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15 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic PiL Line Up's Masterpiece
This magnificent piece of work encapsulates the feeling of melancholic ennui that was so prevalent at the end of the 70s. First of all, if you are unaware of this album you need to immediately loose any thoughts about the Sex Pistols, the music here treads a different sonic path entirely. It's like a mash up of disco, white boy funk, avant garde, classical and pop all...
Published 5 months ago by Farhan Haq

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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ooops, "DRM" kills another CD.
Can't add much to the other comments in the reviews here, musically speaking, but I think it's worth pointing out that these CDs are supplied by imsgroup.it, who specialise in adding "copy protection" on behalf of the record company. Perhaps that explains why every track has what sounds like a "skip" due to dirt/scratches in the same places each time you play it (and it...
Published on 3 Aug. 2010 by Aud I O Phile


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic PiL Line Up's Masterpiece, 12 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Second Edition (MP3 Download)
This magnificent piece of work encapsulates the feeling of melancholic ennui that was so prevalent at the end of the 70s. First of all, if you are unaware of this album you need to immediately loose any thoughts about the Sex Pistols, the music here treads a different sonic path entirely. It's like a mash up of disco, white boy funk, avant garde, classical and pop all lying on a solid foundation of Jah Wobble's mighty dub basslines. Lydon wails and warbles over the top of the music and it all makes for an engaging, hypnotic whole. It conjures images of grey skies, drizzle and bleak landscapes with a paranoid atmosphere. Bobby Gillespie summed it up brilliantly by likening its feel to the atmosphere felt after a period of heavy rain. I've always listened to this album in its entirety and believe that is the way to best appreciate it. There's no point singling out tracks, it is a whole piece. PiL were way ahead of their time with this album, I know many people who could not take it on release but now love it all these years later. Don't be put off thinking it too bleak, bleak it is but its also knowing and beautiful. There are certainly other great PiL albums, the recently reformed bands latest is a triumph but Second Edition/Metal Box is their undoubted masterpiece that has not only stood the test of time but it has also aged beautifully like a fine wine.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovative and deconstructive, 12 Oct. 2004
By 
R Jess "Raymond Jess" (Limerick, Ireland.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Second Edition (Audio CD)
Metal Box is the voice of anti-rock. PIL used the traditional 'rock' format of vocals, guitars, bass and drums and pointed it in a new and original direction displacing traditional 4/4 three chord blues progressions for something more original. If only there were more bands like them in this retro age. Also Careering is one of the best songs about the Northern Ireland Troubles you'll ever hear!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sonic extravaganza!!!, 19 April 2002
This review is from: Second Edition (Audio CD)
The trademark Lydon humour is evident on this grinding, swollen 1979 PIL album. The masterly Albatross is like a precursor to a riot with discontent throbbing and pulsing throughout. Memories is a bitter love song, Swan Lake an entertaining and dysfunctional appraisal of high culture. Pop Tones, with a bass line that surely influenced Fugazi, gnaws and spits at your notion of British countryside; a sonic allegory for inner city post punk escapism. Lydon uses that playground villain voice to mocking effect on The Suit and Bad Baby, while the lyrical simplicity in all the songs strengthens the overall sense of a dislocated generation. As an innovator, Lydon's inventiveness throughout his career means that this album is not easy listening. It is an engaging record, and although it occasionally seems musically melancholic, the whole album is ultimately a superb experience in conceptual music making.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ooops, "DRM" kills another CD., 3 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Second Edition (Audio CD)
Can't add much to the other comments in the reviews here, musically speaking, but I think it's worth pointing out that these CDs are supplied by imsgroup.it, who specialise in adding "copy protection" on behalf of the record company. Perhaps that explains why every track has what sounds like a "skip" due to dirt/scratches in the same places each time you play it (and it wasn't dirty - it was absolutely pristine). Tested on three different players, as usual and deeply ironically the only place it worked perfectly was when I ripped the disk for my mp3 player...
No point in buying the CD if it works less well than the free download is there? One day they'll learn. In the meantime, don't buy CDs.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the many highlights post-punk., 22 Feb. 2003
By 
Jason Parkes (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Second Edition (Audio CD)
Metal Box (aka Second Edition) is one of the great albums that followed the revolution of punk- fusing the attitude of punk to equally forward thinking music (not silly comedy punk like Hurry up Harry & Eater & Sex Pistols members doing Eddie Cochran songs). It fits with other downbeat, internalized albums of this era: Secondhand Daylight by Magazine, Dub Housing by Pere Ubu, Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division, the Scott Walker songs on Nite Flights, Entertainment! by Gang of Four ,The Idiot by Iggy Pop, We Are all Prostitutes by The Pop Group, Cut by The Slits, Affectionate Punch by Associates & Suicide by Suicide. The dub-sound of Jah Wobble is a highlight, an influence stated on Massive Attack's debut Blue Lines (so perhaps Lydon can shut up about getting credit from Massive now?)- the next step on from Can albums like Tago Mago & Ege Bamyasi.
The 12-tracks stretch into infinity, sparse lyrics & repetitions occur- Albatross the meeting point of Samuel Beckett & Lee Perry. Some songs have been re-recorded, Memories & Swan Lake (aka Death Disco) different to the single versions. Death Disco one of Lydon's most personal lyrics, & up there with his best songs: Flowers of Romance, Theme, Order of Death, God Save the Queen...
Careering is probably my favourite song here, as with Submission there is a canny lyrical double meaning & it brightens up the bleak centre of the album (from Poptones to Bad Baby). The last few tracks are amongst the best- No Birds talking of "a layered mass of subtle props"; while Chant is a violent industrial beat. The final track, Radio 4, was rumoured to have been a joke- but along with Death Disco, it remains one of the albums more emotional moments. No words left/nothing left to say...And like that Lydon's talent waned, there would be the odd classic but mostly pantomime nonsense. This & the 1st PIL albums remain the only ones you need...
As with The Clash's equally experimental Sandinista (1980), this album would influence current counter-culture faves Radio 4 & PIL's influence can be detected in bands like Primal Scream, Massive Attack & Underworld. Metal Box remains a highlight of the 1970s & was rumoured to have been the one thing that late journalist Lester Bangs saved from the apartment he thought was on fire...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'The side of London that the tourists never see', 17 Feb. 2012
By 
John F (Staffordshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Second Edition (Audio CD)
To be honest punk never did it for me. It was Metal Box/Second Edition that caused a real sea change in my musical outlook. There's a gloomy, minimalist feeling about the whole album that perfectly captured the spirit of the times. The confessional/observational lyrics, unorthodox guitar work and dub-influenced bass still sound innovative today. Standout tracks are 'Memories', 'The Suit', 'Bad Baby' and the almost Wagnerian 'Radio 4'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars old punk rocker., 25 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Second Edition (Audio CD)
Just as good as it was all them years ago now. Stands the test of time, for me anyways. Less space than the metal box too!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TRULY ESSENTIAL, 9 Mar. 2012
By 
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This review is from: Second Edition (Audio CD)
Along with the first album, this is the other truly essential LP released under the Public Image name. Those of us that own some or all of the rest know that it's a journey worth taking, but one can't deny that this is the bomb.

