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Metal Box

Public Image Ltd.

1979

Metal Box
Album Summary

Metal Box is the second studio album by Public Image Ltd, released by Virgin Records on 23 November 1979. The album takes its name from the round metal canister which contained the initial pressings of the record. It was later reissued in standard vinyl packaging as Second Edition in February 1980 by Virgin Records in the United Kingdom, and by Warner Bros. Records and Island Records in the United States. The album was a departure from PiL's 1978 debut First Issue, with the band moving into a more avant-garde sound characterised by John Lydon's cryptic lyrics, propulsive dub-inspired rhythms led by bassist Jah Wobble, and an abrasive, "metallic" guitar sound developed by guitarist Keith Levene. Metal Box is widely regarded as a landmark of post-punk. In 2012, the album was ranked number 461 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.38

Votes

10035

Genres

  • Rock
  • Post Punk

Reviews

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Fri Jun 16 2023
1

Okay, halfway through the first track, I'm already tired of this album. Not looking good. Into the second song... this album had to have been chosen out of a hat of random albums. This has no redeeming qualities as of yet. 4th song... what even is this mess? ... Just make it end. Dudes, I promise you can make a song shorter than 5 minutes. Seriously, you can even make a song under 3 minutes. Your songs would benefit from being cut down. A lot. Like by over half. Maybe just cut half of the songs on this album too. By half, I mean all of them. Just delete the album entirely. I made it to No Birds and have to throw in the towel. There is nothing good or redeeming about this album. If these recordings were destroyed, nothing of worth would be lost.

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Fri Sep 29 2023
2

Did I hate this? Oh yeah, you bet. But was I also fascinated by it? Indeed. And isn't that was avant-garde post-punk is all about?

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Thu Jun 15 2023
1

***On Spotify the album is called Second Edition*** There's something very off-putting about this album, and I couldn't wait for it to end. The songs are too long and the vocals are really terrible new wave style. On the other hand the Bass and Drums really stand out and I feel like they greatly inspired Modest Mouse in their rhythm section. If that rhythm group had a better frontman I think I would have really liked this, but sadly it really dragged things down. Almost gave a 2 for the positives I could find, but drops back to a 1 because this album is looooooooong and it's just brutal to sit through.

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Sat Jun 17 2023
1

After listening to parts of the first 6 tracks I have concluded that the atrocious vocals make the record completely unlistenable. The instrumental parts aren't great either - partially OK but too repetitive to sustain interest throughout an entire track. I also gave the previous PIL album 1 star, and hope this was the last one.

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Sun Feb 18 2024
3

I want to like this more than I do. It’s heavily indebted to a music I love, like Can and others in the Krautrock scene. As I listen, though, I’m reminded of conversation I once had with a co-worker regarding my ambivalence towards Radiohead, despite their appreciation of Can. My coworker said to me, “It’s surprising that you’re not a big Radiohead fan, because they’re really influenced by Can”. My response, exaggerated in order to make a humorous point, was, “I appreciate the influence Can had on them, and I don’t think Radiohead is bad, but saying that I should love Radiohead because they’re influenced by Can is a bit like saying I should love Whitesnake because they’re influenced by Led Zeppelin”. We both laughed. That’s more or less how i feel about Public Image Limited, I appreciate where they’re coming from, but it doesn’t really hit the mark for me.

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Wed Jun 28 2023
5

Absolute classic. Get the highest quality headphones you can lay your hands on & listen to some of the best bass playing you'll ever hear.

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Mon Jan 15 2024
1

Absolute rubbish! John Lydon’s vocals are excruciatingly bad. The backing music might actually be good for all I know, but John’s incessant caterwauling drowns it all out. Never heard a worse album in my life, and I’ve listened to Duck Stab.

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Tue Jun 27 2023
2

I simultaneously did not know what to expect and knew exactly what to expect. And I was simultaneously right. And I was disappointed by both.

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Tue Jul 25 2023
2

Fair play for abandoning the Sex Pistols' sound and exploring new and interesting sonic textures, but this seems like a case of PiL crawling in a slow, ungainly manner so other post-punks could run. There's music that’s discordant in an edgy, strangely hypnotic way (which this is some of the time), and then there are downright tuneless, repetitive dirges (which this album veers into a bit too often).

