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Public Image Ltd.

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  • Public Image Ltd.

  • Public Image Ltd.

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

Group Members: Martin Atkins, Jah Wobble & The Modern Jazz Ensemble, Jah Wobble, Jah Wobble And The Invaders Of The Heart, Jah Wobble And Evan Parker, Jah Wobble And Deep Space, Jah Wobble's Solaris, Jah Wobble & The Invaders of the Heart, Jah Wobble presents Zi Lan Liao, Jah Wobble & Temple of Sound, Jah Wobble & Deep Space, Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart, Jah Wobble, Jaki Liebezeit, Philip Jeck, Jah Wobble & The English Roots Band, Martin Atkins & The Chicago Industrial League

All Music Guide:

One of the first and most significant post-punk bands, Public Image Ltd. (PiL) were originally a quartet led by singer John Lydon (formerly Johnny Rotten, born January 31, 1956) and guitarist Keith Levene, who had been a member of the Clash in one of its early lineups. The band was filled out by bassist Jah Wobble (John Wordle) and drummer Jim Walker. It was formed in the wake of the 1978 breakup of Lydon's former group, the Sex Pistols. For the most part, the band's early incarnation devoted itself to droning, slow-tempo, bass-heavy noise rock, overlaid by Lydon's distinctive, vituperative rant. The group's debut single, "Public Image," was more of an uptempo pop/rock song, however, and it hit the U.K. Top Ten upon its release in October 1978. The group itself debuted on Christmas Day, shortly after the release of its first album, Public Image. Neither the single nor the album was released in the U.S.

Metal Box, the band's second U.K. album, came in the form of three 45-rpm 12" discs in a film canister. It was released in the U.S. in 1980 as the double-album Second Edition. By this time, PiL were a trio consisting of Lydon, Levene, and Wobble; the latter two played some of the drums on recordings, while the position was held by a series of percussionists, none of whom stayed long. The third album, not released in the U.S., was the live Paris au Printemps (1980). Lydon and Levene, plus hired musicians, made up the group by the time of The Flowers of Romance (1981), the much-acclaimed fourth album, which reached number 11 in the U.K. In 1983, PiL scored their biggest U.K. hit when "This Is Not a Love Song" reached number five. By this time, however, Levene had left, and the name from here on would be, more than anything else, a vehicle for John Lydon (though with a comparatively steady lineup). A second live album, Live in Tokyo, appeared in England in 1983.

The following year saw the release of This Is What You Want...This Is What You Get, only PiL's third album to be released in the U.S., though by now the group had six albums out. It marked the start of Lydon's move toward a more polished and accessible dance-rock style, a direction that would be pursued further in 1986's Album (also called Cassette or Compact Disc, depending on the format), notably on the hit "Rise," as well as on Happy? (1987) and 9 (1989). In 1990, PiL released the compilation album The Greatest Hits, So Far, and in 1991 came the new album That What Is Not. After completing his memoirs in late 1993, Lydon decided to put PiL to rest -- largely the result of contractual issues -- and pursue a solo career. The career-spanning box set Plastic Box arrived in 1999, but otherwise the band seemed truly dead until 2009 when Lydon announced he was reviving the project for a short set of gigs in the U.K. The new PiL, featuring past members Lu Edmonds and Bruce Smith, along with Scott Firth, were so warmly received in their homeland that a U.S. tour followed in 2010. An album of all-new material, This Is PiL, followed in 2012.

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eMusic Features

1

Interview: John Lydon

By Andrew Perry, Contributor

[To celebrate the release of the first PiL record in twenty years, we handed the keys to eMusic's editorial to punk legend and post-punk pioneer John Lydon. Check back daily for his hand-selected Reviews of the Day; follow along with his head-spinning guided tour of his eMusic favorites here; and check out his candid interview below. -Ed] There are few icons in rock history who've been as systematically misunderstood as John Lydon. Ever since his blood-curdling… more »

0

Six Degrees of Primal Scream’s Screamadelica

By Michelangelo Matos, Contributor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

0

Six Degrees of Primal Scream’s Screamadelica

By Michelangelo Matos, Contributor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

Activity

  • 12.05.16 This Friday! December 9th Metal Box & Album super-deluxe CD box sets. Vinyl to follow December 16th.… https://t.co/lg2vIAPUoX
  • 12.02.16 RT @uDiscoverMusic: Get Public Image Limited 'Album' Super Deluxe inc. rare & previously unreleased material + a live disc @pilofficial ht…
  • 12.02.16 RT @uDiscoverMusic: 'Metal Box' super deluxe, featuring 4CDs and 4 Vinyl LPs, from @pilofficial is available for pre-order! https://t.co/F…
  • 12.02.16 RT @lydonofficial: Mr Rotten's Songbook on sale NOW! Secure your low numbered copy here! https://t.co/Axm1Twfwic https://t.co/YFzeoB1JoT
  • 12.01.16 Mr Rotten's Songbook on sale NOW! Secure your low numbered copy here! https://t.co/yIAZqbzpOR https://t.co/e9th3jY6Lf
  • 12.01.16 Mr Rotten's Songbook on sale NOW! Secure your low numbered copy here! https://t.co/yIAZqbzpOR
  • 12.01.16 RT @uDiscoverMusic: Get Public Image Limited 'Album' Super Deluxe inc. rare & previously unreleased material + a live disc @pilofficial ht…
  • 11.30.16 RT @lydonofficial: John Lydon is delighted to announce the publication of Mr Rotten’s Songbook, limited to just 1000 copies. Full info: htt…
  • 11.30.16 RT @tom_kaszuba: April 4, 1983. Johnny Rotten and Public Image, Ltd at Toad’s place. A Monday. @toadsplace https://t.co/Zba1Wkn2jC
  • 11.29.16 Track Public Image Ltd. on Bandsintown for local concert alerts! https://t.co/SsiqQfycYk.?came_from=212
  • 11.29.16 RT @uDiscoverMusic: Get Public Image Limited 'Album' Super Deluxe inc. rare & previously unreleased material + a live disc @pilofficial ht…
  • 11.29.16 RT @uDiscoverMusic: 'Metal Box' super deluxe, featuring 4CDs and 4 Vinyl LPs, from @pilofficial is available for pre-order! https://t.co/F…