The trio of Lydon, Wobble and Levene would fracture after this album, which originally appeared as three 12 inch records in a canister and became known as Metal Box. This is a representation of how it appeared for everyone that couldn't get the original version (but on one disc instead of two records, and thus, the same as the original CD).

This is a sometimes harrowing, occasionally hilarious musical trip. Much of what made it onto tape was the result of inspired, spur-of-the-moment jam sessions. It could be argued that what's here could have been whittled down to a supreme single record (and a shorter CD) yet that debate arises with every double album.

This needs to be heard in one sitting. It's a mind-bending wipeout of an album. The remaster is thicker and more dynamic than the original CD, which admittedly sounded pretty great. It's cheap enough for you to consider replacing the old one.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Clash? Pah., 31 Jan. 2003
By 
bakabakashi (Sleaford, Lincs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Second Edition (Audio CD)
In 1979 The Clash released 'London Calling' and the rest is history. The album cover was a really clever subversion of Elvis' first album cover. They're the only band that matters. Rolling Stone said it was the best album of the eighties. And, from then on, we were bludgeoned into believing there was nothing like them.
In the same year, PIL released this, their second album, and, although it received acclaim at the time, it has never been held up like Joe Strummer's meandering exercise in archaeology. 'London Calling' documents musical history, but 'Metal Box' takes the history and completely reworks it. You're no longer listening to a rock n' roll album or a late seventies take on it. You're listening to the creation of something new, something beyond simple rock and or roll.
Whereas Strummer took history and regurgitated it in an albeit fairly entertaining way, John Lydon regurgitated it along with his own guts.
Iggy Pop once said that the punk that exploded in 1976 took what he did down the pub. Maybe John Lydon knew this. For as soon as the bass hums into 'Albatross' you know you're experiencing something more than a raucous version of Status Quo. 'Metal Box', more than any other album, threads together every musical style of the seventies and with it the routes of the seventies. Dub, Krautrock, Punk, Ambient, Electronica, Industrial, it's all there squeezed into sixty minutes. Jah Wobble's bass throbs heavier than anything Augustus Pablo could've dreamed of, Keith Levene's guitar work takes in Can and Neu without losing any of the harshness of punk and John Lydon finally throws off the leash that Malcolm Mclaren wrapped round him over three years earlier. He spits, he snarls, he screams. The album resounds with menace.
The Clash were forever burdened by their distaste of seventies stadium rock bands and never really able to move from reaction to proaction, the creation of something new whilst not reverting to the old mistakes. There's nothing like this album anywhere, one wrought from such disparate influences and yet completely whole.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant., 12 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Second Edition (MP3 Download)
A great album that still sounds fresh some 30 years on from purchasing it in the Metal Box.
Each track keeps you guessing where the album will go next.Too many good tracks to single them out.
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Second Edition
Second Edition by Public Image Ltd
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