Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Special 2009 four CD edition of this long-deleted 64 track anthology from John 'Johnny Rotten' Lydon and PIL. Rising from the ashes of the Sex Pistols in 1978, Public Image Limited were by definition one of the pioneers of Post-Punk groups. With John Lydon's vocals complemented by ex-Clash guitarist Keith Levene, drummer Jim Walker and the now legendary Jah Wobble on bass, the group created a more Dub-orientated style and their innovative music earned them five UK Top 20 Singles and five UK Top 20 Albums in a period stretching over three decades. Originally released in 1999, The Plastic Box provides a complete overview of the band's work, including tracks taken from every album together with John Peel sessions, remixes and much more. The first two discs cover the band's early years while the remaining two discs spotlight their mid and later periods. An excellent look into the music of a band that continues to defy categorization. EMI.
The Wire (3/99, p.60) - "...Rehearing the inspired METAL BOX material included here....you wonder whether PIL's brutal reinvention of reggae got embedded in the consciousness of the nascent Massive Attack..."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.96) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[With] B-side rarities such as the cavernous proto-house dub of 'Fodderstompf,' which graced the B-side of 'Death Disco.'"
PLASTIC BOX contains album tracks, 12 inch versions, B-sides and previously unreleased radio sessions.
Includes liner notes by John Lydon.
Anyone looking for a rounded overview of Johnny Lydon's post-Sex Pistols career will find this the only place to begin. Thrown fortuitously together as P.I.L. with fellow punk fallouts Keith Levene and Jah Wobble, Lydon swapped his trademark vitriolic rasp for a harrowing wail. The trio, plus assorted drummers, delivered two groundbreaking albums in FIRST EDITION and METAL BOX, with Levene's critical guitar squall underpinned by Wobble's dub-influenced basslines. Even as that group inevitably fell apart, FLOWERS OF ROMANCE, a percussion-heavy experiment, proved an engaging set. A succession of session players came and went, either side of an association with Bill Laswell for ALBUM. P.I.L.'s later output then slipped into a somewhat repetitive, though highly competent cycle of techno-rock. PLASTIC BOX also includes a clutch of rarities and radio session recordings from Lydon's early days, and it's for those that fans will find this collection worth revisiting.
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