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Janis Ian
Janis Ian

1978

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The Basics: Produced by Joe Wissert; recorded 1977 at The Hit Factory; released 1978 (Columbia).

Personnel: Musicians: Wayne Andre, Richard Davis, Sal DiTroia, Ron Frangipane, Steve Gadd, Alk Gorgoni, Janis Ian, Artie Kaplan, Will Lee, Jim Malin, Jeff Mironov, Tony Studd, George Young. Vocalists: Claire Bay, Janis Ian.

Inside Scoop: Although this album died a quick death for Janis, other performers went on to record the songs on it; "Silly Habits," by Mel Torme as a duet with Janis, received a Grammy nomination for "Best Jazz Duet." On this album Janis began a return to jazz, working with Ron Carter, Richard Davis, and Steve Gadd as her core rhythm section.

Lyrics

That Grand Illusion

Janis Ian

The gulls are crying
Missy, can you hear them call?
It was so easy then,
when all our friends were small
How we used to like the old-time movies
The silent picture show
where you make up your life
at the end of the night
as your reel to reels unfold

Now I come here to score some satisfaction
Maybe some more of that old reaction
I'm a junkie for that grand illusion
Who's losing and who's just using

I lost my virtue
leading some double life, I fear
It was so easy then,
when all our friends lived near
Now I'm left without an advertisement
to separate the marks and the shills
from these good time blues
and two-toned shoes
that used to give me chills

I come to score, or maybe more
I am a junkie for that grand illusion
Who's using who and losing?

The summer's fading
I can feel it go
It's slipping through my fingers
like some broken radio
The sea gull's flying
Missy, can you hear them call
I remember you cried
when the summer died,
though I wouldn't cry at all

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Some People

Janis Ian

Faithful is a lie - freedom's just a name
somebody tacked onto your ball & chain
Love is a drug - you've been canonized
Want to be a high priestess?
Then you've got to sacrifice

Somebody wants you
to put out your eyes
Drag you lower on the ladder
than he is
Reel you in slowly
Kingfish on a line
Some people get a kick
out of making you suffer

You try the patience of the gods, in the heat
of a moment's pleasure, and your sad retreat
Mistake the moment for the song
The drama for the play
The actor for the role
The neon light for day

Somebody wants you
to clip your wings
Take shelter in the dark and savage heart
Mocks you with the burning sky
nd drops you in the ring
Somebody gets a kick
out of making you suffer

He can't take pleasure
He feeds on pain
He ain't no gambler
He just likes to play the game
It's a measure of the man
It's a candle in the rain
to treasure the link, and not the chain

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Tonight Will Last Forever

Janis Ian

The sun won't rise tomorrow
to tell the world your sorrow,
and if the moon
should beg or borrow time,
tonight will last forever

The stars in flight parading,
and now their light is fading,
As one by one,
they fall into the sun
Tonight will last forever

Starlight...
The winds of war astound me
The wind and roar surround me
through the night

Midnight...
The sky goes on forever
I guess it's now or never
I guess it's now

Two lovers meet, horizons fall
The stars collide, and the heavens pall
To touch the sky
you run before you crawl
Tonight will last forever

To touch the sky,
you run before you crawl
Tonight will last forever

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Hotels & One-Night Stands

Janis Ian

Hey - I been on the road too long
I don't know where i belong
Don't know how to say “Goodbye, baby”
Say - I think of my yesterdays
A loving that fades away
You're loving me
and I don't love nobody now

Hotels & one-night stands are my speed
Give me a place I can leave
I wanna be someone I've never met before
Here's the key to the nineteenth floor
Somebody open the door
and give me a reason to keep coming back for more

Hey - I been on the magazines
I faced the American dream
Don't you think I know it?
Say - I think I been through the war
I've been to England, of course
but I wanna be
someplace I've never been before

Hotels & one-night stands are my speed
Give me a place I can leave
I wanna be someone I've never met before
Here's the key to the nineteenth floor
Somebody open the door
and give me a reason to keep coming back for more

I bet you can guess my name
and you need my flame
Feed me
Hey - I don't know who you are
but I'll bet you know I'm a star
Remember me?
I'm the one who never went too far

Hotels & one-night stands are my speed
Give me a place I can leave
I wanna be someone I've never met before
Here's the key to the nineteenth floor
Somebody open the door
and give me a reason to keep coming back for more

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Do You Wanna Dance?

Janis Ian

Do you wanna dance?
Do you just want to know me?
Do you want to feel me
In your arms tonight?
Do you want to hold me?
'Cause i want to wing across
the dance hall floor
What more can you show me?
Do you want to dance?
Do you just want to throw me?

Do you want to listen
to the music play
all night long?
Do you want to lead me?
Do you want to sing
every word to the song?
Do you really need me?
'cause i want to feel
that heartbeat horn
blowing cool and breezy
Don't make me wait too long
I just get greedy

Dance with me now till dawn
You won't be lonely
I've got a fever on
but we'll take it slowly
I want to dance along
the night until it's gone
I want you only
Do you wanna dance?
Do you just want to throw me?
Do you want to dance
the night away?
Do you want to know me?

