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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Public Image Limited - "Metal Box" 3 x Vinyl, LP, Album, 45 rpm, 2006/1979 (Virgin/4 Men With Beards)


For me, this is the greatest album from the post-punk era: PIL's "Metal Box."   The first Public Image LTD. album I thought was pretty good.  Way more interesting than the Sex Pistols.  I like how Johnny Rotten (Lydon) took it up a notch with his ability not playing to the fans of the Pistols.  He was going to explore new worlds, and through "Metal Box" he not only entered a new space but kicked the door to that area and entirely caused a large entrance, where one can't close that gate anymore.  

This is a band that couldn't do wrong.  Keith Levene a brilliant guitarist and Jah Wobble, who re-invented the bass for me, were a band that was the definition of perfection. It couldn't last.  And that's OK.  When I think the word 'original,' it apparently means this album and its package.  For my all thumbs style of opening anything more complicated than a can of beans, this album was a real test for me. It must have caused Virgin Records a series of nightmares that is probably still in their conscious years later.  Minimal with maximum results. 

The music is incredibly touching, I even come to tears time-to-time when listening to "Death Disco" (Swan Lake) and "Poptones."   Who would think a Sex Pistol would draw so many tears on my face? "Death Disco" with it "Swan Lake" melody sneaking into the hard mechanical funk is a wonder.  One of the great meetings between rock and classical music ever.  It's almost like a memory that is too powerful to forget.  For me, the album is about memory and how one digests the pain over the years. In that sense, it reminds me of John Lennon's first solo album "Plastic Ono Band."  Not only in sound, but it's emotion right on the top of the tongue.  

Thanks to Geo Blance, who out of the blue, sent me the new edition of "Metal Box" a few years ago. One of the great gifts ever.