Metal Box
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Metal Box

3 Mar 2003

7.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Also available in CD Format
Song Title
Swan Lake
No Birds
The Suit
Bad Baby
Radio 4

Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Mar 2003
  • Release Date: 1 Mar 2003
  • Label: Virgin UK
  • Copyright: (C) 1979 Virgin Records LtdThis label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved.(C) 1979 Virgin Records Ltd
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:00:31
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001IUHM8Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,446 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Metal Box is an album as impenetrable as the case in which it comes... a fifty-minute swirling bombardment of Kraut-rock rhythms, dissonant keyboards, jagged guitars and Lydon's bitter lyrics and screaming vocals. It follows on nicely from their first album, which took the sound of the Sex Pistols and fused it with disco, Kraut-rock and the kind of guitar music that would later become known as "post-punk". As a listening experience there is little else to rival it, with Metal Box offering up twelve tracks filled with a pain and anguish that can seemingly only find true catharsis through the screaming angular music found within. This is the sound of a band falling out of love with each other... and with the world around them.
The opening song, the near-legendary Albatross (which is almost eleven minutes of Beckett-like lyrical ruminations, over screaming guitars, a heavy and monotonous bass-line and some trance-like percussion) picks up where Theme (the opening track of their first album) left off, giving us more of Lydon's existential anguish and torment, as he screams about death and all manner of other related-horrors that infuse the album with a bleak, gothic and claustrophobic sound. Unlike the first album, the emphasis here is more on sound rather than song, so there's no real standout singles like Annalisa or Public Image, instead, we get longer tracks with much reliance on layered instrumentation. This is very much a precursor to those Radiohead classics, Kid A and Amnesiac, with PiL creating a landscape of cold synthesisers, an aching violin and that great integrated sound of Keith Lavene's scratchy, distorted guitar and the dub pounding bass of Jah Wobble.
This is dark music, as bleak as albums like Tilt, OK Computer, Regeneration, Blood on the Tracks and The Final Cut...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lydon ,Wobble and Levene's masterpiece. 20 Dec 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Originally released in 1979,this,even today,sounds like a trip into the future.It wass famously released originally as 3 12-inch singles,so breaking down the begining-middle-end of conventional albums.The contents pretty special too.
Jah Wobble's bass thunders out as the backing,with Levene's guitar and Lydon's vocals swirling over the drum/bass mix.It is the reason for the original 3 12 inchers(the bass tracks could be cut into the vinyl that much deeper).
Hard to pick out highlights as it works as a totality,rather than a collection of tracks,but "Poptones" and "Careering".Any fans of dub reggae,Holger Czukay/Can, and/or Captain Beefheart will find something to delight in here.
It isn't easy listening,and if your knowledge of PIL starts with "Album" or later releases,you'll probably be scratching your head in puzzlement as you listen to this.Listen to it with an open mind,and enjoy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wired punks (buzzing) 4 Sep 2010
Format:Audio CD
You don't think -do you- that punk was only about reductionist riffs and complex trousers? If you do then doctors -none of them reputable, all of them struck off- recommend an immediate course of `Metal Box'

Jah Wobble's bass on the anti-hit that is `Pop Tones' owes nothing to anyone while Lydon-formerly-Rotten's stream-of-consciousness is of course put over in THAT VOICE (strip away the rest of his band before PiL and THAT VOICE still sounds downright unruly)

And of course there was an interface between punk and reggae that went way beyond The Clash covering `Police And Thieves' Look no further than `Albatross' to realise this, and also to catch the sound of perhaps angst-ridden young men making music as a means of getting rid of something, and indeed of `getting rid of the albatross' as Lydon / Rotten mentions a few times. As if that wasn't enough the gulf between Wobble's bass and Keith Levine's wired guitar is unbridgeable, so the drummer -Dave Crowe?- makes no attempt to do it.

When it comes down to it I'm one of those reviewers who's going to tell you that `Metal Box' is seminal. It's also essential for anyone who believes that `music' is a term which covers all known bases and those yet to be labelled. My advice to anyone who can't go for that is to avoid this set like the plague, but then dividing opinions is a good thing when it's an alternative to consensus, bland or otherwise.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent record 8 Mar 2007
By franck
Format:Audio CD
Metal Box is the second PIL album and their masterpiece. One of these rare things that crosses the sky of rock from time to time. Formed by John lydon after the split of a well known band, PIL turns the back to the past : with cynicism. Exit the image shaped by Mc Laren, place to the music, a powerful funk carried by the hypnotic bass of Jah Wooble that sometimes evokes Holger Czukay of Can, striated by the minimalist riffs of Keith Levene (between James Blood Ulmer and Tom Hemran from Pere Ubu) and chanted by a muezzin voice who once used to call himself "Rotten".

In the late 70's, PIL is unique with this punk Funk : only the bands Siouxsie & the Banshees and Wire offer a music as original as theirs. Inspired, Lydon makes psalmodies on the breathtaking " Careering" which with " Poptones" is enough to justify the acquisition of this precursor recording.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharper Metal 15 Jan 2010
By PC Pete
Format:Audio CD
I can only compare this to Second Edition - the only previous version of this seminal album I've ever owned. It sounds a fair bit brighter and edgier than Second Edition - definitely a big improvement. If you're hesitating because you are uncertain about the quality of the remastering there is no need to. This is a sonic step-up from what you've heard before.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent blast from the past
I hadn't heard some of these songs for over 30 years, but they still sound fresh and unlike anything else you will ever hear.
Published 9 months ago by C. Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone...
...loves this post punk classic album, apparently. But not enough to offer a track listing for the uninitiated like me?
Published 21 months ago by SJ Bailey
4.0 out of 5 stars Good to get it back again...
Originally bought this in its 3 x 12" single format when it was released but unfortunately it was stolen. Read more
Published 24 months ago by EwanP
4.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece
The reissue is not perfect, but the remaster is quite good and it sounds better than the Second Edition cd. As for the music, well... Read more
Published on 25 Mar 2011 by AlexCap
5.0 out of 5 stars Great.
Read all the above for product info - what I'm more interested in is why the product information on Amazon is word for word exactly the same as iTunes...
Published on 22 Nov 2010 by D. B. Train
5.0 out of 5 stars Metal Box - more punk than punk
PIL's Metal Box is an ambitious record, full of ideas and disturbing sounds and rhythms. Highlights included Careering, the shocking Poptones, Swanlake.... Read more
Published on 29 Jun 2010 by galacticplane
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Sitting Pretty
Falling backwards into a soggy mess is one memory I have of watching PIL. Leeds Queens Hall Futurama Festival 1979 with the classic line up of Wobble, Dudanski and Levene. Read more
Published on 19 Feb 2010 by Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles
1.0 out of 5 stars John Lydon would be saying "i can't believe my reunion plans have...
John Lydon, or any of the previous members not involved in the pil reunion should have had a say in the pointless re-issuing of the cd edition of PILS best album METAL BOX as the... Read more
Published on 10 Jan 2010 by spike
2.0 out of 5 stars Metal Box Remaster Disappointment
Well this was a wasted opportunity. Three cd's with a so called remastered Metal Box spread over them. It sounds worse than the previous cd release. Read more
Published on 6 Jan 2010 by the pelican
5.0 out of 5 stars Pilled up
My word, it's amazing how many muso's come out of the woodwork to let us know of the mighty Lydon and the rest of the troupe banging out the world's greatest album. Read more
Published on 18 Aug 2009 by Anthony Howard
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