Public Image Ltd. Prep Deluxe Box Sets Behind 'Metal Box' and 'Album'

BY Gregory AdamsPublished Nov 17, 2016

Closing in on the one year anniversary of their What the World Needs Now… LP, veteran post punks Public Image Ltd. have announced that what their fans need next are pair of sprawling reissues. Both their Metal Box and Album are being offered up in deluxe, expanded editions on October 28.

The John Lydon-led project announced plans for both reissues this week, explaining that each will arrive as four-CD or four-LP box sets, as well as digitally. The sets collect their respective original albums with a series of live recordings, B-sides, demos and assorted alternate recordings.

Metal Box from 1979 is PiL's second album. While the original pressing found vinyl copies delivered in a circular, metal movie reel tin, the updated versions will arrive in a square-shaped metal box.

The sessions found Lydon, guitarist Keith Levene and bassist Jah Wobble working with a variety of drummers, mixing together elements of post-punk and rock with Wobble's "sub-disco reggae basslines." The special edition adds B-sides, BBC sessions and a set recorded at Manchester's Russell Club.

Album first arrived in 1986. It had been recorded in New York, with Lydon collaborating on tracks with sessions players including Steve Vai, Yellow Magic Orchestra's Ryuichi Sakamoto, drummer Tony Williams and Cream skinsman Ginger Baker. Lydon later referred to the collection as "solo album" featuring various hired guns.

Jazz great Ornette Coleman, who didn't play on Album, had apparently been in the studio as the record was being made, and commented that Lydon sang like he played the saxophone, which the vocalist went on to say was "the best thing anyone's ever said to me."

Album was steered by the chart-making "Rise," while the special edition adds various demos, tracks recorded for the Old Grey Whistle Test TV program, a live set from London's Brixton Academy and more.

You can pre-order copies here, while tracklistings for the expanded collections can be found below.

Metal Box:

Disc 1:  Remastered album:

1. Albatross
2. Memories
3. Swan Lake (Death Disco)
4. Poptones
5. Careering
6. No Birds Do Sing
7. Graveyard
8. The Suit
9. Bad Baby
10. Socialist
11. Chant
12. Radio 4

Disc 2:  B-sides, mixes & radio sessions:

1. Death Disco (7" edit) 
2. Death Disco 12" 
3. Half Mix / Megga Mix (b-side)
4. Death Disco - BBC TV, Top of the Pops July 12.7.72 
5. Memories 12" 
6. Another (b-side) 
7. Poptones - BBCRadio 1, John Peel Sessions 1979 
8. Careering - BBC Radio 1, John Peel Sessions 1979 
9. Chant - BBC Radio 1, John Peel Sessions 1979 
10. Poptones - BBC TV, Old Grey Whistle Test 5/2/80 (audio) 
11. Careering - BBC TV, Old Grey Whistle Test 5/2/80 (audio) 
12. Pied Piper (rare compilation-only track)

Disc 3:  Unreleased Mixes:

1. Poptones (version 3) (unreleased) 
2. Swan Lake (monitor mix) 
3. Albatross (monitor mix) (alternative mix) 
4. Swan Lake ("master") (alternative mix) (unreleased) 
5. Unknown INST Jam 1 ("Chant") (unreleased) 
6. Unknown Jam 2 ("Megachant") (unreleased) 
7. Music from an Oven (aka Memories) (unreleased) 
8. Radio 4 ("symphony suite") (unreleased) 
9. Home is Where The Heart is (original mix) (unreleased) 
10. Unknown INST 2 (unreleased)

Disc 4:  Live at Manchester, Russell's Club (The Factory) 18/6/79:

1. Chant
2. Swan Lake (aka Death Disco)
3. Memories
4. Public Image
5. Annalisa
6. No Birds Do Sing


Disc 1:  Remastered album:

1. FFF
2. Rise
3. Fishing
4. Round
5. Bags
6. Home
7. Ease

Disc 2:  Live at Brixton Academy 27.5.86 :

1. Kashmir
2. FFF
3. Low Life
4. Fishing
5. Poptones
6. Pretty Vacant
7. Banging the Door
8. Flowers of Romance
9. Bags
10. Round
11. Home
12. Public Image
13. Rise
14. Annalisa

Disc 3: Various, mixes & outtakes etc:

1. Things in E (aka Ease) (alternative Laswell mix) (1986) (unreleased) 
2. Rise (7" edit)
3. Rise (instrumental)
4. Home (7" edit)
5. Rise (Bob Clearmountain remix)
6. Home - BBC TV, Old Grey Whistle Test 20/5/86 (audio)
7. Round - BBC TV, Old Grey Whistle Test 20/5/86 (audio)
8.Time Zone - World Destruction (12")
9.Time Zone - World Destruction (Industrial Remix)

Disc 4: Original 1985 Album demos:

1. Animal (unreleased) 
2. Black Rubber Bags (aka Bags) (unreleased) 
3. European Cars (aka Round) (unreleased) 
4. Fairwell Fairweather Friend (aka FFF) (unreleased) 
5. Pearls Before Swine (aka Fishing) (unreleased) 
6. Things in E (aka Ease) (instrumental) (unreleased) 
7. Ben Hur (unreleased) (instrumental) (unreleased) 
8. Cats (unreleased) (instrumental) (unreleased) 
9. Have a Nice Day (unreleased) (instrumental) (unreleased) 
10. Untitled 3 (unreleased) (instrumental) (unreleased) 
11. Pearls Before Swine (aka Fishing) (alternate mix) (incomplete) (unreleased) 


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