Public Image Ltd – Public Image
Virgin VS 228
1978 UK

I saw the single in its newspaper wrapping in Woolworths, though I can’t remember where, in Oxfordshire I would guess. I remember walking over to it and picking it up, then opening it up to have a look to see what it was and then putting it back because I had no money. In Abingdon maybe? No matter, the important bit is that I couldn’t buy it, which is a shame as I absolutely loved it and still do all these years later.

We all have different views, opinions and tastes but for me, this is a masterpiece.

See the rest that are in the box here

John Peel Radio Show – 06/12/79

And another John Peel show. Variable audio quality but listenable.

Featuring sessions from Misty and Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft


The Clash – Clampdown (CBS)
The Clash – Guns Of Brixton (CBS)
The Yachts – Now I’m Spoken For (Radar)
Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – Was Ist Ein Welle? (Session)
Misty – Judgement Coming On The Land (Session)
Adam and the Ants – Day I Met God (Do It)
The Beat – Tears Of A Clown (Two-Tone)
Public Image Ltd – Bad Baby (Virgin)
Preachers – Who Do You Love (BFD)
Secret Affair – New Dance (I-Spy)
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Dance Stance (Oddball)
Mikey Dread – Comic Strip (Cruise)
Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – I And I Reality (Session)
Speedballs – Is Somebody There (No Pap)
Suicide – Dream Baby Dream (Island)
The Undertones – Billy’s Third (Sire)
The Fall – Before The Moon Falls (Step Forward)
Buzzards – British Justice (Chrysalis)
Misty – True Rasta Man (Session)
The Specials – Concrete Jungle (2Tone)
Bob Marley And The Wailers (Concrete Jungle)
Simple Minds – Carnival [Shelter In A Suitcase] (Arista)
The Raincoats – Adventures Close To Home (Rough Trade)
Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – Violence (Session)
The Passions – Oh No It’s You (Fiction)
The Skids – Working For The Yankee Dollar (Virgin)
The Pop Group – We Are All Prostitutes (Rough Trade)
Misty – Sodom And Gomorrah (Session)
Snakefinger – Here Comes The Bums (Virgin)
The Clash – Hateful (CBS)
Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – Kebab Dreams (Session)
Mekons – Dan Dare (Virgin)
Boys – See Ya Later (Safari)

PIL – Cambridge

Little record shop in Cambridge had this 10 inch single by PIL, which is now mine. The shop is called ‘Lost In Vinyl’and has quite a large used section, about half the size of the new releases.

Bring Back The Old Grey Whistle Test

I miss OGWT, there is nothing like it on TV today, in fact, music in general is sadly under represented on TV nowadays. BBC Four and Sky Arts have the odd programme that is worth a watch but so much is a load of talking heads being nostalgic interspersed with too short clips. MTV should re-brand itself, Music Television it is not.

OGWT was the album version of Top of the Pops. The 45’s appeared on TOTP but it was 33 1/3 on OGWT and much the better for it. The first time I ever saw the show was in the Seventies, when presented by ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris, who it is fair to say, had difficulties with the punk scene around 1977 as it developed on independent label 45’s on bob_1943392cnot on the major labels, and not albums. He left in 1978, or was more likely moved on, to be replaced by Annie Nightingale, who I thought did a marvellous job of presenting the show. Not so her replacements though. From 1982 the show was presented variously by  Andy Kershaw, David Hepworth, Mark Ellen and Richard Skinner but I never really took to them. Not that there was anything I could put my finger on about them exactly, I think it was more to do with it being different from what I had first seen and I never really got used to it.

There were some amazing performances on this show, the sort of thing you couldn’t really see anywhere else at the time. I put the following forward as an example (and don’t forget, there were only 3 TV channels available in 1973):

Where else could you see this? I would suggest nowhere. I had a look at a 1973 top 30 chart run down, 29 white acts and the Detroit Spinners at number 10 (Gary glitter was number 1, oh dear) and not just that, the style of music wasn’t really represented either, along with others. Here’s the chart run down which you can see for yourself if you like:

Although unless you are already immune to the cheesiness of Tony Blackburn it might be better not to watch it.

There is a huge amount of music out there currently which is massively under represented. I know we have youtube and other places to view things now, but I have always liked a show, properly structured, along the lines of ..Later With Jools Holland but including some documentary and on location films. The OGWT could really fill that gap.