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Wed Nov 15 2023
5

"Metal Box" is the second studio album by English post-punk band Public Imaged Ltd. The music is considered experimental rock, dub, avant-garde and a landmark of post-punk. The album was a departure from their first album being more avant-garde with vocalist John Lydon's cryptic, free-form lyrics, bassist Jah Wobble's dub-inspired rhythms and guitarist Keith Levine's abrasive guitar sound. It was recordered at various locations throughout the UK with multiple drummers. The album title was from the initial packaging which was a metallic canister containing three 12" 45-rpm records. Commercially, it reached #18 on the UK charts. A drum beat begins "Albatross." Here's your abrasive guitar- very high pitched, prancing along and at times off-key sounding. The song was recorded live with Lydon admitting he just free-formed the lyrics. Somehow, this works. A slow bass, an echoing guitar and a hypnotic dance beat introduce us to "Swan Lake (Death Disco)." Lydon screaming/singing as he tells about the death of his Mother from cancer. Levine said he was trying to play the Tchaikovsky ballet score "Swan Lake" and created an extremely unique melody. It's chaotic. A fantastic song and for me, the first song I think of when I hear post-punk. "Poptones" has an odd drum beat. The abrasive metallic guitar and prodding bass in the background. Lydon talking the real story of a girl kidnapped, put in a van and led the police to the van after describing the music which the van still had the cassette of in it. Levine's guitar melody was created as he was inadvertently playing Yes' "Starship Trooper." The band goes totally electronic in "Careering." A propet synth was used and we get laser sounds, sounds from outer space and other sounds. The song is about a Nothern Irish gunman "careering" as a professional business man in London. Lydon wrote this specifically about a person he did not like. That's probably quite a lot of people. This is a great album. The guitar gives a haunting, eerie, angular and abrasive vibe. The drums, beats and bass are odd and unique. Lydon seems to be improvising throughtout and he admitted as such. I like the one comment I saw describing it as subterranean. There's a lot of experimental songs and parts of songs especially with the synths. I honestly don't know if I heard anything before or after it quite like it. I'm sure there's something. Definitely not for everyone but if you like experimental, this is probably for you.

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Thu Dec 07 2023
5

I guess the people who hate this are just away to listen to their pop tones. Yes, the songs are long. Long songs are cool. I ask you, how else can you get swept up into the intense groove of it all if the song's finished after 3 minutes??! I also don't understand people complaining about the vocals, like you wouldn't expect that dry sheet going in? However, any humour present in the Rotten-era persona has been extracted, made colder, like the cold metal exterior. 1979 was so mental. Punk luminaries such as The Damned and The Clash made great albums this year, but they were still recognisably punk, together with other influences. This, this is...what? Utterly unrecognisable from the sound they were making a year earlier, and utterly unlike pretty much anything else. Speaking of Poptones, that's just incredible. The bass, the rhythm. The insistent dread. Intentionally unsettling, and genius.

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Tue Jul 11 2023
4

Day 100 Once again I had to pause the challenge as this is really a difficult record. Strangely enough, it is the kind of album that could blow my mind, the sort of thing that sounds as damaged that it would be easy for me to relate to it, but apparently I am not at that stage of my life anymore. I get the experimental approach and everything, but I also feel that I have heard it all, probably in later and less influential albums that in turn might have been influenced by this band. Having said that, there is a lot of musicianship, ideas, and variety here to keep the open-minded listener engaged. Rating: All the points have distortion and feedback. 

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Thu Sep 21 2023
4

Shout out to bassist Jah Wobble, the only need the radar star of this album. I like the album quite a bit, especially the aforementioned bass as well as the drums. I feel the proto punk sound in my bones. The most unfortunate part is that I’ll likely not listen to this album again because I could only find it on YouTube.

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Fri Nov 03 2023
4

Well this was truly a difficult one to review. An incredibly eclectic mix of sometimes impenetrable music with a distinctive bass guitar running over every track. Some people hate Lydon's vocal style, but that wasn't a problem for me, partly because I knew what to expect. He drones where he needs to and is off-key in the "right way" throughout, so fine so far. My main problem here is that I knew I had dipped into PIL before many times and always come away bitten. I love their hits, with "This is Not a Love Song" being one of the first songs I ever heard that made me realise music didn't just have to be people singing in harmony about elves and shit. This was similar, with the opener, "Albatross", being almost an endurance test. However, I also found a lot to enjoy here, difficult to listen to at times, but also fascinating to see where so many bands got their ideas from. Did later bands do it better? Probably, but then this is some of the rawest, most experimental, and ground-breaking music from the late 1970s. I think I would naturally give this a 2-3 star rating, but it's definitely on my list to listen to again and I'm going to give it a tactical 4 stars, just to nudge the average up a tiny bit from all the 1s given by people who can't appreciate anything out of their comfort zone.

