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Friday, March 27, 2015

Public Image Limited

Still waiting for the Part 2 Clutch links to load (Zippy up to her old tricks again), well, I wouldn't leave ya hangin with NOTHING to listen to would I? Well, how about some Public Image Limited, to wash that Clutch right outta yer ears...... TOLD ya I am the king of bloggersphere variety, NOW whatcha say?

OK, PiL were Johnny Lydon's (Rotten's) post Sex Pistols project, it was meant to, if I remember correctly, "destroy rock n roll" which "deserved to die" because it was over 30 years old (just a guess but I'd bet good money that at the time John Lydon was ALSO over 30 years old, but, ahh, well....)...

The personnel has shuffled over the years, Lydon being the only constant, but in the beginning (1978) there were Lydon, guitarist Keith Levine, bassist Jah Wobble, and drummer Jim Walker..... this was "anti-rock", which quickly became, as I recall, one of the first to earn the label "post-punk"...... about as far from the Pistols (or anything else, really, as it could be), this was droning, slow paced stuff with Wobble's bass mixed way up front, and Lydon's sneering, incoherent "vocals"....... imagine, though, the furor that was raised among the "hip" music audience at the time, when we "learned" that the Pistols were passe'? THIS was the "music" of the future"?

The release of 1978's "First Edition" caused quite a furor ("almost" as if it were intentionally so, WOW), sort of semi-reggae, it IS listenable and takes a bit of work to get into, the track "Public Image" was something of a single (it appeared on the "Troublemakers" compilation"), there are attacks on religion (specifically Catholicism) and on Malcolm McLaren, I really do kinda like the finale "Fodderstompf", a long, droning "dance" number...... if ever there was music that was an acquired taste, then, brother, this was it.........

1979's "Metal Box", like it or not, was one of the most revolutionary albums, well, ever, just in format..... originally pacakaged as three 45 RPM records inside what appeared to be a film cannister, these discs were EQ'd at some of the most smoking hot levels  ever recorded...... just amazing if you have ever heard the originals...... later released on more affordable vinyl (and later, CD), but if you ever have the chance for the original "Metal Box", you'll be amazed (this is the CD version, not quite as hot as the original).... even in thiss format, "Albatross", "Chant", "PopTones" and more survive to this day, although MUCH more as historical footnotes than as "heavy rotation" stuff......

Oh, the memories...... they appeared on American Bandstand and to the stunned shock of Dick Clark, would not even pretend to lip-sync.... they had a disastrous "Tomorrow Show" appearance with the Thought-he-was-hip Tom Snyder..... they performed a show in NYC from behind a sheet so the audience could not see them, as Lydon gleefully chanted "Are you getting your money's worth?"..... oh they were MUCH more fun to follow than to actually listen to.

"Paris Au Printemps" which I have in glorious vinyl here, is a live recording, most notable for Lydon's audience-baiting rants (sample: "I'll walk off this fucking stage if you keep spitting......DOG!"), it is a decent summary of the first two releases, "Chant"and "Attack" come off pretty well.......

OK, for me they pretty much lose it here.....Wobble left the band, and "Flowers of Romance" (1981) has next to no bass parts on it, and Levene takes up's a VERY difficult album to listen to, I DO know people that like it (my brother for one), but you decide for yourself......their time had come and gone, and yet, they continued to "kick out the Jams" (supposed to be funny, there).

The follow up, "Commercial Zone", is a mess as well, the band was fighting with each other, I suppose this was some sort of contractual fullfillment thins, as, was, quite possibly, "Live In Tokyo", which is not NEARLY the effort that "Paris Au Printemps" is, they sound tired and out-of-it......I know "lovers" of the band will likely blast me for my opinions, but these guys DID have a place in history, although it's MORE so in "history" than it is in "music"......

The last of thier albums that I happen to have is 1984's "This is What You Want......And This Is What You Get"'s an attempt to re-do "Commercial Zone", it's OK, I guess, but really.......zzzzzzzzzzzz....they have made a few more albums since then, but hey........

Pioneers, revolutionaries, have to be VERY careful......they often become the VERY establishment that they attack...... never seen a better example than PIL...... the fact that they linger on even today proves that point VERY well.......... another chapter in the history of rock n roll and the offshoots thereof, it's SUPPOSED to be dangerous, but after too long, it just becomes comical.

FIRST ISSUE-01 Theme/02 Religion I/03 Religion II/04 Annalisa/05Public Image/06 Low Life/07Attack/08 Fodderstompf

METAL BOX-01 Albatross/02 Memories/03 Swan Lake/04 Pop Tones/05 Careering/06 No Birds/07 Graveyard/08 The Suit/09 Bad baby/10 Socialist/11 Chant/12 Radio 4

PARIS AU PRINTEMPS-01 Theme/02 Chant/03 Careering/04 Bad baby/05 Low Life/06 Attack/07 Poptones

FLOWERS OF ROMANCE-01 Four Enclosed Walls/02 Track 8/03 Phenagan/04 Flowers of Romance/05 Under the House/06 Hymie's Him/07 Banging the Door/08 Go back/09 Francis massacre/10 Flowers of Romance (Instrumental)/11 Home is Where the Heart is/12 Another

COMMERCIAL ZONE-01 Love Song/02 Mad Max/03 bad Night/04 Young Brit/05 The Slab/06 Lou Reed Part 1/07 Lou Reed part 2/08 Blue Water/09 Miller High Life

LIVE IN TOKYO-01 Annalisa/02 Religion/03 Low Life/04 Solitaire/05 Flowers of Romance/06 (This Is Not a) Love Song/07 Death Disco/08 Bad Life/09 banging the Door/10 Under the House

THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT.....01 Bad Life/02 (This Is Not a) Love Song/03 Solitaire/04 Tie Me to the Length of That/05 The pardon/06 Where Are You/07 1981/08 The Order of Death

What are your thoughts on this controversial band? How does the music stand up 35 years later? Really like to know your opinions on this......


  1. FIRST



  2. "I'd bet good money that at the time John Lydon was ALSO over 30 years old". Really? He was 22 in 1978, did you really think he was 30 when fronting the Pistols?

  3. "Where the Christian religion made them blind..." Thanks for this post! I haven't heard Printemps Au Paris in decades.

  4. Hi Scott! Yuh, I also went off PiL when Jah Wobble left, but here's some rare goodies:

    Cheers, Dave Sez.





  7. I remember watching that American Bandstand show and reveling in the sheer disbelief on Dick's face....great stuff.

    1. I will check YouTube and see if they have a video clip if they do I will put it up tomorrow

    2. Here it is

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Many thanks for ripping Metal Box! Would love to hear the hi res flacs as I've never had a proper listen to the twelves and consider this record a great destructive force.

  9. Great blog and can't wait to hear this vinyl rip of Metal Box. Cheers!

  10. Not sure if anyone will see this since it's so old but here's a rip of the vinyl version of Metal Box in FLAC. Someday when I get my turntable out of storage I'll do a proper 96KHz/24bit transfer.

    Disc 1:
    Disc 2:
    Disc 3: