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Innovation And Individuality
on 7 July 2006
Mystifyingly, Public Image Limited are still underrated to this day. John Lydon's more famous band, the Sex Pistols, are still given more attention, but this, in my opinion, is a lot more innovative and expansive. Also, the other musicians, such as Keith Levene and Jah Wobble, were far more talented musically than the 'musicians' in the sex pistols.
From the outset, John Lydon was determined to create something unique and original, which he did with aplomb on songs such as 'Public Image', in 1978. It is worthy of note that PiL's first album was being worked on even before the Sex Pistols had split - such is John Lydon's drive and vision. However, track two on this album is definitely one of the stand-out tracks, 'Death Disco'. This is an irrestible slice of disco fused with punk fused with lord knows what else! It honestly does sound like nothing else! Lydon's distinctive and sinister sounding vocal compliments the music perfectly, and the whole thing is executed marvellously.
'Careering' gives off more sinister vibes, sounding oppressive yet compulsive, but most importantly, like nothing else which surfaced in the post-punk era. Track six is yet another fantastic song, 'This Is Not A Love Song'. For a man who was supposedly so inaccessible during the punk era, this is a mightly infectious song which is actually quite perfect for dancing to. Lydon's vocal is also distinctive and commanding. What a shame that so few have investigated music as excellent as this!
'Rise' features some great lyrics, great musicianship and strong vocals from Lydon. It is often forgotten just what a great songwriter John Lydon is, but this proves that he is extremely accomplished, and also original.
The rest here plays out to the same high standards, though PiL did make a mercifully brief foray into dance music at some point in the nineties, but that can be easily forgiven. Songs such as 'Rules and Regulations' and 'Don't Ask Me' are both infectious and unusual, but deceptively poppy. It is quite remarkable that anyone could have a career which spans the genres of punk, post-punk, pop, alternative and experimental, but John Lydon is that man. If you are looking for a visionary, and a true individual, look no further than this album. It is an essential purchase for all individuals, and music fans.