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Fri Jul 14 2023
2

Best Song: Socialist. At least it grooves. Worst Song: Bad Baby. Just an absolutely fucking dreadful vocal performance. Overall: Mostly junk. Marginally more listenable than the other Public Image Ltd. album on this list, but only because of a few nice (but not extraordinary) riffs. It is a mess of barely conceived ideas haphazardly slapped together. The musicians seem uninterested in playing well or together, and everything just kind of dithers about until it ends. I hate the hubris of these dorks who dispassionately fuck around on their instruments for an hour and call it a day. Aimless. I just don't get it. Which drugs are necessary to enjoy this junk?

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Sun Jul 23 2023
2

No Johnny, No. The last song made this escape a 1 star.

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Thu Jul 27 2023
2

Great instrumentals combined with some of the worst vocals you can imagine. I know post punk isn't know for great vocalists but come on

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Sat Jul 29 2023
2

I wanted to like it. I didn't.

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Thu Aug 03 2023
2

I try to approach every post-punk album on this list (today marks number 75!!!) with a fresh mind. I consciously try to drop off all my baggage from the last 74 albums at the door and start a new relationship with a new album. For the first, like, 45 seconds I was really into this! Good bass lines and interesting synth compositions. And then the singing starts and it is a FUCKING NIGHTMARE... I enjoyed the last track or two because they were entirely instrumental. Shut up this man.

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Sat Aug 12 2023
2

Could this be the worst vocal performance of all time? Shit vocals are part of the punk aesthetic... but this is not punk, so what's the excuse? Saved by the last few instrumentals.... and the bass all the way through.

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Sun Aug 20 2023
2

You can call it experimental and influential and groundbreaking all you want but for me this was a pretty boring hour of my Saturday. 3/10

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Sat Aug 26 2023
2

I should like this, but I don’t. The overly ambitious concept and bloated track lengths make it quite a chore to get through. I appreciate the genre and the band’s contribution to the scene at the time, but I think there are much better albums in this vein that I prefer listening to instead.

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Sun Sep 17 2023
2

All you hear are poorly produced drums and everything else is squeezed into like one channel and sounds horrible.

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Fri Sep 29 2023
2

Here’s one that I’m happy to leave far behind in the rear view mirror. Not my thing. Tedious. It went on far too long.

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Wed Jun 14 2023
1

I think this is rubbish. Weak out of tune vocals over boring, repetitive instrumentation. I am genuinely baffled by how highly regarded this album seems to be.

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Fri Apr 05 2024
1

When he sang "You are unbearable" on the first song, I felt that. 1/5

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Thu Apr 18 2024
1

I didn't care for it, but I'm sure it was influential for other shitty music

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Fri Sep 08 2023
5

john lydon consistently surprises me with how many great tracks I've never heard of from him, not that I knew that many to begin with. But shit this was great, dragged here and there but I had lots of fun so 5 stars

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Thu Dec 14 2023
5

I like some avant garde in my post punk

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Wed Feb 14 2024
5

Listened to this before and I didn't like/get it. I love it now. The bass lines are catchy, punchy, and the squad loves to go in different sonic directions. Fun n great

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Mon Feb 26 2024
5

Post-punk masterpiece. The jangly, funky tunes are of course excellent, but when the looseness and seeming disregard for tonality become transcendent, particularly on “Poptones”, is when the album really shows it’s colours. Great effort by all the players, Jah Wobble’s bass standing out especially. Punk’s not dead!

