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Public Image Ltd. Returns For A Thrilling Live Concert
May 14, 2010 7:06 PM   Subscribe

Public Image Live in Concert - Streaming Audio from NPR Worth a listen! This was one of the best concerts I have ever attended - and I have been to a lot of shows in my life. "Public Image Ltd. was frequently overlooked when it originally formed and released a string of records in the 1980s and early '90s, or maybe it was looked at for the wrong reasons. The band is the creative vision of John Lydon, not the angry punk he called "Johnny Rotten" in The Sex Pistols. When The Sex Pistols broke up, it was expected that any new band Lydon fronted would be a punk group. In fact, the first single from Public Image Ltd. pretty much was. It was called "Public Image," and was straight out of The Sex Pistols' bag of tricks. Lydon, in fact, wrote the song back in the day, but everything that came after that cut was so different: The music was slower, more open and groove-based. The poetry and the subject matter was all different, while the singing — though distinctly Lydon — was more spacious. It was still in your face, but it wasn't ugly. "
posted by lucysun (50 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
PIL + NPR + disturbing on so many levels.
posted by dchase at 7:18 PM on May 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


This is what you want, this is what you get.
posted by Artw at 7:24 PM on May 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Weak without Wobble.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:25 PM on May 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


Please tell me they do "Albatross." I'll listen to the whole thing if they just play "Albatross" once.
posted by koeselitz at 7:30 PM on May 14, 2010


Lame without Levine.
posted by item at 7:32 PM on May 14, 2010


Public Image (the song) is still one of my all-time favorites. Public Image (the live band) is still one of my all-time biggest disappointments.

I'll just skip through and try to find Low Life and Flowers of Romance.
posted by malocchio at 7:32 PM on May 14, 2010


er, Levene!
posted by item at 7:33 PM on May 14, 2010


Yeah, I really liked Public Enemy, too!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:35 PM on May 14, 2010


Woeful without Wakeling-- oh wait... never mind.
posted by Crane Shot at 7:43 PM on May 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Weak without Wobble.

While I hate it when bands reform without the original members, Jah Wobble had left PiL in 1980 and there have been so many members I'd consider it pretty much a John Lydon solo project.
posted by bobo123 at 7:43 PM on May 14, 2010


While I hate it when bands reform without the original members, Jah Wobble had left PiL in 1980

Yeah, I was just kind of lamenting that most of the songs really sort of suck after Metal Box/2nd Edition.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:47 PM on May 14, 2010


Anger is an energy
I could be wrong I could right
May the road rise with you
posted by humannaire at 7:47 PM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Both sides of the river
there is bacteria

posted by Burhanistan at 7:51 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


PIL + NPR

This redeems my faith in the world.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:58 PM on May 14, 2010


Yeah, I was just kind of lamenting that most of the songs really sort of suck after Metal Box/2nd Edition.

I have never agreed with something on the blue more than this statement.

If only we could freeze PiL and Lydon in 1980 because that stuff is sooooo good.
posted by archivist at 7:58 PM on May 14, 2010


It's wet and I'm losing my body heat
posted by Burhanistan at 8:03 PM on May 14, 2010


Never really know
'til it's gone away

posted by Burhanistan at 8:06 PM on May 14, 2010


Their appearance on American Bandstand, where Lydon made not even the slightest effort to pretend that the voice coming over the speakers was coming out of his mouth, was sublime.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:06 PM on May 14, 2010


I am/was a PIL fan, but I'm not a fan of the nostalgia tours. I don't need to see the great bands of the past, 25 years after they were relevant, playing county fairs and amusement park stages.

We had our time. It's over.
posted by Edward L at 8:11 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dude makes a brownie in the Metal Box tin. Sacrilicious!
posted by Burhanistan at 8:12 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


"The prominent, and heavily processed, drum sound [on the Flowers of Romance] was influenced by Peter Gabriel's third album, on which engineer Hugh Padgham had processed Phil Collins' drums. Collins, in turn, was so impressed with the sound on The Flowers of Romance that he hired the album's engineer, Nick Launay, to reproduce the sound for his own projects."
posted by anazgnos at 8:15 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


The show was worth it for Religion, but the encore of Open Up (a Left Field song) was quite awesome as well. I am not a fan of nostalgia tours either - but this truly was a brilliant night.
posted by lucysun at 8:19 PM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


PIL + NPR

This redeems my faith in the world.


This just proves how damn old I am.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:22 PM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm a huge PiL fan and bought everything they did the moment it came out. I'm clicking all over that concert timeline trying to trying to listen to it, but it is impossible, this sounds NOTHING like any PiL that I ever heard.
Will someone who is not at risk of destroying their memories of a favorite band listen to this and tell me if there is anything in there like this? Because after doing music at the level of Metal Box, there just isn't any point in trying to do that again, unless you CAN do it again. And it just doesn't sound like they can.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:26 PM on May 14, 2010


Feh: You'll dance to anything by Public Image Limited.
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:28 PM on May 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


I still have a 45 of This is not a Love Song b/w Public Image.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:36 PM on May 14, 2010


but this truly was a brilliant night.

I believe it because Johnny is a showman, and any snark in my comments is tinged with envy that you were there and I wasn't. Cool post because now I'm going through everything PIL on the interwebs.
posted by Edward L at 8:40 PM on May 14, 2010


Almost as good* as Lady GaGa, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Elton John, Debbie Harry, and Shirley Bassey covering a Journey song.

