Metal Box/Second Edition album cover

Public Image Ltd., Metal Box/Second Edition

Virgin, 1979, post-punk

B, 1966: Like being lost in a haze of nineteen seventy f’in nine while listening to a whole bunch of The Stooges, Joy Division, Bauhaus* (see: “Albatros”, “Careering”), and the Velvet Underground & Nico – emphasis on Nico – and wondering, “WTF, we can do that, let’s get a bunch of booze and blow and hit the studio”. Seems derivative and indulgent to me, and this album came before those I mention already were established (I checked). Track: “Socialist”, because the irony of a Johnny Rotten song called “Socialist” with no vocals is just too good to pass up. * If Bauhaus is not on this list I will be pissed!

C, 2002: Eh. Next one please

H, 1951: I can see why some people might like this album, or perhaps admire it. And I can see how, when it first came along, it might have been considered a Significant Development. I am of the belief, though, that at a certain point, when you purposefully try to strip away everything that people might actually find likable about your art, you end up with something indistinguishable from rubbish, no matter how noble your intentions. This seems to me to be what we have here. It’s a bit like The Kinks, after removing everything that might make you want to listen to them. Luckily, I can deliver my ultimate recommendation here with an actual quotation from one of the songs: “Ignore it and / It will go away / Someone is calling / Don’t you listen.”

Published 05 Oct 2019