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Thu Feb 29 2024
5

I hadn't heard this album before. I only knew a couple songs from PiL's more commercial 80s days. Holy crap was I missing out. As soon as "Albatross" started playing, my immediate reaction was, "Oh, so that's where Siouxsie and the Banshees got their guitar sound from. And also where Ian Curtis of Joy Division got his singing style from, and where Joy Division/New Order got their electronic sound from." The Sex Pistols changed music in a huge way with their 1976 Manchester show. Without that show, we might not have had the Banshees, Joy Division, the Smiths, The Cure, and so many other giants of post punk (and goth), let alone all the bands those groups inspired themselves. Likewise for The Clash's (PiL guitarist Keith Levene's former band) influence on music. After SP disbanded, Johnny Lydon went on to form PiL. This is very different from the Sex Pistols or The Clash. In a great way. It's much more experimental, less one note than the punk that SP put out—don't get me wrong, I like SP, but if you've heard one of their songs you've pretty much heard them all. The guitar on this album is crazy. The bass lines are nuts. The lyrics and the dark pre-goth, pre-industrial atmosphere on songs like "Careering" and "Bad Baby" sound way ahead of their head time (I realize both the Banshees and Joy Division had already released albums when this came out, but it's difficult to disentangle who inspired who at this point). The digital-sounding effects on "Socialist" are mind blowing. This album is basically everything I love about post punk. So so good. 5/5

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Sun Mar 10 2024
5

Ngl, this is dope. I mean, I love noise rock and unhinged goth shit, so take that into consideration obviously, but yeah. I'm actually a little surprised I had never listened to this before, it's definitely way up my alley. The vocalist is definitely going to be an acquired taste (or not lol), but the bass playing and drumming here is absolutely sick, and the guitar player is unhinged and wild (so also pretty sick). Add in the occasional weird synthy tones and there you go. I'm giving this an instant based/5, but again... Fan of The Fall here. Not for everyone lol

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Thu Mar 21 2024
5

Beautiful atonal caterwauling atop avant dub post punk. Fearless.

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Mon Mar 25 2024
5

Obviously great, and a fun companion piece to all the whinging people do about basically any remotely challenging album in the reviews.

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Fri Mar 29 2024
5

This shit is ground breaking and interesting. I didn’t love every track, but overall it’s so good it can only get 5 stars. I would totally buy this on vinyl.

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Thu May 09 2024
5

Чувствую себя прямо экспертом, когда дело касается PIL и этого альбома в частности (Rip it up and start again-core!) Это великий альбом, и вероятно самый важный альбом в пост-панк поджанре. Это альбом, который представляет собой всю суть пост-панка не просто как коллекции музыкальных клише, но в самой своей идее. Пост-музыка! Лучшая песня - Albatross.

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Wed Jun 21 2023
4

e sjećam se ovoga kad sam slušao, jako dobro je sjeo. noćna spika i šetnja.

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Thu Jul 06 2023
4

Lovely bits if chaos. Gritty and full

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Thu Jul 06 2023
4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: Memories, Swan lake, Careering

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Fri Jul 07 2023
4

A little over-long but more personal than their first album

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Wed Aug 02 2023
4

Wish I still had this one on vinyl

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Tue Aug 08 2023
4

Great sound. Love the punk and dub mix.

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Sat Aug 12 2023
4

C'est vraiment spécial, je m'attendais pas à aimer, mais overall je suis très satisfait. Certaines pièces étaient un peu trop étirées (Albatros), mais généralement le son post punk expérimental était tellement bien exécuté que l'album se laissait écouter tout seul. Vraiment surpris d'avoir autant aimé un projet de Johnny Rotten. 8/10

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Sat Aug 19 2023
4

Segon treball de Lydon, Levene i Jah Wobble, una de les obres principals del post punk. Disc complicat, abrassiu, serpentejant, opressiu, amb temes llargs que donen camp de feina a Lydon i sequaços per il.lustrar el baix moment pel qual passaven, depressió continua a base de drogues i incertesa vital que es trasllada a la música de forma magistral

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Thu Aug 24 2023
4

Pretty wild. Keith Levines guitar work carries this so hard you can just hear it trickling down to every single experimental rock guitarist of the generations to come in some way or another

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Sun Sep 24 2023
4

Never heard of it, actually loved it

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Fri Sep 29 2023
4

Interesting and not nearly as annoying as I feared. I quite liked it.

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Thu Oct 12 2023
4

Jah Wobble brilliant again, and the music less arousing but equally interesting as the Sex Pistols classic album.

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Sun Oct 29 2023
4

Not an easy listen by any means, but treat it as one long soundscape inhabited by Wobble's dub bass, Levene's sparse guitar and Lyndon's vocals and it accumulates over time. Normally I'd split a double album for two listens, this one is best done right through.