*I keed!
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 8:46 PM on May 14, 2010


Edward - listen the NPR recording of the entire show - with headphones - loud. Don't be ADD like others on this board FFWDING looking for snippets of history repeating. And be sure to check out the Tom Snyder interview. Classic Snark. John was and still is a showman. I want to see him and Ian McCulloch in a smack down...
posted by lucysun at 8:49 PM on May 14, 2010


I wish they hadnt been on at the exact same time as Fever Ray at Coachella, but Fever Ray was mindblowing so I regret nothing.

But still :(
posted by Senor Cardgage at 8:54 PM on May 14, 2010


Fever Ray!? OMG - so jealous!!
posted by lucysun at 9:03 PM on May 14, 2010


http://pd.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/asc/2010/05/20100512_asc_pimage.mp3?orgId=1&topicId=1109&aggIds=100920965,15681603,122773587

Dunno if this'll work for anyone but me.
posted by latexalibi at 9:09 PM on May 14, 2010


latexalibi: yes, but I think it works better if you drop the crufty formatting bit at the end ("?ordId=1&...") and link it directly like this [mp3].
posted by koeselitz at 9:13 PM on May 14, 2010


another mp3 link: Podcast media files
npr_126807516.mp3 (MP3 Audio File, 112 MB)
posted by acro at 9:15 PM on May 14, 2010


Yeah, I was just kind of lamenting that most of the songs really sort of suck after Metal Box/2nd Edition.

I own 2nd Edition. I very much like it. But this is a bullshit statement. Yeah, PIL was a pretty dubious proposition by the time Disappointed limped along but tracks like The Order Of Death, Blue Water and This Is Not A Love Song and the entire ALBUM (the song Ease in particular) reward serious attention.

And of course Rise is arguably the greatest single rock-vid ever.
posted by philip-random at 9:36 PM on May 14, 2010


Metafilter: Your favorite PiL lineup sucks

After Genesis P. left, things were never the same.

(i kid)
posted by mwhybark at 12:31 AM on May 15, 2010


ALBUM (or more accurately 'album') is incredible : Bill Laswell, Steve Vai, Ginger Baker, Bernie Worrell, Ryuichi Sakamoto? PiL's a fucking supergroup at that point. Pretty much downhill after that though
posted by criticalbill at 3:13 AM on May 15, 2010


I loved the Road. When I found out who it was by, I was kind of stunned, being the sheltered youth that I was. To this day, I swear it sounds like something that belongs in Lord of the Rings, parts anyway.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:46 AM on May 15, 2010


"Hello. Hello. Hello."
posted by bardic at 5:30 AM on May 15, 2010


thorough, typically combative recent interview with Lydon
posted by criticalbill at 5:39 AM on May 15, 2010


I had seen PIL twice before and their show at the 930 Club the other night was truly incredible. Lydon seemed more about the music and way less into snarking at the audience than I have seen before. He must be mellowing with age. Poptones (a song I really never cared for much) totally blew me away. And, yes, they played Albatross. And Chant. lucysun is right: this was a brilliant evening.
posted by Raymond Marble at 5:53 AM on May 15, 2010


Thanks for this. PIL rock :D
posted by Monkeymoo at 6:02 AM on May 15, 2010


This is a world destruction.
posted by vrakatar at 6:04 AM on May 15, 2010


You can pick this up as an MP3 through iTunes' subscription to the NPR podcast. That's how I found it. If you want to keep it, just find it in the files (not that hard) or set it not to auto-delete with the right-click menu.

I haven't listened to it yet, but this thread is getting me more excited about it.
posted by immlass at 6:08 AM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


(Nothing, though...NOTHING beats Lydon on Judge Judy)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:15 AM on May 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


John Lydon advertising butter?
posted by Artw at 8:53 AM on May 15, 2010


PIL was supposed to perform in Denver, but they canceled. I think they said it was because they got stuck somewhere (it's freakin' MAY), but it was really because of poor ticket sales.

Not even the freebies were being picked up - wasn't worth them to even play. It's strange, since they used to stop here while touring.


Another poor ticket sale/lots of freebie tickets about a year ago was My Bloody Valentine. They *did* play and their set was absolutely incredible. I wouldn't have gone if the ticket wasn't free, but golly.
posted by alex_skazat at 9:44 PM on May 15, 2010


Don't be ADD like others on this board FFWDING looking for snippets of history repeating.

That's not what I meant. I meant, is there anything on that concert that is even worth listening to (and it appears there is not) or should I just queue up Metal Box again for another listen instead?

PIL was supposed to perform in Denver, but they canceled...It's strange, since they used to stop here while touring.

Denver had a great punk scene back in the day, when I lived there. I remember seeing Magazine there, with local band The Gluons warming up. Today, I don't even remember what The Gluons sounded like, but I remember being impressed enough to look for some recordings, and failing.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:04 AM on May 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow. I can really see where the inspiration for a lot of The Talking Heads sound came from.
posted by Muirwylde at 7:05 PM on May 16, 2010


Wow. I can really see where the inspiration for a lot of The Talking Heads sound came from.

Really? Talking Heads had already released several of their popular tunes by the time Metal Box came out. How do you mean?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:08 PM on May 16, 2010


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