Saturday, July 03, 2010

Public Image Ltd. "album"

I've updated Public Image Ltd.'s 1986 album artwork especially for your iPod or other portable player. This seems appropriate since the collection of songs known as "album" on LP, "cassette" on cassette, or "compact disc" on CD is currently available as an mp3 download, but appears to be out-of-print on CD. Rhino recently reissued album on LP and did quite a nice job of it to my ears. Elektra's vinyl tended to be quite noisy toward the end of the LP era, so it is good to finally have a really nice sounding copy of this on LP.

I think this is the only album I own that features Steve Vai on guitar, and I still find it really weird that Lydon played with Ginger Baker, considering that in 1981 NME published an "April fool" announcement that Baker had joined PiL. Despite the strange (one could argue inappropriate) cast of musicians producer Bill Laswell chose to surround Lydon, album holds up. No, it's not as adventurous as Metal Box or Flowers Of Romance, but it is a strong set of songs and nice time capsule of the sound of "alternative rock" circa 1986.

Of course it's well known that John Lydon nicked the concept of a "generic" album from Flipper, whose 1982 debut was called Generic Flipper (or possibly Album or Album Generic Flipper).

Anyway, while Flipper obviously did it first, it should be pointed out that from a design and conceptual standpoint, Lydon did it better. And Flipper did get some measure of revenge by titling a later release Public Flipper Ltd.


Anonymous said...

Flipper, as much as I love them, annoy the living crap out of me over this issue. They somehow "forgot" how they weren't being completely original with their album art either: they nicked a good deal of the design from Gang of Four's "Yellow" EP released in 1980, two years before Flipper's "Album - Generic Flipper". Perhaps Gang of Four should raise as much stink over "Generic Flipper" as Flipper did over PiL's "Album".

Thanks for posting!

Pete Bilderback said...

Hadn't thought about it before, but yes, there is a certain resemblance to the Yellow EP there. No big deal in either case, IMO.

sixcardroulette said...

No idea if you're still checking comments on this, but... thanks so much for making the "mp3" artwork, it was exactly what I was searching for to replace the inappropriate "album" version on my Walkman and I *knew* someone out there would have to have had the same idea!

Pete Bilderback said...

Thanks, yes I still check, and thanks for your feedback. Enjoy!

rastronomicals said...

Yes, thank you as well, will be posting this image at my (non-commerical, natch) tumblr as my iTunes plays PiL.