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Wed Nov 22 2023
4

Like some tracks more than others, singing can get a bit annoying after a while since it's so "one-note", but I do dig the style. 3.5 to 4.

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Wed Nov 22 2023
4

I can understand why this is an influential album, it seems to take punk and split it wide open into a sprawling landscape. Some of the songs are a little too long for me but all in all I quite enjoyed this.

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Thu Nov 30 2023
4

I have always loved this. Would it be better without Johnny? Probably. But it’s still such an excellent case of groove

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Thu Nov 30 2023
4

Guitar just attacks your ears. Singing is rotten. Noise everywhere. Was that a synth? What a bewildering experience. 8/10

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Fri Dec 01 2023
4

Brilliant and grating, Metal Box doesn't smash new glass, opting to tread and retread in glittering patterns. The mix is deranged, the vocals likewise, the rest of the instruments less so. Fitting the album uncomfortably into an ambient mode, still incapable of being background.

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Tue Dec 12 2023
4

Experimental but still enjoyable. The emotions are palpable in several songs. The drums are plain but driving. The guitars are searching for the tune, and kind of oscillating around it.

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Wed Dec 13 2023
4

I really like the experimental aspect of PIL's music, but I feel that a few songs toward the end could have been left out and it would have made a stronger album. Still, I really enjoyed it.

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Fri Jan 12 2024
4

If you’re not a PIL fan but want to try to give it an honest listen, I might recommend starting with the last track and working backward. It might make this a little more accessible for you. If you’re me? The cranky, rough, aggressive guitar with the impressive-if-outsider bass coming at you from the mash up of part Sex Pistols and part Clash (rip Keith Levene) scratches an itch for some stretched out post punk. It’s interesting to listen to this with an ear for how this predates Rise but you can definitely feel the “anger is an energy” vibe here. Not gonna lie, this one may try the patience of some. But if you need some cranky but cool and ironic music to accompany a certain feeling of snark with a surprising groove and scratchy vocals? This is a good pick.

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Fri Jan 19 2024
4

Outstanding post-punk album. Noisy and strident in the best way. Fantastically jarring, jagged guitars and twisted disco rhythms. Somewhat obscure, unsettling lyrics. Fave Songs: Swan Lake, Graveyard, Memories, No Birds

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Wed Jan 24 2024
4

Some of the songs might be too long. But I loved others

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Sat Jan 27 2024
4

Reading some of the reviews and ratings on this ground breaking album you would wonder why it is inculded here. And I get how difficult a listen it is for someone coming at it new. But in 1980 when I was 18 and thirsting for "new" sounds that broke boundaries, Second Edition as it was called in Canada was food to a starving man. My lasting impression of this album and Public Image Limited in general is watching them perform Poptones on Amesican Bandstand to a stunned, uncomfortable and perhaps even fearful live audience. For me it ranks up there with The Clash on Fridays, Elvis Costell and the Attractions on SNL and Future Islands on Letterman as the best Television perfomances I've ever seen. Yes it's a difficult listen, especially sides 3 and 4, and the music is unconventional and jarring and the singing annoying and off key. Taken on it's face I get a 1 or 2 rating, but taken in the context of its time and place this is important ground-breaking music. 4 stars

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Sun Jan 28 2024
4

Post-Punk with a menacing tone. Super heavy bass, piercing guitars, and Johnny snarling. Delightful.

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Thu Feb 08 2024
4

One of my favorite albums. A haunting display of atonal pieces that evoke feelings of fear and anxiety, completely unpredictable in direction and approach. The tracks are bleak yet somewhat minimalist. The bass and drums are rhythmic and repetitive, with only the chorus-heavy screeching guitar, metallic synths, and Rotten's wailing as being abrasive and off-putting. To many, this can be enough to put them off. But it grows relatively quickly. After several listens, I found his vocals, the synths, and guitar to meddle into a softer harmony that I find entrancing and somewhat beautiful. But everyone plays extraordinarily well. Jah Wobble's dark bass is what primarily sticks out and defines these tracks, with several drummers playing their own styles ranging from sporadic to simple and constant. For innovation and empathogenic qualities, it receives top remarks. The track ordering is perfect too, with "Albatross" setting the mood, slowly and carefully, followed by several anti-pop loud and catchy tracks. The album closes with "No Birds" picking up the insanity, "Chant" reaching the peak that'll drive anyone insane, and suddenly making a 180 into the uncomfortably pleasant and serene "Radio 4" that just keeps going despite the false endings. My only reason for giving it 4 stars is that the second half is a dip in quality. I love them and they leave an impression, but the run from "Socialist" to "No Birds" often has me spacing out with how tamer they are. "The Suit" and "Bad Baby" in particular contribute almost nothing and just pad out time. I wish they stood out to me as much as any of the first 5.

