The influential L.A. rockers who helped spawn the “alternative” genre show how they did it on this three CD, one DVD retrospective. The band only released two studio albums in its heyday, but both were landmark affairs, so the demos of those tunes collected here, while familiar, have a certain historical value. Other oddities are also included, such as unique covers of the Grateful Dead’s “Ripple,” Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” and the Doors’ “L.A. Woman.”
The real treasure is the live tracks, especially the 1990 Hollywood Palladium performance, in which tunes such as “Had a Dad,” “Three Days,” and “Mountain Song” showcase the band at the peak of its considerable power. Few others can mix hard rock and psychedelia like Jane’s. The DVD includes amusing home movies of the band hanging out and being weird, highlighted perhaps by Perry Farrell setting off a bottle rocket in his bedroom against his girlfriend’s better judgment. The videos and concert footage feature the band’s uniquely compelling energy shining throughout.