By 1972 the group was regularly performing and writing original material. It was in this time that they would release their debut, a 7” 45rpm featuring “Midnight Horseman” and a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Under my Thumb.” Although, Guitarist Billy Janey claims that 1,000 copies of this single were pressed, to a collector nowadays it feels a lot more like 100 copies because it’s extremely hard to turn up.
During 1973 the band issued their 2nd 7” single on their own Driving Wheel label and shortly thereafter changed their name to the more familiar Truth and Janey. The songs “Straight Eight Pontiac” and “Around and Around” were featured on the group’s second 45rpm. It was also around this time they became aware of another band signed to a major label subsidiary that was using the name Truth. In order to avoid any confusion or possible legal hassles they opted to change the name to “Truth and Janey.”
The band did a fair amount of touring during the ‘73-’75 period including some dates on a Leslie West tour, shows in Canada, Kansas, Illinois, Nashville and other mid-western sites as well as a huge music festival with Blue Oyster Cult in Davenport, Iowa that drew some 20,000 hard rock fans.
All the while, they were writing original material and gearing up for the release of their first full length album. In 1976, in A and R studios in Ames, Iowa, they laid down the tracks that would form the now infamous “No Rest for the Wicked” album released later that same year. The record featured six original tunes and two traditional blues covers revved up in true powerhouse Truth and Janey fashion. Only 1,000 copies of the album were pressed on the local Montross records.
Since it’s release, it has grown steadily over the years in popularity among collectors of 60’s and 70’s hard rock and psychedelia with original copies now fetching a large sum in the collector’s market. It has often been lauded as perhaps the best and most promising independent U.S. heavy rock release of the entire 70’s decade. One thing’s for sure, you won’t hear many arguments to the contrary.
Unfortunately, disco reared it’s ugly head around 1976 and severely damaged the lives of many small hard rock bands around the country, including Truth and Janey. Just as the ball started rolling it all ended as Denis Bunce left the group and quickly thereafter they completely disbanded. In a last ditch effort, guitarist Billy Janey reformed the group with all new members in 1977 and released the “Just a Little Bit of Magic” album, but it was a move in a completely different direction and has little to do with the ferocious hard rock guitar Marshall 100-watt Superlead sound that dominated “No Rest for the Wicked.” By 1978 this lineup had disbanded as well and Truth and Janey was officially over. Bassist Steve Bock left for California to join commercial rockers Nowhere Fast, drummer Denis Bunce left music altogether, and guitarist Billy Janey remained in Iowa to start a solo career. Janey went on to release several blues guitar oriented compact discs under the name BillyLee Janey throughout the 80’s and 90’s and is still recording and releasing material today.
During the early 90’s Truth and Janey’s popularity among collectors made it’s way to the band and it was decided that something should be done to help appease the ever growing demand for the band’s long sold-out debut Lp. It was at this time they decided to do a new limited vinyl pressing of the original “No Rest for the Wicked” album, but this time in blank white die-
Edited by mrtnd on 10 Jul 2008, 20:03
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