Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop Women's Shop Men's

Customer Review

on 1 August 2004
after the sex pistols fragmented, johnny rotten reverted back to his real name (lydon) and set about carving a pistols-free and lot more experimental musical path. so, along with old pals jah wobble and keith levene, plus newly recruited drummer martin atkins, lydon formed public image ltd, or 'pil' for short.
released in 1978, 'first issue' (or 'public image', i don't know) is part one in the trilogy of pil's best albums (which, coincidentally, are their first three albums).
musically, there are some ties with the past, especially on the bouncier numbers, such as the single 'public image'. but for the most part, the newly-made pil trademarks are already there: lydon's sneering has been replaced by agonizing shrieks and howls and the drums sound like machine gun shots. keith levene's guitar work is all scratches and slashes, razor-sharp riffs. but the true star here (yeah, take a step back, john) is bassist jah wobble. there's a famous quote of his: "nobody listened to the bass in rock music before pil." gone are the times when the bass was just some quiet boom in the background. as soon as you hit play, wobble's signature low-end dub rumble comes at you from all sides, the grooves rattling the walls and shaking your senses.
'first issue' is basically an album of bleak, claustrophobic noise rock, with subtle inflections of dub and even disco (that would become even more obvious on the next album). the journey begins with the nine-minute dirge that is 'theme'- "I WISH I COULD DIIEEEEE!" screams lydon. you'll either become entranced or get bored swiftly. 'religion I & II' is lydon's voice chanting out the evils of religion, first completely solo, then reprised with instrumental backing. the pace picks up for the ever-so-slightly reggae-sounding 'annalisa', signalling for the brutal barrage of the next three songs: the single 'public image' (lydon nags the punk fans for not getting it), 'low life' (lydon mercilessly puts down malcolm mclaren) and 'attack'- well, i dunno what this one's about, but it's still good. the album concludes with it's strangest track, 'fodderstompf', an inkling of what was to come next. keith levene swaps his guitar for synthesizers, creating a disco-esque rhythm track, while wobble's bass pulses away. it's a seven-minute jaunt with the band members trading cynical and frequently very funny snipes and jabs, their voices distorted and high-pitched, repeating their mantra "we only wanted to be loved!". it all ends gloriously with lydon spraying a nearby fire extinguisher into the mic.
the pistols were good, in fact they were great, but pil are the real thing. after you've got the pistols album, get this one and get ready for a shock. it's a great album, and the next one's ('metal box') even better. wobble left after that, and from there everything started to slide a bit (unsurprisingly), but the first album they made without him ('flowers of romance') was still pretty good.
public image ltd- the real john lydon...
0Comment| 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse| Permalink
What's this?

What are product links?

In the text of your review, you can link directly to any product offered on Amazon.com. To insert a product link, follow these steps:
1. Find the product you want to reference on Amazon.com
2. Copy the web address of the product
3. Click Insert product link
4. Paste the web address in the box
5. Click Select
6. Selecting the item displayed will insert text that looks like this: [[ASIN:014312854XHamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)]]
7. When your review is displayed on Amazon.com, this text will be transformed into a hyperlink, like this:Hamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)

You are limited to 10 product links in your review, and your link text may not be longer than 256 characters.

Please write at least one word
You must purchase at least one item from Amazon to post a comment
A problem occurred while submitting your comment. Please try again later.

There was a problem loading the comments at the moment. Please try again later.