Get this crazy baby off my head!


Janis Ian

Janis Ian - Unreleased 1: Mary's Eyes - 1998 - Rude Girl

The magnificent singer/songwriter Janis Ian was born in a Bronx hospital on April 7th 1951, and raised in Farmingdale, New Jersey. She has produced an astonishing body of work in an amazing career which has flourished for over 50 years. She has been described as "a female songwriter to stand beside Bob Dylan". She has recorded over 30 studio albums, has producd many short stories, science fiction novels, and composed songs for film and TV. Her first song ‘Hair Spun of Gold’ was published when she was 12. She played her first NY show at The Villageg Gate, NY when she was thirteen. She was nominated for a Grammy award for her self-titled debut album in 1967. Her songs including Jesse’ and ‘Stars’ have been covered by artists as diverse as Mel Torme and Cher. Her classic ‘At Seventeen’ earned her five Grammy nominations in 1975 of which she won the Grammy for ‘Best Pop Vocal performance’. Janis has received nine Grammy nominations. The great Ella Fitzgerald called Janis ‘The best young singer in America’. Chet Atkins said ‘Singer? You ought to hear that girl play guitar; she gives me a run for my money!” Leonard Bernstein described her as “remarkable”. Janis has received countless accolades and awards for her music. Her live performances are passionate, and powerful. In 2008 she released ‘Societies Child; My Autobiography’, which tells of her life in the music industry. From parties with Jimi Hendrix, to death threats, to losing love and finding it again. The book gives a vivid insight into the explosive life that she has lead since her early teens. Her great music is still influencing and enthralling generation after generation. Janis runs a foundation, in her mother’s name, which raises scholarship funding for people wishing to return to college. In 1998 Janis posted a note on her website asking her fans which songs they would most like to see offered on special fan only albums. She asked her fans to send in lists of the songs they most wanted to hear. Janis compiled this album using their suggestions and a few of her own from her personal archive of studio and live recordings. Janis had played these songs at gigs and recorded the songs at various times between 1971 and 1997, but these versions were not on any of her official releases. Many of the tracks are spare demos, using just voice and guitar. "Unwinding" and the mid-70s "Make A Man Of You" are voice and piano. On "On The Way To Me", "La Cienega Boulevard" and the live "Cosmopolitan Girl", Janis uses a full band. Many of the songs are well constructed, pleasant tunes like "Way Of The Land" and "Paris In Your Eyes", and other tracks like "Lone Ranger Days", "Forever Young" and "We Endure" rely less on melody and more on narrative. If you are a Janis Ian fan you will hardly complain, as Janis always wrote songs from the heart and was never concerned with writing "poppy", commercial tunes to please record companies. “It was good to start young,” says Janis. “It was good to learn, early on, that what matters is the music. I got most of my big mistakes over with before I was twenty-one. When people say ‘Didn’t you miss having a teenage life?’ I just say ‘I only know the life I lived. I was a teenager, working. A hundred years ago, no one would have thought anything of it. At least I got to do something I loved! I could have been working in a factory, or a day job where every day is the same thing, day in and day out. Instead, I got to deal with everything from doing coke with Jimi Hendrix to death threats". Speaking about people like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, Janis has said "Nobody knew who was going to be a legend… they were just people who were very good to me when I was young, They didn't let my age interfere and they taught me what they could. I don't know how to explain what Janis and Jimi were like, but I certainly didn't look at them as icons, because they were my friends and because they weren't iconic back then. I remember doing cocaine with Hendrix, but it was a mistake, because I actually turned out to be allergic to cocaine. I was really fortunate, because I think coke would have been the perfect drug for me - more speed and more energy. I have so many memories. I probably played with Jimi 15 or 20 times during the time that I knew him, and I would absolutely love to hear that stuff, because I certainly never heard it back then. Janis said "I lived an entire life in my teen years, and I don’t regret a second of it.” "Janis Ian is not an artist for the faint of heart, for timid souls who prefer Britney Spears’ auto-tuned vocals to the voice of real experience". Fourteen years ago, the WWW and computer technology was not nearly as advanced and as readily available as it is now. Back then, many of Janis' American fans were not on line, and very few of her overseas fans were. As a result, "Unreleased 1: Mary's Eyes" (The song "Mary's Eyes" is a tribute to the Irish folk singer Mary Black|) released on her own "Rude Girl" label became out of print almost immediately after it's release. A further two of these fan releases were released up to 2001.They were "Unreleased 2: Take No Prisoners", and "Unreleased 3: Society's Child". "Unreleased 1: Mary's Eyes" was re-issued in 2008 with a bonus track "Morning Alone After You". Listen to Janis' brilliant "Aftertones" album, and Check out Janis' "Society's Child", "Hunger", "Night Rains", "Who Really Cares", and "Stars" albums on this blog. Read a detailed bio of Janis @ http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/pawtrait/folkville/biographies/JanisIan.html [Tracks @ 224-320 Kbps: File size = 76 Mb]


