Jane - Jane III (1974)

Jane III is an often maligned release due its simplistic, bluesy nature and lack of keyboard wizardry, but persistence and an open mind shows this to be a psychey, guitar oriented album with an essence of spaciness throughout. Opening with the lengthy 'Comin' Again', a two chord wonder built on 'leslied' guitar, Klaus Hess' trademark solo guitaring, and a plodding rhythm section making it somewhat heavy, but this monster of a song is very addictive and seems to hold the attention over its near 9 and a half minutes duration (as long as one is not waiting to hear a riff in 11/8...). In many cases, the mix on the vocals is quite spacey, probably because they are echoed and kind of 'behind' the music. Bassist Charlie Maucher handles most of the vox with a slight rawness but they barely have an accent, drummer Peter Panka sings lead on one track ('Way To Paradise') and has a strong accent - in both cases, this does not pose as a problem at all. 'Mother You Don't Know' is a bluesy tune with slight 'cosmic' touches, 'I Need You' is a very catchy tune (re-titled 'Rest of my Life' on the classic live 'At Home' dbl LP) and will have you singing the chorus in a flash - quite an achievement for a German underground band. 'Way To Paradise' is a pleasant ballad, and the only song to have some piano playing.

Side 2 starts with 'Early In the Morning', a solid rocker full of searing guitaring with excellent left/right speaker panning (no doubt courtesy of the late, GREAT Conny Plank), and those spacey vox, 'Jane Session' is an excellent instrumental jam that 'cooks', but I feel it's a bit short, 'Rock 'n' Roll Star' is similar to EITM with it's dense guitar-heavy approach, 'King of Thule' is a very brief (0.40) dual guitar theme which is cool, and 'Baby, What You're Doin'' is a simple pub-rocking blues tune and weakest thing on the album. Nothing complex, but a straight-up, solid Germanic rock offering (i.e. their least progressive release) and quite enjoyable from time to time. 3 stars.

Track Listings

1. Comin' again (9:40)
2. Mother, you don't know (5:52)
3. I need you (4:50)
4. Way to paradise (3:25)
5. Early in the morning (5:20)
6. Jane-session (4:20)
7. Rock'n'roll star (4:47)
8. King of thule (0:40)
9. Baby, what you're doin' (3:05)

Total Time: 42:00

- Klauss Hess / acoustic & electric guitars
- Wolfgang Krantz / electric guitar, piano (4)
- Charly Maucher / bass, vocals
- Peter Panka / drums, percussion, vocals (4)


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