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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Public Image Unlimited

posted by on March 14 at 14:37 PM

I’ve been on this crazy Public Image Ltd. kick of late. It started with the anthology John Lydon: Stories of Johnny. I picked up a copy for the essay by underappreciated punk original Judy Nylon, but found myself completely absorbed in the comprehensive essay “The Wrecking Ball: Public Image Limited 1978-83” by Clinton Heylin. Then, after years of searching, I found a relatively inexpensive used copy of the “authorized bootleg” Commercial Zone, the original version of the fourth PiL album (before John Lydon wiped off Keith Levene’s contributions and replaced them with shitty horn parts and retitled it This Is What You Want… This Is What You Get).

Apparently, I’m not the only one feeling romantic about PiL right now. I just received an advance promo of the new album from Japanese artist Cornelius, entitled Sensuous. Take a gander at the CD insert:

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Fortunately, the music inside is much better than that of the 1986 Public Image album which the jacket art parodies:

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Unfortunately, the finished Cornelius artwork looks like a close relative of the sleeve art for some crappy trance single. Bummer.

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actually, it looks more like late era Peter Saville.

Posted by critc | March 14, 2007 3:19 PM

Have you ever seen the Tommorrow Show w/ Tom Snyder clip where John Lydon tries to explain PiL? It's fucking funny. I can't find it in it's entirety on YouTube, but trust me, it's amazing.

Snyder: "What kind of company is it? What does it do?"
Lydon: "It's a communications company."

Posted by Ari Spool | March 14, 2007 3:38 PM

Psychic power is in the air, Ari — on Monday, I added this to my Netflix queue.

Posted by Kurt B. Reighley | March 14, 2007 3:48 PM

Thanks, Kurt -- I always dug Judy's work with Cale but never sought out anything else by her (her own work). Looks like I've been missing out on something ... I appreciate your passionate scholarship, as always.

I could write a 33 1/3 about the "Flowers of Romance" album, but then it could also just be a rant called "My Summer of Cheap Speed, Bad Wine, and Banging on Garbage Cans with Friends."

Ari, I love staring into John's and Keith's eyes on that DVD and wondering exactly what they're on ... (Thanks for the great article last week BTW!)

Posted by Chris Estey | March 14, 2007 4:20 PM

how's the new cornelius? i loved point. great live show too.

Posted by donte | March 14, 2007 6:26 PM

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