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Metal Box
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Metal Box

3 Mar. 2003 | Format: MP3

6.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Buy the CD album for 35.10 and get the MP3 version for FREE. Does not apply to gift orders.
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Mar. 2003
  • Release Date: 3 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: 4.1 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,965 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Audio CD
The last few years have seen John Lydon's other project PIL getting a deserved bit of posthumous acclaim- bands like The Rapture, Radio 4, & Primal Scream have all been compared/contrasted to this lot (& other post-punk acts of the era, such as The Slits, Gang of Four, Pop Group & Wire). Tributes are obvious, from Radio 4's name to Alan McGee naming his post-Creation indie label after Poptones (pity he decided only to sign Byrds-impersonators, a bit at odds with Memories anti-nostalgic line "I think you're slightly late"). PIL even got on the front of Mojo this month- for an article that was all too brief (this would have once been done by Uncut, a magazine that seems to have swapped places with Mojo & only focuses on Beatles-Dylan-Stones-yawn....) So, it's nice to see Metal Box back- though people on a budget should just buy the twin-set of Public Image-First Edition & Second Edition- as all the same tracks are present. A pity that this reissue of Metal Box couldn't take in the alternate single versions of tracks like Memories & Death Disco- memorably waxed lyrical over by Lester Bangs in Psychotic Reactions & Carburettor Dung- as they picked up on the idea of alternate single mixes (though this was an idea really found on Miles Davis' On the Corner...) A squandared chance to make the ultimate Metal Box...
This was the last album proper from the great PIL line-up, generally centred around Lydon, Keith Levene & Jah Wobble; though Wobble's Betryal, PIL's follow-ups Flowers of Romance/This is What You Want... & Levene's Commercial Zone are all worth picking up. Lydon since those has been very patchy- apart from the great Baambaata & Leftfield collaborations & the odd track like This Is Not a Love Song, Fishing & The Body...
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