Like all great bands, Jane's Addiction were always greater than any one member. Without the powerhouse rhythm section of Stephen Perkins (drums) and Eric Avery (bass), the band still would have been good, but they may not have been great.

The difference between "great" and "magical" occurred not on the back line but at the front of the stage, where singer Perry Farrell's post-punk artiness was in constant conflict with guitarist Dave Navarro's Sunset Strip metal glean. They were yin and yang, push and  pull, masculine and feminine – Lennon and McCartney for the Lollapalooza generation.

And also like many great bands, where personalities clash and members fight for dominance, Jane's Addiction inevitably crashed and burned. At one point during the Ritual de lo Habitual tour, Farrell and Navarro literally came to blows on stage. Fans of Jane's were crushed when the band split in '91, but they didn't need to wait long: The following year, Ferrell and Perkins formed Porno For Pyros, along with guitarist Peter DiStefano and bass player Martyn LeNoble.

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Their self-titled 1993 debut was a mix of songs inspired by the L.A. riots, a couple of Jane's tracks that were never recorded ("Blood Rag" and "Bad S---"), and the surprise novelty hit "Pets." The latter quickly became an MTV staple, and many listeners assumed that without Navarro Porno For Pyros was the Perry Farrell show.

They were kind of right. When the band's second album, Good God's Urge, dropped on May 28, 1996, fans expecting either more Jane's Addiction or another "Pets" were in for a surprise. With no Navarro to hold him back, Farrell jumped headfirst into arty, post-punk waters with an earnestness not seen since Psi-Com, his pre-Jane's band. Album opener "Porpoise Head" is quite literally the sound of Bauhaus or Love and Rockets as fronted by Jane's lead singer--the song features guest appearances from Daniel Ash, David J. and Kevin Haskins from those two legendary bands. The result was brilliantly weird, and bore little resemblance to either Jane's Addiction or any of the tracks from Porno For Pyros' debut.

The album's second track, "100 Ways," serves as a sort of missing link between Jane's Addiction and Farrell's later electronica-infused work as DJ Peretz, or on his only solo album (2001's Song Yet to Be Sung) or 2007's Ultra Payloaded from one-off Farrell side project Satellite Party. The track is a blend of samples and acoustic guitar backed with horns--beautiful, strange and evocative.

Only three songs in we hit the heart of Good God's Urge. The ocean has always factored heavily into Farrell's imagery as well as his life. It was on a surfing trip that he met guitarist DiStefano, after all. "Tahitian Moon" and album closer "Bali Eyes" give nods to island life, but it's the former that hints at water as a metaphor in the way that Jane's "Ocean Size" had just a few years earlier with it's declaration that "I want to be more like the ocean/No talk and then all action."

"I came out here to look for my friend/I don't know if I'll ever get to see him again," Farrell sings on "Tahitian Moon." "My boat's capsized it's gonna sink to the bottom." Nothing's Shocking-era Perry saw the ocean's strength as a metaphor for his own, but now he was lost, drowning, overwhelmed by the forces that had capsized him.

Farrell wasn't the only one who may have been treading water. Bassist LeNoble laid down parts for six tracks before deciding that "[I] was going to die if I didn’t change something and get clean." With their bassist gone, Minutemen's Mike Watt filled in on the title track and "100 Ways" (and took LeNoble's slot when the band went in the road), and longtime L.A. friend Flea brought his Chili Peppers funk to "Freeway."

Watt and Flea were far from the album's only guests. Including the actual band, 20 musicians played on Good God's Urge, a rogues' gallery with at least two distinct explanations. One might consider such a sprawling lineup symptomatic of a band in trouble, but to this day Farrell has a penchant for surrounding himself with interesting people doing interesting things, whether it's his dog barking in the vocal booth during the "Been Caught Stealing" sessions or surrounding Jane's Addiction's farewell tour with the giant party named Lollapalooza.

But of those guest stars none were more surprising than Dave Navarro. It was the reunion that no Jane's fan expected to happen. Farrell, Perkins and Navarro rejoined for "Freeway," only bassist Avery was missing from the original Jane's lineup. With Flea filling in, the track took on an altogether new sound--more Jane's than Pornos, but not the Jane's of Nothing's Shocking or Ritual.

"Freeway" may have been the catalyst that led to Farrell's next move. With LeNoble gone and DiStefano now battling cancer, Porno For Pyros split in '97. That same year, Farrell, Navarro, Perkins, and Flea toured a reunited Jane's Addiction behind the odds and sods Kettle Whistle compilation and "Relapse" tour. The band split again after that tour, but the seed was planted: Porno For Pyros was a two record rebound, Jane's was the girlfriend the band just quit.

Jane's Addiction remains one of the most potent live acts on the tour and festival circuit, their live shows a feast for both eyes and ears, but for fans of that rare moment when when Farrell's post-punk aspirations blossomed completely uncompromised, that news is bittersweet. With exception to a brief reunion for Perry's 50th birthday party, Porno For Pyros' small but unique catalog remains landlocked, never to be performed again.

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