Once upon a time I used to drive my parents (especially my father) totally mad with the existentialist screaming and the early experimentalist patterns of musical chaos of John Lydon and his (in)famous Public Image Ltd (PiL).
My recently purchased Plastic Box compilation truly shows all incarnations of this influential, staggering, daring, confronting and adventurous band. The perfect introduction with enough tasty special stuff (mixes, limited editions and live tracks) for the connoisseur.
Rotten’s personal post-punk Public Image anthem starts off the journey into the psychotic, provocative, multiwoven soundscapes of First Issue and subsequent albums. Groundbreaking. Dragged into a world of drums, dub and percussion based madness to be fast forwarded into -what seems- danceable rock music against a poptoned horizon. Down the charts with it. The genius of Cassette / Album / Compact Disc. End up sweating on hard Happy (?) rocking energy, culminating in the live assaults (at the BBC) of That What Is Not …joyful.
Cynical to date. Unlimited. Striking. But conventional? NEVER. Mind.
I guess mr. Lydon himself wasn’t too enthusiast about this record company spawned PVC box because the booklet is a mashup of some of his public quotes, intended to look like he wrote a full text.
Just a little example of Lydon’s sense for adventure:
The Damage Manual undeniably has PiL’s rhythm section with Martin Atkins (drums) and Jah Wobble (bass). Together with Geordie (Killing Joke) but with Chris Connelly (Revolting cocks, Ministry) on vocals (instead of Lydon’s vomitting throat)
Despite their obvious and recognizable hyperkinetic sense for musical experimentation, one can sense on Bloc Party‘s debut album Silent Alarm the influence of some of PiL’s mad mixtures of rhythms, repetitive guitar picks and loosely woven sound patterns.