(The Return of Public Image Limited)
One of the true pioneers of Postpunk music—John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) with his post–Sex Pistols band, Public Image Limited (PiL), is back with a 12-song new album after 20 years!
The lead single off this ninth album is “One Drop.” Without much ado, it sounds very PiL, having all the proper ingredients—bouncy basslines, funky and angular guitars, stinging lyrics sung in the typical Rotten’s sneery manner, and a hint of synth sounds on the background.
Recommended earlier songs by PiL are “Death Disco,” “Open and Revolving,” “Seattle,” “This Is Not a Love Song,” “Disappointed,” and “Rise”; from the latest album, “I Must Be Dreaming,” “The Room I Am In,” and “Out of the Woods.”
PiL’s complete discography consists of nine albums: First Issue (1978), Metal Box (1979), The Flowers of Romance (1981), This Is What You Want… This Is What You Get (1984), Album (1986), Happy? (1987), 9 (1989), That What Is Not (1992), and This Is PiL (2012).
Currently with Lydon in PiL are Lu Edmonds (a former guitarist of The Damned), Bruce Smith (onetime drummer for The Slits and The Pop Group), and new bassist Scott Firth.
Lydon formed PiL with guitarist Keith Levene and bassist Jah Wobble in 1978 in London, England, after the breakup of Sex Pistols. Whereas the music of Sex Pistols was straightforward and minimalist Punk, PiL’s is Postpunk—more structured and features more instruments and other sonic elements. Sex Pistols’ popular songs included “Anarchy in the U.K.,” “God Save the Queen,” Holidays in the Sun,” and their version of the Paul Anka original “My Way.”