Jane - Fire, Water, Earth & Air (1976)

As it was evident with the previous and uninspired album Lady, Jane was clearly running out of ideas as a "prog'n roll" act and decided to shake themselves awake by turning into a more progressive unit. Such a move, however courageous it might be , is not only risky but fairly common as this was a sort-of-fad that a few band did in those days in Continental Europe (I am thinking of Birth Control, but many more).

I said risky , because one band does simply not become progressive on command and therefore may lose their credibility and show their limits. Jane certainly fell in that category IMHO, because they simply did not have enough inspiration for it. I want for first proof of this , this very weak concept of the four elements punctuated by wind , running water, fire noise to invoke those elements . Apart from a weak outside artwork sleeve and a slightly better inside gatefold drawing, everything transpire lack of inspiration. Even their good musical skills seem to be ampered by the restraint of more complicated song structure and genral lack of enthusiasm (IMHO but onr should have no problem seeing my point - they just seem to go through the motion).

By all means , do not let my incisive remarks let you think that the excellent Jane musicianship is AWOL, this is still a worthy Jane album , just not one of my fave. I would recommend prospective progheads who would rather not investigate their early hard-prog carreer to start with this one and then Heaven & Hell.

Track Listings

1. Fire, water, earth & air
2. Fire (you give me some sweet lovin')
3. Water (keep on rollin') (16:57)
4. Earth (Angel) (5:20)
5. Air (let the sunshine in) &
6. The end (10:53)

Total Time: 33:10

- Klaus Hess / Les Paul De Luxe, Gibson Firebird guitars, lead vocals
- Martin Hesse / Gibson Thunderbird bass, backing vocals
- Werner Nadolny / organ, strings, Moog synth, piano
- Peter Panka / Ludwig drums, vocals


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