1. Roses For The Damned - Janis Ian (4:03)
2. Tune That In - Janis Ian (1:49)
3. Do Wrong Do Right - Philip Clark/Janis Ian (2:28)
4. Mary's Eyes - Janis Ian (3:34)
5. Way Of The Land - Janis Ian (3:58)
6. Make A Man Of You - Janis Ian (2:48)
7. Paris In Your Eyes - Janis Ian (4:09)
8. We Endure - Janis Ian (3:27)
9. Lone Ranger Days - Janis Ian/Kent Robbins (2:54)
10. Forever Young - Janis Ian (3:16)
11. Unwinding - Janis Ian/Kye Fleming (4:07)
12. On The Way To Me - Janis Ian (3:34)
13. Cosmopolitan Girl - Janis Ian (3:25)
14. La Cienega Boulevard - Janis Ian/Jane Street (5:49)


A singer/songwriter both celebrated and decried for her pointed handling of taboo topics, Janis Ian enjoyed one of the more remarkable second acts in music history. After first finding success as a teen, her career slumped, only to enter a commercial resurgence almost a decade later. Janis Eddy Fink was born on May 7, 1951, in New York City. The child of a music teacher, she studied piano as a child and, drawing influence from Edith Piaf, Billie Holiday, and Odetta, wrote her first songs at the age of 12. She soon entered Manhattan's High School of Music and Art, where she began performing at school functions. After adopting the surname Ian (her brother's middle name), she quickly graduated to the New York folk circuit. When she was just 15, she recorded her self-titled debut; the LP contained "Society's Child (Baby I've Been Thinking)," a meditation on interracial romance written by Ian while waiting to meet with her school guidance counselor. While banned by a few radio stations, the single failed to attract much notice until conductor Leonard Bernstein invited its writer to perform the song on his television special Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution. The ensuing publicity and furor over its subject matter pushed "Society's Child" into the upper rungs of the pop charts, and made Ian an overnight sensation. With 1975's Between the Lines, Ian eclipsed all of her previous success; not only did the LP achieve platinum status, but the delicate single "At Seventeen" reached the Top Three and won a Grammy. While subsequent releases like 1977's Latin-influenced Miracle Row, 1979's Night Rains, and 1981's Restless Eyes earned acclaim, they sold poorly. Ian was dropped by her label and spent 12 years without a contract before emerging in 1993 with Breaking Silence (the title a reference to her recent admission of homosexuality), which pulled no punches in tackling material like domestic violence, frank eroticism, and the Holocaust. Similarly, 1995's Revenge explored prostitution and homelessness. Two years later Ian returned with Hunger; God & the FBI followed in the spring of 2000. A live set, Working Without a Net, appeared from Rude Girl Records in 2003, and a DVD, Live at Club Cafe, saw release in 2005. Folk Is the New Black appeared as a joint release from Rude Girl and Cooking Vinyl in 2006. © Jason Ankeny © 2012 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/janis-ian-mn0000213212