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Silly Habits

Janis Ian

I'm still in love,
though I don't care to let you know
there's something there
It doesn't show,
but when you're near,
silly habits mean a lot

I've been alone now
for quite some time, it's true
but every night when I come home
I'm coming home to you
I listen for your footsteps
Sometimes I even knock
Silly habits mean a lot

I've been parading
and I've led a lot astray
Why bother waiting
when you can have it all today?
You may remember...
I like my coffee hot
Silly habits mean a lot

So you go your way
and I'll go mine
Maybe someday
our paths will re-entwine
I used to say “I love you”
but one day I forgot
Silly habits mean a lot
Silly habits mean a lot

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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The Bridge

Janis Ian

The bridge that spans the gap between our souls
continues through the night from pole to pole
and hope is like a light
that shines in endless flight
spilling over into darkness, and making is wholly

free to span the oceans of our lives
Feeling only love's emotion, suspended throug the skies
and when we meet again,
remember me from when
I was crawling in the darkness
You were holding to the sky

I want to get back to the city
where the neon lights shine pretty
all day long
I'm giving my heart to the rock & roll
of the city gonna save my soul
You are the captain, and the master of my soul

Long ago the loneliness of time,
spinning onward into emptiness,
With no reason and no rhyme, said
When two lovers meet,
the heart begins to beat
just like the rhythm of the street

Sad serenaders keep the time
Midnight party makers move in line
but when we meet again,
remember me from when
I was falling into darkness,
and you owned the sky

I want to get back to the city
where the neon lights shine pretty
all day long
I'm giving my heart to the rock & roll
of the city gonna save my soul
You are the captain, and the master of my soul

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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My Mama's House

Janis Ian

In my mama's house, the men were many
They stood in a line outside the door
When I was a kid, they gave me candy
and seashells from the ocean
they'd stolen from the shore

They came like princes to the wedding
They left like sailors on the hill
When I was younger, I was ready
to receive them in the luxury
of my driftwood heart and still

I never wanted for affection
I never needed any more
All my fathers my reflection,
like the moon reflects the shore
Love came in a wave -- it struck like an ocean
Like a tide it pulled me out to sea
My mama's house is gone
but her devotion lingers on
in the back pages of my memory

Now I live my life in splendor
like some duchess or a queen
but every morning, I remember
when the sea breeze strikes and gathers
what that woman meant to me

And I never wanted for affection
I never needed any more
All my fathers my reflection,
like the moon reflects the shore
Love came in a wave -- it struck like an ocean
Like a tide it pulled me out to sea
My mama's house is gone
but her devotion lingers on
in the back pages of my memory

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Streetlife Serenaders

Janis Ian

Yes I'm out tonight. Look into my eyes
Listen to my heartbeat - I could not stay inside
The sound of your city lights, burning bright, heart's delight
The rhythm of the summer heat
and the running feet on the city street
and the sun like wheat fields, waving cartwheels, crazy in the sky
Gauguin in syncopation to the rhythm and the sigh
The echo of your footsteps on the river makes me high
Don't tell nobody I called it, 'cause I think it'll make me cry

Crazy Louie looks for love in every lost saloon
His tension fits him like a glove. He reeks of death and doom
Between the resurrection and the light, I've seen it too
Don't tell nobody I called it - I think I'm in love with you

In the local bodega, the ladies are lovely now
And the gold tooth flashing like lightning now,
mst be signaling somehow
t the loser in the cellar over there
Another fellow - take care!
Cinderella's in love with her ashes
ad the love's not fair

The animals are out tonight. I hear it in the roar
Somebody ought to start a fight,before they start a war
The streets are like a jungle now, with a lock on every door
I'm going back to the city where a whore's a whore

When I get back home, everything'll be right again
When I'm on my own. I can't fight no more, my friend
I got the sound of the jungle ringing in my ears
I can't hear the beginning from the end
and I'm frightened of bending in the wind
and I want to get back to the city again

Your breath is like a hurricane. My heart beats like the sea
Your eyes a broken window pane in the dust of Galilee
My love ran racing through the night
like a virgin running free
I can't feel the light do away with me
And I want to go back to the city, back to the city,
Back to the city again
Back to the city, back to the city,
Back to the city again

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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I Need To Live Alone Again

Janis Ian

I need to live alone again
It doesn't mean you've lost a friend
It only means we've lost the dream
It only means all things must end

I never meant to say goodbye
I never went away to try
If you believe in me, you know I'd never be
at home with someone else
when you were mine

Hold me one more time
before we say goodbye
Want me -
Send me running home
I don't want to say goodbye
but I'm leaving here tonight
before I die

The evening sun invades the sky
And who will love me when i die?
The stars at hand tonight
do not appear as bright
My love, I fear the morning light

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Hopper Painting

Janis Ian

Thought I saw you dancing
on the tables late last night
High romancing with some college kid
Thought I saw you waltzing
in the blue-grey bistro gloom
Thought I saw you dancing
Did you see me, too?

I'm the one in the photograph
you painted yesterday
A high relief reflection
of your promises and pain
See me disappearing
like a shadow at high noon
I will follow when you want me to

Thought I saw you writing
like an outlaw on the dunes
Looking lost in the afternoon
Cool pretender,
with your poetry and blues
I remember what it cost just being you

Now the Tarot cards are numbered
and the deck is made of glass
The dealer's made a bargain with his soul
I thought I saw you trembling
as you threw it all away
Thought I saw you dancing
but the night had turned to day

I'm the one in the photograph
you painted yesterday
A cool reflection
of your promises and pain
Believe in me
before you throw it all away
Believe in me... I know the way

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Tour Dates

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click again to close that date

All tour dates updated on September 12, 2017

  • Saturday, April 28th, 2018

    The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA,

    The Birchmere

    Alexandria, VA,

    Phone: 703-549-7500

    Visit the venue's website

    Janis returns to the legendary venue with a show full of new songs and new ideas - one appearance only! See venue closer to the date for more information.

[full tour dates list]

In The Store
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