Thursday, June 26, 2014
Revolution Rock (Revisited) Public Image Limited's Albatross & Show # 514
Originally released in November 1979, Public Image Limited’s Metal Box (or Second Edition in the US) was the band’s second full-length album. Following their trend of post punk music from their 1978 release First Issue, Public Image Limited found themselves diving into experimental territory as they took their sound into a more experimental direction. Bassist Jah Wobble’s reggae and dub-influenced basslines were evident on First Issue as was guitarist Keith Levine’s angular neurotic guitar style and John Lydon’s cryptic vocals, but they were pushed to greater depths on this album. Metal Box found PiL’s experimentation featuring a multitude of drummers such as Richard Dudanski (previously in The 101’ers), David Humphrey, guitarist Keith Levine and bassist Jah Wobble even played drums on some of songs that made up Metal Box. But it is the album’s first track that clearly portrays the avant-garde, experimental post punk sounds that the band was aiming for on Metal Box.
“Albatross” clocks in at ten minutes and 34 seconds, making it not only a long album opener, but also a unique starting track. The song itself was recorded live in one take at The Manor Studio in Oxfordshire, England. When initially recorded, the band was unsure whether it would make the final track listing for this release. The song featured heavy dub influenced basslines, metallic sounding guitar stabs and drum cymbal crashes that float amongst John Lydon’s visceral lyrics that are commonly misconstrued as a reference to the Sex Pistols. The song was as John Lydon said himself “free-formed” in and interview with Scott Murphy for fodderstompf.com in 2004. He also elaborated more on the extent of the free-form tendencies of “Albatross” stating that the band “All did, and that's how it should be when the mood is right." An albatross can refer to the bird at sea or also a burden. PiL definitely was going through changes and challenges during the album's recording sessions and during this time period. This song and album, captures a certain calmer mood, one that is more laid back than the sounds found on First Issue, but just as effective.
This week’s program was a repeat of program # 511 that originally aired on May 31st, 2014. My blog post for that week featured a write up on the LA punk band The Weirdos. You can find that post here.
The Play List:
1. The Black Angels - Sunday Evening
2. Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet - Running Meredith
3. The Sonics - It’s All Right
4. The Spits - 2018
5. Moondogs - Ya Don’t Do Ya?
6. Ian Rubbish & The Bizzaros - Living In The Gutter
7. No Fun - Fall For A Cliche
8. The Demics - The Least You Can Do
9. Dik Van Dykes - Road Warrior
10. Talking Heads - The Big Country (Live)
11. Twin Library - A Cruel Rodeo
12. Tire Swing Co - Forgive Me
13. James OL - Bastimentos
14. Salmon Breath - Cadillac
15. Alex Chilton - Waltz Across Texas
16. Iggy & The Stooges - Cry For Me (Pin Point Eyes)
17. Modern Lovers - I’m Straight
18. Public Image Limited - Albatross
19. Laughing Clowns - I Want To Scream
20. Spizzenergi - Where’s Captain Kirk?
21. Tanz Der Youth - Delay
22. The Soft Pack - Head On Ice
23. Tay Falco’s Panther Burns - Where The Rio De Rosa Flows
24. Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs - Cream
25. The Weirdos - We Got The Neutron Bomb
26. Radio Birdman - Descent Into The Maelstrom
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for June 21. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.