Here are some performances from the show that I’ve liked, not all of them, there are loads, just some:

There’s a list of who was on which show here if you are interested:



Public Image Limited Top 40

I’m not at all sure about this as I have amended this list a dozen times already, so it comes with the following proviso – “At the time of publication”. I’ll want to change it within seconds of posting it I know, and maybe I will at some point, but will resist for as long as possible.

Number Title Album Year
40 Seattle Happy? 1987
39 Open & Revolving Happy? 1987
38 The Body Happy? 1987
37 Worry 9 1989
36 Cruel That What Is Not 1992
35 Out Of The Woods This is PiL 2012
34 Bettie Page What The World Needs Now 2015
33 Reggie Song This is PiL 2012
32 Angry Happy? 1987
31 Ease Album 1986
30 Religion II First Issue 1978
29 Fodderstompf First Issue 1978
28 Track 8 The Flowers of Romance 1981
27.0 Banging the Door The Flowers of Romance 1981
26 Tie me to the length of that This Is what you want….This is what you get 1984
25 The Order of Death This Is what you want….This is what you get 1984
24 F.F.F Album 1986
23 Home Album 1986
22 Dissapointed 9 1989
21 Don’t Ask Me The Greatest Hits, So Far 1990
20 Acid Drops That What Is Not 1992
19 Double Trouble What The World Needs Now 2012
18 One Drop This is PiL 2012
17 Shoom What The World Needs Now 2015
16 Usls 1 9 1989
15 Rise Album 1986
14 Bad Life This Is what you want….This is what you get 1984
13 Under the House The Flowers of Romance 1981
12 Flowers of Romance The Flowers of Romance 1981
11 Chant Second Edition 1979
10 Albatross Second Edition 1979
9 Memories Second Edition 1979
8 Swan Lake (Death Disco) Second Edition 1979
7 Low Life First Issue 1978
6 Annalisa First Issue 1978
5 This is not a love song This Is what you want….This is what you get 1984
4 Theme First Issue 1978
3 Poptones Second Edition 1979
2 Careering Second Edition 1979
1 Public Image First Issue 1978

I remember being in a Woolworths somewhere, I was 11 years old, and I saw the Public Image 7″ Inch single in it’s fake newspaper cover, I wanted it, but I didn’t get it. I still think it is one of the greatest pop singles ever released.

Videos of the Top 10:


Record Store Day 2016

Well, I was a little underwhelmed by Record Store Day this year as it seems to me that Record Stores are doing quite well nowadays actually and the reason for it’s existence is somewhat diminished. I did pick up two records, of 5 or 6 that I wanted, so a reasonable percentage. They were, PIL live at the O2 Sheperd’s Bush Empire, which is a double on clear vinyl:


The other was Roots Manuva, Switching Sidea, a long 12″ single i that it has 5 tracks on each side, the same tracks, but side 2 is remixes of side 1:


Apparently it’s limited to 500 copies, which is nice.

What I didn’t get but wanted were three re-issues by Kings of Convenience and number 1 on my list, the Mew album “And the Glass Handed Kites” which goes for £50 online but record store day has 2000 clear vinyl copies for £19.99 each, except I didn’t see one.

I went to Head records in Leamington Spa who had a fair bit in and I did arrive and hour after opening time so who knows what had gone by the time I got there. I headed off to Seismic Records at the other end of town via The Town Hall, which was hosting another record fair, but didn’t make it to Seismic, which is a shame as I like to support that shop.

This is from ‘The quietus’:

The whole event has become a record label promotion opportunity and nothing else. Record shops are merely the vehicle for a quiet time of the year marketing binge. From my point of view, as a record shop owner, RSD is damaging to us in the following ways:

1) The lead up to the day sees a dramatic fall in sales, and the post event effect is similar. Ask around. Do shops’ quarterly figures look any better whenever they take part in RSD? All the ones I know say no. New releases all but come to an end weeks before, and all promotional activities swing behind RSD.

2) The ‘underground’ or ‘niche’ nature of what indie shops provide is being watered down by dross releases with little artistic or cultural merit. It’s not about being a snob, it is about making sure the customer gets value for money. There is enough amazing music out there to change people’s lives without them being dragged into a bogwash of Abba and Status Quo re-issues (all of which sell on original black shit for £1 in my bargain bins).