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Thu Feb 29 2024
4

Vibe, chaotic-artistic, from lead singer of Sex Pistols. Listened to their first album as well, Fodderstompf “we only wanted to be loved” jam

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Thu Mar 07 2024
4

Quick clarification note: Metal Box is occasionally also referred to as Second Edition, particularly in reissues where the album does not come in a metal box. It is technically a triple LP, although it is played at 45 RPM so there's less space per side, clocking in at a little over an hour for the runtime. Absolutely incredible post-punk. It's a mess, but it's an enticing mess. MVP has to go to bassist Jay Wobble and his dub-influenced grooves. This, combined with the complimenting drum rhythms, gives a solid foundation for John Lydon and Kevin Levene to experiment and explore. It's best executed on the first five tracks before dropping off, but I'd forgive it for how enjoyable it is as an overall product. Metal Box makes me wish I owned the album in the metal box and everything. Obligatory "fuck you" goes to John Lydon for being a reactionary punk loser. I'm never going to let this go.

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Sat Mar 16 2024
4

1979 Post-punk, experimental rock, dub, Avant-garde 2nd Album by PiL Standouts: Albatross, Careering, Bad Baby Others: Memories, Swan Lake 4/5 Albatross is a great song - great sound! "If you describe something or someone as an albatross around your neck, you mean that they cause you great problems from which you cannot escape, or they prevent you from doing what you want to do."

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Sun Mar 17 2024
4

Never heard of this group before but I somehow dug it. I didn't like the droning dissonant sounds on some other albums here, but this one strangely worked for me. The vocalist was not great, but that only fed into the vibe. The bass guitar rocked and the weird sounds that would flare up during songs were intriguing. I don't know if I will revisit it, but I enjoyed the ride more than I expected. My vaorites here are Albatross, Swan Lame, and Socialist.

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Sun Mar 17 2024
4

Who doesn't love stream of consciousness lyrics with heavy base accompaniment? A fine album.

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Thu Mar 28 2024
4

Solid stuff. A more out there and dancey version of Joy Division. Will revisit.

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Thu Apr 11 2024
4

There’s a lot going on in this seminal post-punk album. It sounds like a hybrid of the Doors (mostly vocally) and Joy Division. There is a lot of experimental and Krautrock influence as well. I was pleasantly surprised to find John Lyndon fronting this band was was impressed with his musical versatility and embrace of experimental music as I only know him through his Sex Pistols persona. This album is disconcerting and challenging.

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Sun Apr 14 2024
4

this is actually way better than i expected from public image ltd.. the first album i listened to was "public image: first issue" and i loathed every second of it. seeing that this was the album generated for me just a few days later was, in the moment, devestating, but to be honest, this was a very enjoyable listen! i ended up loving a LOT of songs on this album. radio 4 is the perfect way to end an album, it is so groovy. the whole tracklist made me want to start painting or drawing again- it revived my love for being creative! that's what a creative and thought-out album can do to someone, it can inspire them to do the things that they love. originally, i thought that this album wouldn't deserve a place on this list, but i was proven wrong. this was an amazing listen and i would recommend it to anyone who needs a little bit of something new in their life.

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Sun Apr 21 2024
4

You know what helped me get through this album? Pretending that its like disco without the dance! Wait, no, that defeats the purpose... oh, I know, its like System of A Down without the metal? No, that's not really accurate either. It's like... Real Life by Magazine but worse? Yeah, that's kind of it, but its certainly not bad, in fact I'd say its pretty good. It has this groove to it through most of the album thanks to Jah Wobble's bass playing, yet is still haunting due to its music seemingly looping over and over and over, as if you were stuck in a spinning ballroom straight out of the 80s, except its still the 70s and you have one of the most baffled sounding guys warbling in your ear for a good chunk of it, once again in the best of ways. Actually, even better, it just feels like being trapped inside of a cold, derelict tin can (emphasis on the Can with the repetitive nature of most of these tracks) while there's a party down the street, and you're yelling for help, but the party is too loud and your screams are futile. If I haven't sold you yet, this album probably is not for you, but I had a good time, even if it is too long by the end.

