Greg Prato called Nothing's Shocking "a must-have for lovers of cutting-edge, influential, and timeless hard rock." [3] In 2006, Q magazine placed it at #32 in a list of the "40 Best Albums of the '80s". [27]

2012 Remaster

A remastered edition of Nothing's Shocking was released on June 19, 2012 on a 24 karat gold disc. [28]

Other than the addition of remastering production credits and a cardboard slipcase over the standard jewel case, the liner notes and artwork are almost identical to the original release. Likewise, the track list remained unchanged. The most notable artwork difference between the original and the remaster is in the color of band name typeface on the cover: the original is rendered in a deep teal color with black outline while the remaster features a light grey type with purple outline.

Produced by Audio Fidelity, the remaster had a limited production run of 5,000 units. Each pressing came individually numbered.

Track listing

All lyrics written by Perry Farrell; all music composed by Jane's Addiction.

1."Up the Beach"3:00
2."Ocean Size"4:20
3."Had a Dad"3:44
4."Ted, Just Admit It... [**] "7:23
5."Standing in the Shower... Thinking"3:03
6."Summertime Rolls"6:18
7."Mountain Song"4:03
8."Idiots Rule"3:00
9."Jane Says"4:52
10."Thank You Boys"1:01
11."Pig's in Zen [*] "4:30

^ * Does not appear on the vinyl edition of the album.
^ ** Contains a quote from Ted Bundy.


Jane's Addiction

Additional musicians

Recording personnel

Additional personnel

Charting positions


1988Billboard Top 200103


1988"Jane Says"Modern Rock Tracks6


RegionCertification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI) [29] Silver60,000^
United States (RIAA) [30] 1× Platinum1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

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  17. Mullen, p. 180
  18. Mullen, p. 190
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  29. "British album certifications – Jane's Addiction – Nothing's Shocking". British Phonographic Industry.Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Nothing's Shocking in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  30. "American album certifications – Jane's Addiction – Nothing's Shocking". Recording Industry Association of America.If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.