Janis Ian [real name Janis Eddy Fink] was born in a Bronx hospital on April 7th 1951, and raised in various locations in New Jersey. Janis began taking classical piano lessons from the age of two, and quit eight years later. Discovering the portability of a guitar [as opposed to a grand piano], at the age of twelve Janis began writing songs – “Hair Of Spun Gold” was her first, and the Fink family settled in Manhattan the following year. “Hair Of Spun Gold” was published in Broadside Magazine. Janis went on to enrol at New York's High School of Music and Art, but only remained there for six months. By then however, Janis Ian had been born. Aged thirteen her brother’s middle name became her adopted surname, as a songwriter and performer, and Janis went on to adopt it legally. By the age of fourteen Ian was performing in school shows etc. and Greenwich Village folk clubs. Although Elektra Records initially showed interest the deal ran aground, and in 1966 Janis was signed by the Verve/Forecast label resulting in her, George “Shadow” Morton produced, debut album “Janis Ian.” The album gained Janis her first Grammy nomination in the category, Best Folk Performance. Her debut single “Society’s Child,” featured a, for-the-times, controversial lyric concerning interracial love and was released in August 1966. Ignored on that occasion, when Ian appeared, almost a year later, on the Leonard Bernstein special “Inside Pop : The Rock Revolution” the reactivated single reached # 14 on the US Pop Chart. Ian went on to record three more albums for Verve Folkways, but no further hit singles resulted. Barely eighteen by the time “Who Really Cares” appeared, in the liner booklet to “The Verve Recordings,“ Janis recalls that having moved out of her parent’s home, and living in a hotel [probably The Chelsea], the period was, for her, exceedingly unhappy. Her relationship with Verve/Forecast deteriorated, and after losing her recording contract Janis spent some time at Bell Sound in Philadelphia learning studio engineering. Moving on to California to study composition and orchestration, a sole album for Capitol Records, “Present Company,” appeared in 1971. Signed next by CBS, in the period 1974 – 1981, the imprint released seven studio albums by Janis. In addition, in Japan and Australia only, a live double album titled “In Concert” appeared in 1978. The first CBS album “Stars,” included Ian’s song "Jesse," which had been a US Top 30 chart single, the previous year, for Roberta Flack. At the 1975 Grammy Awards, the platinum selling album “Between the Lines" Janis won the "Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female” category for the track “At Seventeen" and the disc also scored in the "Best Engineered Recording – Non-Classical” category. Released as a single, "At Seventeen" scored Janis a Top Three single on the US Pop Chart. Not restricted by one particular genre of music, the Mel Torme album “Mel Torme & Friends” scored Janis and Mel a 1978 Grammy nomination for "Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo or Group” for Ian’s song “Silly Habits." In 1978 Janis married Tino Sargo, a Portuguese by birth, and the couple remained together for five years. In 1982 Janis sang “Ginny The Flying Girl” on the CBS children’s album, “In Harmony 2,” and the disc scored a “Best Children's Recording” for producers Lucy Simon and David Levine. Through the eighties Ian was silent as a recording artist, apart from the album “Uncle Wonderful,” which, until the following decade, was only available in Australia. By way of broadening her compositional skills, during this time Janis studied various facets of the arts with Stella Adler and other teachers. By 1986 Janis was commuting to Nashville to write songs, initially with Rhonda Kye Fleming, and in 1988 Ian settled in Music City, Tennessee and remains a resident to this day. In 1989 Janis met Patricia Snyder and they became a couple. Having been cast aside by CBS in 1981, in Europe, it was that label which released the album that marked the beginning of Phase III [or was it Phase IV] of Ian’s recording career in 1993. In truth “Breaking Silence” possessed a dual meaning, and the album subsequently gained a Grammy nomination for “Best Folk Performance.” Co-produced with John Jennings “Revenge” was issued by Beacon Records. “Live On The Test 1976” appeared only in the UK courtesy of BBC Records, while the 2CD collection “Society’s Child : The Verve Recordings” featured Ian’s four 1960’s albums for Verve. The studio albums “Hunger” and “God & The FBI” were made for Windham Hill/BMG, while the famous New York venue issued “The Bottom Line Encore Collection : Janis Ian – Live 1980.” Annually, since 1999 Janis has self-issued CD’s featuring, mostly, previously unavailable songs, namely “Unreleased 1 : Mary’s Eyes,” “Unreleased 2 : Take No Prisoners” and “Unreleased 3 : Society’s Child.” Last year’s “Lost Cuts 1” was a five song, mini album. “Working Without A Net,” a 2 CD live recording was issued in the States by Oh Boy Records and in the UK by Cooking Vinyl in the early Fall of 2003, and was followed in February 2004 by her latest studio album “Billie’s Bones.” The title track was a tribute to the late Billie Holiday. Janis has scored or contributed songs to movies such as “Four Rode Out” [1969], “Betrayal” [1977], “Virus” [1980] “Falling From Grace” [1992] and more. Produced by Giorgio Moroder "Fly Too High," a cut on “Night Rains,” was featured in the Jodie Foster movie “Foxes” [1980], and scored an international single hit for Janis. In 2001, proving that some things have changed for the better, the song "Society's Child" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Ian’s songs have been covered by Stan Getz, Bette Midler, Glen Campbell, Cher, Joan Baez, Vanilla Fudge and many others. In August, 2003 in Toronto, Canada Janis and Pat Snyder were married. Featured in Issue 1 [July/August 1993], since 1994 Janis has been a regular columnist for Performing Songwriter magazine. The Cooking Vinyl label, in the U.S.A. and the U.K., simultaneously released “Folk Is The New Black” in late February 2006. When Ian toured the U.K. during the late Spring of 2006 she intimated to audiences that she would be taking some time ‘off the road’ to write her autobiography. Curiously, but also intentionally, “Folk Is The New Black” featured a track titled “My Autobiography.” Janis’ book, “Society’s Child: My Autobiography” [ISBN: 978-1-58542-675-1] was published by Penguin/Tarcher in late July 2008. Released concurrently by Ian’s own label, Rude Girl Records, “Best of….The Autobiography Collection” was a 2CD collection that reprised her four decade recording career and included previously unreleased material. © Arthur Wood © Kerrville Kronikles 10/03, 02/04, 01/06, 10/08 & 10/10 http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/pawtrait/folkville/biographies/JanisIan.html


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w is aoofc

lugworm said...

Great writeup/review on both Janis Ian's and I thank you for the shares

A.O.O.F.C said...

G'day, lugworm (Bet you're sick hearing that!)Thanks a million for comment. Keep in touch. BTW, I'm a genius at cryptic crosswords!