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Thu Apr 25 2024
4

I liked this a lot more than I thought I would, the album has some catch pop/punk songs. I loved the swan lake version! Favourite song: memories and swan lake Least favourite: Its a long album with too many filler instrumentals. Album artwork: I have always loved the symbol for the band. Simple yet effective art work

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Fri Apr 26 2024
4

i tried listening to this album a year or two ago and gave up three songs in because it was so obnoxious. now im a pretentious music nerd so i love this. i think people overstate how unlistenable this is, the bass is so groovy it kind of allows the other aspects to be noisy in an enjoyable sense. my favorite song was probably poptones but every song rules honestly. 8/10

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Fri May 03 2024
4

Liked it more than I expected. Cool punk style and neat muffled bass sound

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Tue May 07 2024
4

Intriguing and irritating in equal measure, with an inconsistent sprinkling of genius. John Lydon can be an insufferable prick sometimes but when he's on form it really works (and when he's not, the rest of the band are easily good enough to carry the odd duff track).

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Tue May 07 2024
4

These guys do that freestyle Jazz thang where they fuck around and occasionaly make a 2 second moment of genius. You have to sit through a 9 hour song. Is it worth it yes, have a huge soft spot for John Lydon, nothing rational just glad its there.

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Thu May 16 2024
4

Their first album was too similar to pistols and other pioneers (which the memebers of PIL were part of) and although good as an album it was jist the same music. This second album they went a bit further and really experimented with new sounds and new wave and its a great concept album with it raw punk roots. Its a wierd album but musically better and very innovative for the post punk movement. Liked this one a lot. First song is really bad but the second track makes up for that one

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Fri May 24 2024
4

This, flowers of Romance and Album are all great PIL albums. This may be the hardest to appreciate but I do like its self defining confidence. Maybe what the Pistols could have been conceptually, an attempt to reshape music in a way that pushed beyond what is considered marketable and pop yet still being sonically rich and wild in a way rock only attempts to be.

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Wed Jun 14 2023
3

Ca-lassic, but not my mood so much anymore.

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Tue Jun 20 2023
3

De muziek is vaak echt goed, de zang soms irritant.

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Thu Jul 06 2023
3

Solid album. This is the album, where PIL really found their defining sound and form, moving away from the garage/punk origin.

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Thu Jul 13 2023
3

Suffered from the opposite of most punk albums, this one just went on and on.

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Fri Jul 14 2023
3

When I read "dub", I got excuted. King Tubby this isn't :(

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Tue Jul 25 2023
3

3.0 - Touted as some post-punk masterpiece akin to "Closer" by Joy Division, I had high hopes for this. For me there's too much atmosphere and not enough structured songcraft. I enjoy the subtle background sonics: snaking guitar lines, buoyant dub bass and staccato bleeps. Unfortunately, the vocals sound like a combination of my neighbor's dog wailing to be let in, and troll living under the bridge.

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Wed Aug 02 2023
3

Imagine shelling out the ducats for a 3-disc set of 45s in a special, metal, collector's-edition case and then finding out that the whole first disc is completely unlistenable. John Lydon is possibly a genius, probably a nutjob, and definitely a jerk for making people who buy his albums suffer through at least three tracks of utter garbage before he gives them something that resembles a song. That was true of Public Image's first release and it holds true here as well. It's not until track 4, "Poptones", which is the first track of disc 2 in the original pressing, that we start to get legit songs from Lydon and his boys. This one started as a 1-star and slowly clawed its way up to a 3-star album for me.

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Thu Aug 03 2023
3

A groovier, timelier Joy Division-esque LP. Definitely suffers due to some editorial oversight (most tracks could stand to lose some fat) and not every sonic experiment hits, but there are some great pulsing moments of rhythm and emotional intensity that caught my attention. Can see how someone would absolutely hate this, but it mostly vibed for me.

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Thu Aug 10 2023
3

3.5/5. I have to say this was not terrible. But it's not something that I would ever choose to listen to. I can see how people would like this, though.

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Sun Aug 27 2023
3

Innovative, but hard to listen to at times.

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