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Metal Box
Public Image Limited
Metal Box
Genres: Alternative Rock, Rock
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

"I don't give a fuck about John Lydon ... still, I think he knows what he's doing, and PIL is the proof ... because Metal Box is one of the strongest records I've heard in years." - LESTER BANGS, 1980 "Summons up everyt...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Public Image Limited
Title: Metal Box
Members Wishing: 11
Total Copies: 0
Label: EMI/Virgin
Release Date: 9/3/1996
Album Type: Import, Limited Edition
Genres: Alternative Rock, Rock
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, Indie & Lo-Fi, New Wave & Post-Punk, Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 077778747321


Album Description
"I don't give a fuck about John Lydon ... still, I think he knows what he's doing, and PIL is the proof ... because Metal Box is one of the strongest records I've heard in years." - LESTER BANGS, 1980 "Summons up everything from the unpleasant portentousness of middle-period Jim Morrison to what sounds like the deranged Kaddish of a punk rabbi. This is not, in short, exactly a party record ...the joke, of course, will be on me if fifteen years from now everything on the radio sounds like this. But it wouldn't surprise me too much." - STEREO REVIEW , 1980 The second album by John Lydon's post-Sex Pistols outing Public Image Ltd. was originally released in the UK in 1979 in a limited edition film canister-style metal box containing three 12" 45s. Some copies managed to float across the Atlantic into the hands of a fortunate few, making it a post-punk collectors' holy grail. Unavailable for almost thirty years, the Metal Box is back as an exact replica of the original, remastered for better sound than the 1979 vinyl! In Lydon's own words: "Metal Box was hard work. First, Virgin weren't very sure about the metal package, you know, cost, blah blah blah. So we offered to pay for some of it by reducing our advance from them. Obviously the idea of putting a record in a metal box was a bit unusual. The idea came from film canisters. We all thought video and film was the future. Besides, I've always collected vinyl and this was a really good way of stopping it getting damaged."

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CD Reviews

UK Metal Box Vs. US Second Edition
zphage | 07/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"UK Metal Box was remastered in 1996 under John Lydon's direction, all the songs are 1-2 seconds longer than US versions. Surprisingly, these longer seconds seem to be apparent in the songs intros; little jangles, noises, and voices.

The track/song listing is different No Birds and Socialist are reversed.

Overall, the UK Metal Box is punchier, and feels more musical. If you are a Second Edition fan I think you will enjoy Metal Boxes nuances."
A ferocious masterpiece... "words cannot express".,
sylvain | paris | 04/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Metal Box is an album as impenetrable as the case in which it comes... a fifty-minute swirling bombardment of Kraut-rock rhythms, dissonant keyboards, jagged guitars and Lydon's bitter lyrics and screaming vocals. It follows on nicely from their first album, which took the sound of the Sex Pistols and fused it with disco, Kraut-rock and the kind of guitar music that would later become known as "post-punk". As a listening experience there is little else to rival it, with Metal Box offering up twelve tracks filled with a pain and anguish that can seemingly only find true catharsis through the screaming angular music found within. This is the sound of a band falling out of love with each other... and with the world around them.
The opening song, the near-legendary Albatross (which is almost eleven minutes of Beckett-like lyrical ruminations, over screaming guitars, a heavy and monotonous bass-line and some trance-like percussion) picks up where Theme (the opening track of their first album) left off, giving us more of Lydon's existential anguish and torment, as he screams about death and all manner of other related-horrors that infuse the album with a bleak, gothic and claustrophobic sound. Unlike the first album, the emphasis here is more on sound rather than song, so there's no real standout singles like Annalisa or Public Image, instead, we get longer tracks with much reliance on layered instrumentation. This is very much a precursor to those Radiohead classics, Kid A and Amnesiac, with PiL creating a landscape of cold synthesisers, an aching violin and that great integrated sound of Keith Lavene's scratchy, distorted guitar and the dub pounding bass of Jah Wobble.

This is dark music, as bleak as albums like Tilt, OK Computer, Regeneration, Blood on the Tracks and The Final Cut... although it has a sound that is unlike any of those albums, or indeed, anything else you've ever heard. The album progresses on from the epic Albatross onto the dark Memories, which sets Lydon's grating vocals and doom-laden lyrics against a backdrop of distorted, echoed guitars and a funky monotonous bass-line, which is further complemented by an Eastern-tinged and somewhat alien violin (or possibly keyboard) refrain wailing away in the background. It leads us perfectly into my favourite song on the album, the mesmerising Swan Lake.

Enough said, in the late 70's, PIL is unique with this punk Funk : only the bands Siouxsie & the Banshees and Wire offer a music as original as theirs. Inspired, Lydon makes psalmodies on the breathtaking " Careering" which with " Poptones" is enough to justify the acquisition of this precursor recording
My Stars* | gadsden,alabama | 05/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)