the review calls the cover version of Sympathy for the Devil "dubious." dubious nothing. Perry Farrell makes a better devil than Mick Jagger any day. the segue from Rock 'n Roll to Sympathy might be the best moment on the album.
yes, it's a live performance, recorded at the Roxy in LA, I believe, but they did some studio overdubbing so that the sound quality does not suffer. besides... Jane's is, above all, a live band. their recordings are great, but live play is where they really deliver.
only two of the songs on this album are recorded on the studio albums (Pigs in Zen and Jane Says). there are some high-quality songs here that you need to hear to understand the full Jane's Addiction vibe. Whores and Trip Away, especially, are old-time fan favorites that the more discerning Jane's fan looks forward to at a live show. Chip Away, a raging, percussive exercise in drum thunder and spooky downtempo vocals, is the song they used to close the show during their 2001 tour, and that one brings down the house.
it's an interesting look into the band's raw and gritty club days. it's not as immediately accessible as their other work, but it certainly grows on you over time. this album won't have the broad appeal that the two later studio albums did, but it's a must-have for any Jane's fan. if you own Ritual de lo Habitual and Nothing's Shocking, and you really enjoyed them, pick this one up. if you don't own any Jane's, I'd definitely suggest you get Nothing's Shocking or Ritual first.