Janison Edge made a huge impact on the Progressive Rock scene in the late 1990s with their multi award-winning album The Services of Mary Goode… and then disappeared from trace.
Janison Edge brought together a new singer/songwriter with an excellent blend of musicians already well-known in ’90s British progressive rock. Starting as a songwriting partnership between Sam Collins (formerly known as Sue Element) and Mike Varty (Credo, Landmarq, Shadowland, Mick Pointer’s Marillion, The Mighty Rooster), the band also included Ian Salmon (Arena, Shadowland, Mick Pointer’s Marillion), Dave Wagstaffe (Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash, Landmarq) Paul Brown (Medicine Man, Oliver Wakeman Band).
In 1999 they released the award-winning ‘The Services of Mary Goode’, a melodic and lyrical tour de force which made a huge impact and won critical and audience acclaim worldwide.
Janison Edge is difficult to categorise judging by those who have variously compared it to Genesis, Asia and Echobelly! It is big music – lots of keyboards and guitars, with strong melody and lyrical sentiment, bringing together the very best in 21st Century music technology with reminiscences of traditional prog pomp and whimsy. Janison Edge want to ensure that you’ll both hum the tunes and remember the stories.
Janison Edge released their (so far only) studio album – The Services of Mary Goode in 1999. A Live Acoustic EP followed a year later.
Most of them lost to the mists of time, but here’s a few…
“…65 minutes of absolutely amazing music”
“…a real marvel, full of emotion, sensibility and excellent music”
“This album creeps into you, little by little, from the very beginning…”
“If this album is not in your collection yet, it most definitely should be!”
All Music Guide
Three years in the making, The Services of Mary Goode has garnered very positive reviews from the progressive rock press. This album ducks most clichés of the genre while still remaining true to its spirit – an unheralded classic, worthy of any prog rock fan’s collection. Sue Element and Mike Varty make a stunning songwriting team. The singer’s melodies are uplifting and touching, her voice is charged with emotion without overdoing anything. Varty’s Genesis-like keyboard solos are tailor-fit to the music. “Beneath the Boy” deserves a place in an anthology of ‘90s prog rock for its melodic perfection. “Joker” and part 4 of the title track provide more strong highlights. Then again, there is not a bad cut on this CD. Jane Bryan’s cover painting is a rare feast for the eyes, arching back to the days of Paul Whitehead’s covers for Genesis. Highly recommended.
The first and so far only album from Janison Edge has elements of the Genesis sound of the “Selling England By The Pound” era and will appeal to fans not only of the ’90s Neo-Prog scene but also those who like female vocalists such as Annie Haslam (RENAISSANCE) and Tracy Hitchings (LANDMARQ).
What can I say other than this is a brilliant album, strong melodies, excellent musicianship and creative song writing producing, in my mind, one of the best progressive rock albums of the 1990s. To be honest, I couldn’t find any fault with this album at all and I will certainly be playing ‘The Services Of Mary Goode’ a lot in the near future. This is one album I can highly recommend and is a must for all lovers of Prog Rock.
I don’t think there are better albums than this one. Sue Element has a very pleasant voice and she knows how to write good music. There is never a dull moment on this CD. I like the bombastic songs as much as the ballads. OLDMAN makes the most impression because this is Sue at her best. I don’t think the band should even try to improve on this debut, because miracles don’t happen. Still I hope there will be a second release by Janison Edge
The debut album by Janison Edge is a lyrically theatrical, story-telling work set in modern times to well-written progressive rock music by keyboard player Mike Varty (Shadowland, Credo) and singer/songrwiter, Sue Element. While firmly planted in progressive rock, it is difficult to compare Janison Edge’s music effectively to another band. The music is very complex and instrumentally exploratory but there are melodies within the tracks that,with repeated listenings, become memorable. The band have been compared to Asia and Genesis.With a harder instrumental edge, lots of well-played keyboards and guitars and their associated riffs, the album’s tunes are actually quite varied.
In only a short time, The Services Of Mary Goode has gained a lot of momentum; the first pressing sold out prior to the official release! Glowing reviews have already been published from writers in New Zealand, America, Argentina, Germany and the UK. The band clearly have a bright future.
Live at Progfarm, The Netherlands 1999
And a few more…
Publicity Shot – Virginia Water, Surrey 1998