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Metal Box Import, Limited Edition

27 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Limited Edition, September 3, 1996
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$140.62 $39.39

Editorial Reviews

EMI. 1997.


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

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 3, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Limited Edition
  • Label: EMI/Virgin
  • ASIN: B000007UDQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,884 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 61 people found the following review helpful By M. Aranda on February 16, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Public Image Ltd. is a band that went through so many mutations throughout it's career that you really can't compare one era with another. Their first three albums, with the Wobble/Lydon/Levene line up, were dark and brooding, as dissonant as they were brilliant (to varying degree).
PiL's later work (essentially as Lydon's solo vehicle) can be spliced into two eras: '84-'87 and '88-'92. Albums like 1986's "Album" were hard rock with an artistic, commanding attitude while 1989's "9" LP saw Lydon reveling in dance-pop while maintaining a lyrical depth unseen in mainstream pop music.
For all PiL's artistic swings, however, it is Metal Box that stands out as their Crowning Glory. After showing signs of uncertainty with their debut, Metal Box delivered the promise PiL had spouted off about in press interviews: one hour of original, challenging and commanding, forceful proof of life after rock `n roll.
From the first thunderous bass notes of "Albatross" to the guitar-as-weapon assualt whichs drives "Chant," PiL were making sounds never before heard in the context of popular music, all the while setting this hell-fire blaze of chaos to almost-disco power beat of Martin Atkins' drums and Wobbles devilish dub-like basslines. In fact this entire album is dub like; vocals, sythesizers, and other sounds float in and out of the mix, bass and drums always in front and at their deepest.
There is virtually no mid-range on this album; drums and bass are strictly at their lowest whilst Levene's guitar is pure treble.
This was John Lydon's idea of volatile music, and it works perfectly for his voice. He give his most virulent, violent deliveries ever, as well as some of his best lyrics.
This is music both jarring and beautiful,impenetrable and addictively listenable.
Read more ›
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By zphage VINE VOICE on July 16, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
UK Metal Box was remastered in 1996 under John Lydon's direction, all the songs are 1-2 seconds longer than US versions. Surprisingly, these longer seconds seem to be apparent in the songs intros; little jangles, noises, and voices.

The track/song listing is different No Birds and Socialist are reversed.

Overall, the UK Metal Box is punchier, and feels more musical. If you are a Second Edition fan I think you will enjoy Metal Boxes nuances.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By The Drainpipe on September 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD
How can PiL's second album be best described? It's the most evil disco album ever made. It's arguably the single most powerful post-punk musical statement. It's PiL's best album and it's one of the finest and most influential albums ever recorded. Generally speaking, "Metal Box" gets more respect than your average album (certainly more so than any other PiL album) and perhaps the fact that it's completely uncompromising is the reason why it still sounds like a remarkably contemporary record today. As a Sex Pistol, John Lydon's vocal was almost exclusively in attack mode: in "Metal Box," he's as direct as he ever was, but he screams, he chants, he wails, he howls, he sneers and can conjure up an entirely different mood for every song - not bad for such a famously "one-note" singer. As Johnny Rotten, Lydon sang from the head and at times it was difficult to gauge the genuine outrage from Lydon's warped sense of vaudeville. On "Metal Box," Lydon's anguish comes from the soul and he allows himself to sound vulnerable. However, it's the music that makes this album, and musically, "Metal Box" runs the gamut: disco dub, electronica, world music, punk, funk, melodic, non-melodic, fluid, static, music you want to dance to, music you want to die to. By its ominous nature, "Metal Box" exposed the comatose, non-threatening nature of post-Pistols Punk/"New Wave." The impressive ten-and-a-half-minute opener, "Albatross," continues the theme of the previous album's "Public Image," with Lydon still doing his best to cast off the shackles of public perception of him as Johnny Rotten ("Getting rid of the albatross..."). "Memories" is the perfect amalgam of Jah Wobble's bouncy bass and Keith Levene's withering Arabic guitar line.Read more ›
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Pomeroy on September 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The classic PiL album, this is essentially John Lydon moaningover the top of avant-garde dub reggae, and it's fantastic, andunique. A mixture of synthesisers, Jah Wobble's bass lines and some stuttery beats combine to make something that sounds like being sick, but musically, and yet it works as music to listen to. It's alien and strange, and sounds as fresh today as then. The music was re-released as 'Second Edition.'
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By directions on January 23, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is the better choice over 2nd Edition because of the remastered sound and of course, yes, it comes in a metal box. For a while I was annoyed at P.I.L. for creating so many current bands that slavishly imitate them (I remember one not so memorable warm up group at a show in Williamsburg saying, "This next song is by P.I.L.", as if the audience would swoon in appreciation). However, after listening to it, I realized Metal Box for the post punk masterwork it is. From the first song The Albatross (perhaps "getting rid of the albatross" refers to the previous band Lydon was in and having full creative control of the music) to Careering (a more subtle take on English capitalism than say Gang of Four) to Poptones (perhaps a stab at the music industry, who knows, its a great song) to Radio 4 (dark ambient before its time). P.I.L. took krautrock, 70's Miles (Lydon himself was in awe of Dark Magus in particular) and of course dub and created something that leaves you with a feeling of uneasiness as if something terrible had happenned but you are not sure what as opposed to the Sex Pistols sucker punch to the stomach (both effective approaches). Take your pick. But the Pistols' anger and cynicism transformed into P.I.L.'s (especially Metal Box) total nihilism and despair that would put many a goth band to shame (and yes I did begrudgingly accept the Williamsburg scene).
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