3) Shops buy RSD stock on a cash-up-front basis, with no possibility of return. Who’s taking the risk here? The labels, the distro, or the shops? The risk is not fairly distributed amongst the players. Do any of these guys know what happens to our cash flow around RSD? I’ve heard of shops having to borrow money to buy stock. I mean for gods sake, how on earth is this helping! The big boys are the worse for this, but for distros like PIAS who continue to operate a no returned stock operation for their entire product, year round, there is little risk on sale from their side. This promotes poor quality. Labels are less likely to sell bilge if they see it all back in the warehouse three months later. Distros and labels like Cargo, SRD, Proper and Discovery operate SOR (Sale Or Return), consignment sales all year round. THIS IS SUPPORT. Expensive and risky on their part, they are working with shops, and this in turn changes the dynamic and it changes the quality (namely in an upward fashion).

4) All this stuff comes out on one day, so in the six month lead up to RSD, the pressing plants are choked full of RSD releases (as investigated by The Quietus here), and as a result the indie labels can’t get anything out in the interim. They’re forcing me to say it… CD is the new vinyl.

5) For many of the huge number of Bowie or Springsteen fans et al ad infinitum. the only option is to go online and pay an insane price for the special release they want from some eBay flipper. Thus encouraging this behaviour further (buying online). Now, as an internet seller I am not against the internet per se, but NOT ON RECORD STORE DAY.

6) Disappointment… perpetual disappointment. Shops will not have multiple copies of every release. As a result a significant number of customers get disappointed and disillusioned. Great…. a promotional event for record shops that leaves customer feeling disappointed and disillusioned. Well that’s just perfect.

The full article is here: http://thequietus.com/articles/19946-record-store-day-2016-shops-bad-reissues-bleugh

I’m not against RSD, but one point does strike me as on the mark, I am a regular independent record store customer, I spend regularly in them, two in particular and the loyal customer is apt to lose out on RSD and, if you really want something you could very well pay triple the price from somebody who bought deliberately to re-sell at this inflated price, which is a shame.

I certainly was surprised , as the writer of the article mentions, to see Justin Bieber and Status Quo involved, and, to be honest, a load of Alan Partridge picture discs along with a few others which seemed like a waste of time, to me at least. There are great opportunities to re-release brilliant albums on vinyl, but it is not often taken, or so it seems.

Until next year I suppose.


Mix Tape: Volume 2: Sides 1 & 2

Well, here’s a whole mix tape fully formed, based around the end of the 70’s and the beginning of the 80’s.

Volume 2: Side 1

Poptones – Public Image Ltd.
Atmosphere – Joy Division
A Forest – The Cure
Israel – Siouxsie And The Banshees
No More Heroes – The Stranglers
Tin Soldiers – Stiff Little Fingers
Down In The Tube Station At Midnight – The Jam
Totally Wired – The Fall
New Rose – The Damned
2-4-6-8 Motorway – Tom Robinson Band
God Save The Queen – Sex Pistols
Stranglehold – UK Subs
Into The Valley – Skids
Radio, Radio – Elvis Costello & The Attractions

Volume 2: Side 2

Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick – Ian Dury, The Blockheads
Ghost Town – The Specials
One Step Beyond… – Madness
Mirror in the Bathroom – The Beat
Missing Words – The Selecter
Echo Beach – Martha & The Muffins
Roxanne – The Police
Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag (12″ verison) – Pigbag
Is She Really Going Out With Him? – Joe Jackson
Food For Thought – UB40
Geno – Dexys Midnight Runners
Milk And Alcohol – Dr. Feelgood
Denis – Blondie
Special Brew – Bad Manners
Police & Thieves – Junior Murvin
Motorhead – Motörhead


P.I.L – – What the world needs now…

I was in Seismic Records at the weekend and the nice chap behind the counter, the owner I guess, was playing the new P.I.L album, which I have to say is not very customer friendly, unless that customer is me as I knew it was coming out, but didn’t know if it was going to be on vinyl. I asked and there it was, so I bought it at the same time I bought ‘Sapphire’ by John Martyn, which, admittedly, are strange bedfellows.

