Soul Kiss is the Jane’s Addiction home video used to distribute the uncensored Mountain Song music video the band had created, which was banned by MTV at the time. It was released by Warner Reprise Home Video on February 14, 1989 in the U.S., and on April 1, 1991 in the U.K. After the band’s popularity exploded in 1990, MTV rescinded the ban and began showing a censored version of this video late at night, primarily during their alternative music programming.
In addition to the Mountain Song music video, this video has several comedic bits filmed by the band including Eric Avery giving an oral book review while sitting on a toilet, Dave Navarro explaining some of the vandalism in his apartment, Dave playing with his pet eel, Steve Perkins eating an Apple, and Perry Farrell and Casey Niccoli lighting off a bottle rocket in their bedroom.
The scene that depicts Dave smacking his pet eel on his dresser was briefly a point of controversy until it was revealed that he was really using a soap plant from the tank and not actually his eel. The rest of the effect was done with simple video editing.
Additionally, the video includes a performance of the song City by Perry and Dave alone in a studio in Sherman Oak, CA. Eric and Steve were given bad directions to that studio and spent the afternoon driving around trying to find it. They never did. This performance would later be released in audio on the Kettle Whistle compilation.
Versions of this video were released in the US on NTSC VHS and in the UK on PAL VHS. These two versions come in different packaging, but both are based on a still photo of Perry Farrell from the Mountain Song video. The US video comes in a black plastic slip case with a sticker on the cover. The U.K. video comes in a standard cardboard slip case.
There are slight variations in the packaging of both the US and UK versions. Earlier prints have the text “Something Shocking” printed above the band’s name on the cover (and on the PAL version, the tape itself), leading some to believe that this was the title of this video. Later prints had this removed. For the NTSC version, there are versions of the tape with both a black label with green text and white label with black text. It is possible that the tape label change occurred the same time the “Something Shocking” text was removed from the cover.
Additionally, some versions of this video lack the final scene on the video, known as Rock ‘N Roll Aerobics. This scene features Perry and Casey in their bedroom performing aerobic exercises designed for junkies. Perry can be heard saying “come on all you junkies, come on all you heroin addicts”. The couple’s drug use is well known. The omission of this scene may have been inadvertent, as it does appear after a brief black screen and could have simply been accidentally edited out, or it could have been an intentional edit due to the nature of the scene.
This video was finally released on DVD as part of the A Cabinet Of Curiosities box set that was released by Rhino Records in 2009. The DVD version includes the lost Rock ‘N Roll Aerobics scene.
Release Date: 02/14/1989 (US), 04/01/1990 (UK), 04/21/2009 (DVD)
Released By: Warner Reprise Home Video (US), Warner Music Vision (UK)
ID Number(s): 7599-38151-3
Medium(s): VHS (NTSC), VHS (PAL), DVD (NTSC)
The following is an excerpt of a not-so-positive review of the video:
April 9, 1989
ORIGINALS TOP STANDARDS ON NEVILLE BROTHERS’ NEW LP
David Barton By David Barton
…Somethin’ stupid: It’s harder and harder to shock people these days, especially rock fans. And the shock wears off. Los Angeles-based metal group Jane’s Addiction made that point by titling its debut “Nothing’s Shocking” and then putting a rather arty airbrush of naked female Siamese twins with their heads on fire. It was shocking, but the shock soon wore off, leaving the band in need of new ammunition.
The band hasn’t given up. Its latest attempt to shock us is a 24-minute home movie (”directed” by lead singer/freak Perry Farrell), titled “Soul Kiss.” Subtitled “”Something Shocking,” this is “Magical Mystery Tour” for the ’80s, in which one band member does a “book review” while sitting on the toilet, another lights off a bottle rocket in his bedroom as his girlfriend screams, a third eats an apple and pretends to vomit and the fourth takes his pet eel by the tail and beats it against a table top. At another point, two band members give each other a “soul kiss” (thus the title) and Farrell makes a faint stab at humor by describing the band to an older gent as “a cross between Duke Ellington and Bad Brains.”
Shocking, I suppose — but ultimately, boring. And the one song included (”The Mountain Song”) amply demonstrates what’s really interesting about this band: nothing. Though the packaging of the band created a mystique of the group as a sort of artiste’s heavy metal, “Soul Kiss” obliterates any gains that might have made for them, revealing them as just four more lame brains with fame and fortune — and little else — on their minds. This band is a gimmick, and “Soul Kiss” seems a desperate attempt to do what the music can’t: create interest.