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11 May 2007

Lately, I've been obsessed with the album Metal Box (released in the States under the name Second Edition) by John Lydon's post-Sex Pistols band, Public Image Ltd. Tunes and more inside.[More:]

The album came out in 1979, and has a sound that's still pretty avant-garde even by 21st century standards. Jah Wobble's bass sounds like you're overhearing it from a party next door, and Keith Levene's aluminum guitar scritches and screeches like barbed wire.

Have a listen:
"Albatross" (if you only get one of these, get this one)
"Graveyard" (excellent driving music)

Or check the boys out on YouTube:
"Death Disco" (aka "Swan Lake")

A few times in my teens and early 20s I gave this album a try and just didn't understand why it was so well liked. But then a few years ago I finally went back to it and loved it, and now I can't figure out why I didn't like it way back when.
posted by Slack-a-gogo 11 May | 08:02
woo hoo 320 kbs
posted by StickyCarpet 11 May | 08:13
I thought their eponymous single "Public Image" is a fucking incredibly good song, but I confess, I was never able to get into them past that. Thanks for posting this, I will give them another shot.
posted by psmealey 11 May | 09:15
I just got the actual metal box CD version of this last week, how timely of you. Great, great, great album. I bought the double vinyl for 4 bucks in '86 or so and it changed my thinking about music. Definitely opened new doors.
Check out their infamousy honest lip-synching performance on American Bandstand (96mb, but totally worth it. Really. I'd link to the YouTube but Dick Clark had it removed).
posted by Hellbient 11 May | 09:42
I just got the actual metal box CD version of this last week

Oooh, I want that. I just have the Second Edition CD, which has mediocre sound quality I'm told. (I've never heard the other versions so I don't have anything to compare it to.)
posted by BoringPostcards 11 May | 10:10
Would you like me to send it to you, or do you need the tactility?
posted by Hellbient 11 May | 10:17
"Albatross" and "Don't Touch Me (I'm Electric)" by Bill Nelson's Red Noise were the two songs that for me bridged the 70s into the 80s.
posted by mischief 11 May | 10:28
Thanks for the offer, bud, but I would like to get the box too. :)
posted by BoringPostcards 11 May | 10:29
yeah BP, that's why I got it too. The price is right as well.
posted by Hellbient 11 May | 11:01
Some of this, particularly "Death Disco" reminds me a bit of what the Happy Mondays were trying to do. The only difference being, of course, that Sean Ryder was bloody awful, and John Lydon is God.
posted by psmealey 11 May | 11:14
Late to the party, as I ever will be, with just one comment.

"Albatross" used to be my stereo revenge at 2 am in college for the girls down the hall who would come home from the bars and blast 1) Burning Down the House; 2) It's Raining Men; 3) Red, Red Wine. Only those three songs, every fekking time.

God save me, I played Albatross with the bass ALL the way up.

And it worked, every time.
posted by vers 11 May | 19:57
And that was to say thank you, BP. Thank you.
posted by vers 11 May | 20:05
second edition - specifically, "poptones" - was playing on the tape deck when i lost my virginity. how cool is that?

(yes, the sound on the metal box cd reissue is superior to the second edition cd, but nothing beats the original vinyl...)
posted by syntax 11 May | 20:56
I can has cheezburger? || psmealey