I had listened to the last three tracks in the shop and liked them already so picking up a copy was an easy decision really. Now, I had been a tiny bit disappointed by Lydon being the frontman for the advertisement of Country Life butter, until I discovered that the purpose of that perceived conformity was to fund the production of a new P.I.L album. I am in no position to judge anyway, if I’d have been offered the same money, I’d have done it, in a pair of string Y-Fronts if needs be.

The toilet’s f–king broken again / I repaired that, I told ya / Get the plumber in again and again and again” bemoans the first lyric on album opener ‘Double Trouble’ (which I think may also be a single). So he’s still an ornery bastard then, which is good to know. I did read a couple of reviews last week before the album release and having now listened to the whole album a couple of times I disagree with them on several points, particularly the NME who say:
“‘What The World Needs Now…’ sounds much the same as PiL’s last album, 2012’s ‘This Is PiL’ – a mite scuzzier, perhaps, and with added bloopy synthesizer, but broadly conforming to the same formula.

I don’t really think so, I like ‘This is PIL’, but I like this new release considerably more. To me it is more consistently good, in both writing and production values. There are often tracks on albums that I want to hurry up and end because either I’m not that keen on them or the next one is better, a favourite, but with vinyl it’s not as simple as pressing the skip button so I tend to sit through them patiently, well, a little impatiently sometimes, but I do sit through them. This was not the case for ‘What the world needs now’, I happily sat through, and enjoyed in one way or another, every track. It’s probably fair to say that this new release is a progression from ‘This is PIL’, but it is not, as the NME infers, the churning out of the same as last time.

Track listing:

“Double Trouble” – 3:52
“Know Now” – 2:45
“Betty Page” – 3:21
“C’est la Vie” – 6:08
“Spice of Choice” – 5:43
“The One” – 3:42
“Big Blue Sky” – 8:14
“Whole Life Time” – 3:46
“I’m Not Satisfied” – 5:43
“Corporate” – 5:23
“Shoom” – 6:30
It looks like ‘Double Trouble’ is a single as there’s an official video, which is below:

There’s also a short ‘Making Of Double Trouble’ that I watched a couple of weeks ago, have a watch:

And finally, Glastonbury 2013, just because I love it!

As with much of the cover art recently this one has been done by John Lydon, and I read somewhere it is an anti-religious piece, which it might well be, but I have little or no idea about these things.

What I did very much like is album closer ‘Shoom’, which loudly proclaims that ‘“What the world needs now is another fuck off!” and in keeping with the last two words of the album, I am going to do as suggested, ‘Fuck off.’


What’s in the bag? (10, 11 & 12!)

March 02 I said right here, I would be getting more P.I.L on vinyl, and I did, although his time it came in a different bag. I was in London and found myself with about an hour to spare so I wandered off oxford street an into Soho where Google maps assured me I would find ‘Sister Ray’ records (they have a IMAG0509facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sisterrayrecords). I arrived to find the store closed down, and then my disappointment was gone as I saw they had just moved to the other side of the road. Looking at the bag I see they also have a website: http://www.sisterray.co.uk (not much there at the moment though).

Anyway, moving on, when I was still a young man I did have the 7″ single ‘Public Image’ but I couldn’t afford the album, which is a good thing as I wouldn’t have liked it then, I’m pretty sure of that. The single was reminiscent of the Sex Pistols, the rest of the album wasn’t. I listened to it years later and loved it though. It remains probably my favourite P.I.L album. There is a pretty interesting wiki page about the album here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Image:_First_Issue

I only bought two albums at Sister Ray, both P.I.L, both in great condition, here is that first one:



And here is the second, another good record. I do think that in many quarters they aren’t given the credit that perhaps they should receive, although it certainly isn’t for all ears, I get that, it is not thrown together in an anarchic way, there are elements of all manner of different styles of music that influence these recordings and I find it to all be rather cleverly constructed:



Finally a more recent offering, that I am not too sure about as yet, I haven’t listened to it enough, this one was £13 from HMV.






What’s in the bag (7)

Anger is an energy, just in case anybody was wondering. I plan on getting more P.I.L on vinyl if I can. At the moment this is the only one I have and it was, for new vinyl, a decent price at £13. I have most of their stuff on cassette but cassettes are bloody awful. Popped a video at the bottom for ‘Rise’, just because Lydon is fascinating to watch.