Public Image Ltd - Public Image: First Issue

Limited Edition 180 Gram Vinyl LP Record + Download

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Public Image: First Issue is the debut studio album by English post-punk band Public Image Ltd (PIL), originally released in December 1978 by Virgin Records.

Like it or not, First Issue (aka Public Image) was an album that helped set the pace for what eventually became known as post-punk. In England a vacuum had opened up in the wake of the breakup of the Sex Pistols in January 1978, and many punk fans and rival groups were impatient to see what the Pistols frontman John Lydon aka "Johnny Rotten" was going to roll out next.

Lydon was determined to create something that was neither punk nor even really rock as it was known in 1978. Working with ex-Clash guitarist Keith Levene, first-time bassist Jah Wobble, and Canadian drummer Jim Walker, Public Image Limited produced an album that represented the punk sound after it had shot itself in the head and became another entity entirely.

Embracing elements of dub, progressive rock, noise, and atonality and driven by Lydon's lyrical egoism and predilection towards doom, death, and horror, First Issue was among a select few 1978 albums that had something lasting to say about the future of rock music. And not everyone in 1978 wanted to hear it; contemporary critical notices for First Issue were almost uniformly negative in the extreme. 

Not all of the material on First Issue was necessarily forward-looking: "Attack" and "Low Life" could almost pass muster as latter-day Sex Pistols songs, and there was a bracing song about Lydon's pet peeve, "Religion", presented in both spoken and sung incarnations. It is about as vicious and personal an anti-Catholic diatribe as exists on record, and in its day was considered a high holy turnoff by many listeners. But from there it changes - PIL's debut single, "Public Image", with Levene's guitar part, with its tasty suspensions and held-over-the-bar syncopation, was an important departure from standard punk guitar language absorbed so quickly by others that listeners and musicians alike forgot the source of the sound. 

First Issue's opener, "Theme", was a force to be reckoned with, a grindingly slow dirge with wild figurations on the guitar and Wobble's floor-splitting foundation. "Annalisa" is the hardest-kicking rocker on the album, with nosebleed-strength guitar from Levene

But even with all of the calculated controversy seemingly built into the various cuts on First Issue, none attracted quite so much attention as "Fodderstompf". Faced with a serious shortage of material to fill out the album and with its release date looming, PIL decided to conclude the project with a track 12:55 in length, consisting of no more than a disco beat, chattering synthesizers, a bassline, and Jah Wobble singing, shouting, and screaming the phrase "we only wanted to be loved" in a joke voice. Rock critics savaged the song as a deliberate attempt to rip off the public, but it became hugely popular at the Studio 54 disco in New York; the drag queens and hipsters sang and screamed right along with Wobble out loud on the dancefloor - nothing like that had ever happened at Studio 54. As it is perhaps the earliest extended dance mix that has little to do with disco or dub, it is apparent that "Fodderstompf" is an obvious precursor to the acid house and techno that began to evolve in the mid-'80s, although it is seldom accredited that distinction. 

First Issue peaked at number 22 on the British album charts, and import copies were snapped up in America practically as soon as they were loaded off the boat. By their next album, Metal Box, PIL had already worked out an entirely different sound and approach.

Check out the tracks: “Public Image”; “Religion” and “Annalisa”.

This Limited Edition LP housed in a gatefold sleeve with printed inner sleeves and digital download is pressed in the USA on 180 gram heavyweight vinyl.

(826853010016)

Tracklisting:

 

 

Title

Time

A1

Theme

9:05

A2

Religion I

1:40

A3

Religion II

5:40

A4

Annalisa

6:00

B1

Public Image

2:58

B2

Low Life

3:35

B3

Attack

2:55

B4

Fodderstompf

7:40

 

 

 

 

Download

 

1

Theme

9:05

2

Religion I

1:40

3

Religion II

5:40

4

Annalisa

6:00

5

Public Image

2:58

6

Low Life

3:35

7

Attack

2:55

8

Fodderstompf

7:40

9

The Cowboy Song (Bonus Track)

2:19

SKU 826853010016
Record Label Light In The Attic
Label / Model # Inertia
Catalogue Number LITA 100
Country US - United States
Release Date (Year) 18 June 2013
Original Release Date (Year) 09 December 1978
Barcode # 826853010016
Shipping Weight 0.6000kg
Shipping Width 0.010m
Shipping Height 0.314m
Shipping Length 0.314m
Shipping Cubic 0.000986m3
Type New
Format Limited Edition LP Record, 180 Gram Heavyweight Vinyl, Deluxe Gatefold Sleeve, Fold Out Poster, Stickers, Digital Download Code with Bonus Interview, First Time Ever Released in America, Reissue
Vinyl Colour Black
Genre Electronic
Genre Rock
Genre New Wave
Genre Dub
Format VINYL LP

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