Saturday, August 25, 2007

Trigger Machinery...

Public Image Ltd. - Theme
Public Image Ltd. - Careering
Public Image Ltd. - Poptones
Public Image Ltd. - Banging The Door
Public Image Ltd. - Blue Water

I can't believe I've been doing this blog for so long without mentioning the mighty Public Image Ltd. So here's a few of my favourite tracks.

I guess I'll start with PiL's debut album 'First Edition' which was home to their signature track 'Public Image'.
For those Sex Pistols fans that had heard the debut single 'Public Image' by Lydon's new band PiL, and thought that the first album would be following the same lines as the single probably came in for a real real shock.
And if they were in any doubt that it was going to be a continuation of The Sex Pistols then the follow up single 'Death Disco' and 'First Issue's' opening track 'Theme' would have blown any such ideas right out of the water... Gloriously.

Not only is 'First Issue' as scathing and angry like the Pistols, although even more so, but it's also full of angular rhythms, repetition, scratching guitars and gut exploding lo end bass supplied by Jah Wobble.
This experimentation and sound was taken to even higher heights on their follow up album 'Metal Box'.
Possibly one of the greatest and most important albums of the post punk era, or any era for that matter.
I can't stress how utterly stunning this album is.
Everything about it just screams out quality, from the songs to the packaging to the incredible sound quality. Part of the reason it was released in a metal tin was to house the three 12" discs that played at 45rpm so as to get the best quality sound from the pressing. Well, that and the fact that it looks bloody ace.
Many albums that a couple of decades later are transfered to CD get an overhaul in the form of re-mastering and the like, but this was recorded so bloody well that it didn't need it, and I doubt that any amount of knob twiddling could make it sound any better. 'Careering' and 'Poptones' proving my point pretty well I think.
If you don't own this yet then you should run out to your local music emporium and purchase a copy right now...

But obviously not until you've listened to my fourth PiL offering taken from their third album 'Flowers of Romance'.
This album is a different kettle of fish from the previous PiL albums. It's as biting and as irreverent, and still sounds like nothing else on earth, but musically on the whole it's stripped down to it's percussive elements and drones, perfectly executed on the track 'Banging The Door'.
This album also spawned the surprise hit in the single 'Flowers of Romance'. How weird was it seeing this on Top of The Pops when you were a kid... It left me scarred for life.

Finally I'm going to pick another of my favourite tracks and possibly the last truly great thing they released, 'Blue Water'.
This was released in 1983 as the b-side of the smash hit 'This is Not a Love Song'. Again, never one to play it safe, think of all the pop kids who thought that 'Love Song' was good little tune and saved their pocket money to buy the single, get it home and play the flipside only to be confronted by a song with a strange rhythm, whale like noises and a song about guts being chewed... nice.

And so ends my little journey into one of the most innovative bands to feature someone called Wobble in them.

Buy - Public Image Ltd. - First Issue
Buy - Public Image Ltd. - Metal Box (for a paltry amount)
Buy - Public Image Ltd. - Flowers of Romance
Visit - Fodderstompf - PiL fansite


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