Saturday, November 1, 2014

Underrated Classic: Public Image Ltd. - 'First Issue'

The Sex Pistols were like a firecracker. They burned bright but very short. A burst of energy and enjoyment that you would not forget but wouldn't last long. After their split, Johnny Rotten went back to his birth name, John Lydon and formed Public Image Ltd., the first post-punk band in England that would combine the sound dance hall, dub, reggae, and rock. With still so much fury against his band, Lydon would retaliate in his lyrics with songs about and against Sid Vicious and former manager Malcolm McLaren, who crafted the image of the Pistols. In 1978, just months after the Pistols officially called it quits, Public Image LTD. were not only born, but released their debut, First Issue, later that year. The record surprised many who were used to hearing Lydon scream his head off but also realized it still had the same agro and energy that he had fronting the Pistols. The record was an experiment and while it alienated punks, it gained Lydon a whole new following in Britain and around the world. Many also realized that the record showcased that Lydon could do more as a artist and another side of what his talents could be. PiL would set the bar for the sound of what would come in the next decade, a sound that would be adopted by Bad Brains, The Specials, Mick Jones of The Clash when he formed Big Audio Dynamite, and others. Still, 36 years later, this record sounds as fresh and diverse as it did when it was first released.