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Plastic Box Box set, Limited Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, Limited Edition, June 8, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

limited Edition Four CD Definitive Collection. Deluxe Slipcase and Artwork. Includes 36 Page Booklet with Liner Notes by Lydon. Contains Album Tracks, Rarities and Unreleased BBC Tracks.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Public Image
  2. The Cowboy Song
  3. Theme
  4. Religion I
  5. Religion II
  6. Annalisa
  7. Low Life
  8. Attack
  9. Poptones (BBC Session)
  10. Careering (BBC Session)
  11. Chant (BBC Session)
  12. Death Disco (12in. Remix)
  13. 1/2 Mix Megamix
  14. No Birds Do Sing
  15. Memories

Disc: 2

  1. Another
  2. Albatross
  3. Socialist
  4. The Suit
  5. Bad Baby
  6. Radio 4
  7. Pied Piper
  8. Flowers Of Romance
  9. Four Enclosed Walls
  10. Phenagen
  11. Track 8
  12. Hymie's Him
  13. Under The House
  14. Banging The Door
  15. Go Back
  16. Francis Massacre
  17. Home Is Where The Heart Is

Disc: 3

  1. This Is Not A Love Song (12in. Remix)
  2. Blue Water
  3. Bad Life
  4. Question Mark
  5. Solitaire
  6. Tie Me To The Length Of That
  7. Where Are You?
  8. The Pardon
  9. 1981
  10. The Order Of Death
  11. F.F.F.
  12. Rise
  13. Fishing
  14. Round
  15. Home
  16. Ease

Disc: 4

  1. Seattle
  2. Angry
  3. The Body (US 12in. Mix)
  4. Selfish Rubbish
  5. Disappointed
  6. Happy
  7. Warrior (12in. Extended Version)
  8. USLS 1
  9. Don't Ask Me
  10. Criminal
  11. Luck's Up
  12. God
  13. Cruel (BBC Session)
  14. Acid Drops (BBC Session)
  15. Love Hope (BBC Session)
  16. Think Tank (BBC Session)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 8, 1999)
  • limited_edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set, Limited Edition
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Virgin Records Us
  • ASIN: B00000I3V0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #554,677 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Charles Miller on December 23, 2009
Format: Audio CD
There is no way this set could receive anything less than 5 stars, if nothing else, because the material is as good and as important as it is. That said, there are some significant omissions. This is not the fault of the band members, but rather that of the record label. In fact, John Lydon and Martin Atkins both stated their desire to have more in the way of rare material contained on this 4-CD boxed set; however, and as is usually the case, the record company had the final say.

The first giant ommission is the album Commercial Zone (the last studio album to feature Keith Levene, but never officially released). Unfortunately, its inclusion was never a possibility. Besides the bad blood that exists between the band members, there are licensing issues involved that will keep this title forever in unofficial bootleg or download world. It does appear (along with outtakes) on a long out-of-print Japanese issue: Never Mind the Public Image. Amazon lists it as "currently unavailable" but you might have some luck if you Google the title and find a Japanese site that still has it available (or try an international seller from that world-famous auction site).

The remaining tracks from the vaults that could have appeared, but didn't, are another matter.
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Format: Audio CD
When Plastic Box was first released over a decade ago, I jumped on it thinking it would be a suitable replacement for all of my PIL cassettes. Well, not exactly.

What is it?
* Almost every track from their first five studio albums, Public Image, Metal Box, Flowers of Romance, This is What You Want This Is What You Get, and Album
* A couple of tracks each from Happy, 9, and That What Is Not
* A hodge-podge of outtakes and one-off releases
* A hodge-podge of remixes, but only some of them
* Two BBC sessions, one early and one late

What's to like?
* I prefer the remastering from the box set to the original CD masters. While some remastering jobs are overdone, I didn't find that to be the case here.
* I appreciate being able to get ahold of the various outtakes, one-offs, and remixes. In particular, I like the Metal Box-era outtakes, 1/2 Mix Megamix and Another (vocal version of Graveyard).
* The BBC sessions are very good. The second one gives me a greater appreciation for some of the songs from That What Is Not, even though I think the album as a whole is rubbish.

What's not to like?
* I'm not sure what the point is to releasing 90% of the first five albums. A serious fan absolutely has to get Metal Box anyway, but what about the other albums? Someone who bought this might not recognize how powerful the other individual albums were on their own. Even if the missing tracks aren't the most important ones, they still are important to the album's coherence. As for me, I ended up buying most of the albums anyway.
* This Is Not A Love Song is presented in a remix with most of the lyrics omitted.
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Format: Audio CD
Essential 4-disc retrospective of PiL's 14-year career. Along with many tracks culled from the studio albums, the set includes B-sides, 12'' versions, a few alternate mixes, a selection of radio session performances other rarities to round out the collection of the serious PiL enthusiast. Highlights include an instrumental remix of "Fodderstompf," the outtake "Pied Piper," the B-sides "Question Mark" and "Selfish Rubbish," and "Criminal," from the "Point Break" soundtrack. Unfortunately, this set fulls short of being definitive. Nothing from the two live albums is included (which most people would regard as a good thing). There's also nothing from "Commercial Zone" (except "Blue Water," which was an official B-side), and B-sides/remixes from the latter era of PiL are almost non-existent (the 1987 remakes of "The Suit" and "Religion" would have been perfect inclusions as they were only ever released as 12'' vinyl B-sides, and never on CDs). Practically every track from the first five studio albums (1978-1986) is included, and then selected material from the final three (1987-1992) is squeezed onto the last disc, which reinforces the (false) perception that the LA-based PiL was something of a write-off. In the absence of a fifth disc, deleting tracks from the earlier albums - to allow room for more songs of the later PiL - would have resulted in a more balanced set (it's annoying that great, underrated material from "Happy?" and "9" is absent to provide room for dead weight from "Flowers Of Romance" and "This Is What You Want...This Is What You Get"). No matter though - despite its shortcomings, "Plastic Box" proves what a damn good band PiL in all its various permutations was (John Lydon's frank and informative liner notes rate a mention too). Collected sets rarely get much better than this...
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