Style: Post Punk, Alternative, Noise Rock.
Similar artists: Dif Juz, Joy Division, Virgin Prunes.
Public Image Ltd. (PiL) were originally a quartet led by singer John Lydon (formerly Johnny Rotten, born January 31, 1956) and guitarist Keith Levene, who had been a member of the Clash in one of its early lineups. The band was filled out by bassist Jah Wobble (John Wordle) and drummer Jim Walker. It was formed in the wake of the 1978 breakup of Lydon's former group, the Sex Pistols. For the most part, it devoted itself to droning, slow-tempo, bass-heavy noise rock, overlaid by Lydon's distinctive, vituperative rant. The group's debut single, "Public Image," was more of an uptempo pop/rock song, however, and it hit the U.K. Top Ten upon its release in October 1978. The group itself debuted on Christmas Day, shortly after the release of its first album, Public Image. Neither the single nor the album was released in the U.S.
Commercial Zone was the album Public Image Limited were finishing when Keith Levene left the group. John Lydon's new lineup of PiL later returned to the studio and rerecorded several of the tracks here on This Is What You Want...This Is what You Get, replacing two songs with newer material. Meanwhile, Levene was basically left to press Commercial Zone himself. The two albums are strikingly different. While This Is What You Want is more produced, with eccentric horn arrangements and pseudo-ethnic drumming, Commercial Zone is Spartan by comparison, with more of a focus on straight-forward guitar work than on previous PiL albums. The two songs not available on This Is What You Want, "Bad Night" and "Blue Water," are not of much consequence, while much of the other material here sounds half-realized, especially in the vocal department. Only "The Slab," the original version of "The Order of Death," offers something as musically rewarding as on This Is What You Want. However tempting it is to laud Commercial Zone for Levene's sake, like many lost albums it just doesn't live up to its reputation.
Fields Of Haze
Fields Of Haze