Thursday, April 28, 2011

John Frusciante - Niandra Bonus Tracks

Discussion will continue forever on this album: junky romance or lo-fi master piece? Fact is, this has been the record that I kept on going back to for 17 years now. After having seen the ' 94 VPRO documentary about former Chili Pepper guitar player Frusciante (whom I've seen playing in Amsterdam in 1989), I bought Niandra Lades & Usually Just A T-shirt and was blown away by the mystic and creativity on this album (actually two albums). Although there are a lot of people that can't listen to this, It's one of my all time favorites (and one I have to listen to on headphones a lot). Three years later Frusciante, in need of cash to finance his heroine addiction, released a second lo-fi album, A Smile From The Streets You Hold, with a lot of tracks from the same area as the Niandra ones. A great misconception about both albums is that most people seem to think that the songs were recorded during the his addiction. This is not true. Frusciante later told in several interviews that while being an addict, he didn't record a lot of music. Only a couple of songs on both albums (I think only four in total) were from that period. The cool thing is he recorded most of the songs during the recording sessions of Chili Pepper's album Blood Sugar Sex Magik (also an all time favorite of mine).

Anyway, a cassette version of Niandra Lades featured two bonus tracks and there's some more material not officially released that I'd like to call the Niandra Bonus tracks. I included the two tracks from second solo album A Smile FromThe Streets that have River Phoenix on them, and to hear his lyrics properly I reversed the last track. Take them from here and enjoy (or be disgusted). 

1. Outside Space (Estress 7" B-side)
2. Ants (cassette version bonus track)
3. Usually Just A T-shirt (cassette version bonus track)
4. Unreleased Niandra Recording
5. Back & Forth
6. Fuck You To Jose (from VPRO docu)
7. Stuff (from short film by J. Depp & G. Haynes)
8. Height Down (from A Smile From The Streets)
9. Well, I've been (from A Smile From The Streets)
10. Well, I've been (reversed)


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