First official US pressing! I've got to say that I love this quote from John Lydon regarding the opening track, "Theme": "Didn't you ever have that feeling when you get up with a hangover, and you look at the world and think 'Count me out, I'd rather die!'?" I'm sure more than a few of you have been there and this explains that song in such a visceral and immediate way. Enough with the pleasantries though, lets get down to brass tacks. Public Image Ltd was formed from the ashes of the Sex Pistols by singer Johnny Rotten (aka John Lydon). Following the break up of the Pistols, Lydon spent three weeks in Jamaica with Virgin Records head Richard Branson, on the hunt for emerging reggae artists. Branson was brash enough to fly Devo down to the island in the hopes that he could install Lydon as the band's lead singer. Needless to say Mark Mothersbaugh and co were not impressed. Upon his return to London, Lydon approached his longtime friend, Jah Wobble, about forming a band. After getting Wobble to play bass, he recruited guitarist Keith Levene who was formerly with The Clash. The final piece of the puzzle was added when drummer Jim Walker answered an ad in Melody Maker. And the rest is post-punk history! The band drew on Lydon's punk roots as well as a healthy dose of dub reggae. Wobble's bass was uncharacteristically deep for a rock record at the time and Levene's guitar sound would go on to be aped by The Edge from U2. Due to Wobble beating up producer Bill Price's assistant engineer, the band was banned from from their preferred Wessex Studios. This led to the tracks having varying recording qualities. However, they still come together to make a remarkable album. One filled with as much rebelliousness and vitriol as the Sex Pistols along with an equal amount of experimentation. 180 gram LP housed in a gatefold sleeve, includes free MP3 version of the album.
- music label: Light In The Attic 2013
reviewed by Hank Ohs 06/2013
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