Public Image: First Issue – Public Image LTD

When we were kids one of the most coveted punk/new wave items to own was the first Public Image single with the newspaper sleeve. Even in 1978/1979 this was a hard item to come by and would still sell for 3 or 4 pounds on market stalls, quite a lot of money when you were a kid. One time, while rummaging through a box of singles in a secondhand record shop in Durham, I found a copy for 1.50, this was a bargain. The only problem was I only had one pound with me. None of my friends would let me borrow the extra 50 pence. I decided to hide the single in the heavy metal section, which would buy me some time to run home get the extra 50 pence and come back and buy it. However, it turned out that when I left to get the money one of my friends took it from the metal section and put it at the front of the main box of singles. They said it was gone within 10 minutes, so my 4 mile round trip to get 50 pence ended in total failure.
Standout track; Religion II, amazing.
Prologue; I eventually bought the single 30 years later on ebay for a fiver.
An aside; All you digital kids will never have the experience of having to run 4 miles to get 50 pence only to have your friends scupper the deal, see what you miss when you use itunes.

This Is What You Want… This Is What You Get – Public Image Limited

One of the best cover versions I ever heard was in a Working Men’s Club. The track was This is Not a Love Song and it wasn’t too shabby. The vocalist had a bit of Lydon’s snarl, without sounding like an impression.
The worst song I have ever heard was a cover of Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon, again in a Working Men’s Club. It was ‘sung’ by a guy in his mid-60s with a Yorkshire accent, accompanied by an organ, bass and drums. Context is everything though, if they had appeared at the Edinburgh festival it would have been a hilarious, insightful deconstruction of modern pop, however in Witton Gilbert Working Men’s Club it was just shit.
I bought this album to hear the tracks from the album Keith Levine stole and pressed without consent (Commercial Zone), which is still unavailable. Bad Life is a great track, but the version of This is Not a Love Song is, well, let’s say, unfortunate. The Pardon and 1981 are good tracks, but sound like leftovers from The Flowers of Romance. The best track is easily Order of Death, which I suppose is the title track (only on a P.I.L album could this be a title track). I really don’t like this album much, and realised today why I never play it.