This one is by request for Glangel. Thanks for the email.
Ahahaha...this is a 12 incher of 4 reckless post-punk/post-dub workouts. Issued in the wake of Public Image Limited’s “First Issue” album, it’s all rough demo spiky-Levene guitar with Jah Wobble wielding his brown-spotting bass into the face of everyone, as usual. It’s deep, spaced dub meeting the throwaway quality demanded of punk at the time with no concessions whatsoever. 1978 was pretty early for such successfully infectious dub from a younger generation born a culture away from Jamaica. Despite (or because of) this, Wobble’s a bassist with Greenwich Town session player feel, and Don Letts raps on “Haile Unlikely,” exiting on the cross-faded dub version, letting the electronic interruptives and echoed drum beats take the feel beyond sung words, as all the best dub does effortlessly.
No doubt Steel Leg was John Lydon in disguise, as the Carlsberg-oiled background punk rant on “Steel Leg” attests, throwing in jibes and vocal noises as only he would. “Stratetime And The Wide Man” is more weightless dub suspension with tinkling percussion and would be a complete space-out were it not for Wobble’s grounding bass audio compass. It goes beyond mere punky reggae partying -- it’s a PIL t-shirt worn by Syd “Family Man” Barrett with the words D-U-B replacing P-I-L, as the Finsbury Park crew’s ancestral memories of multiple Hawkwind records works its way through the mix with electronics like Dik Mik meets The Aggrovators. Future Public Image Limited records would combine further outings of dub, punk and Krautrocking beyond all reasoning, this EP a signpost pointing the way.
In May 1981 PiL moved from London to New York City, but in October 1981 their American record contract with Warner Brothers expired and was not renewed. In January 1982 the British music press reported that PiL had tried to record a new album in New York with producers Adam Kidron and Ken Lockie, but split instead - this was promptly denied by the band in a press release the following week.
In May 1982 drummer Martin Atkins rejoined the band and PiL started recording their new studio album for Virgin Records at Park South Studios in Manhattan, with sound engineer Bob Miller co-producing. On 29 August 1982 new bassist Pete Jones joined the band in the studio, the new line-up played its debut concert four weeks later (28 September 1982 in New York City). During the summer and autumn of 1982 the band planned to form their own record label (Public Enterprise Productions) and license its releases to Stiff Records USA for the American market, but these plans never materialized.
In early November 1982 PiL announced the imminent release of a new single "Blue Water" and a six-track mini album You Are Now Entering A Commercial Zone on their new label. This did not happen, instead the band continued recording at South Park Studios for a full-length album.
By May 1983 a new track "This Is Not A Love Song" was earmarked as a new single for Virgin Records, but PiL broke up when first Pete Jones and then Keith Levene left the band. The remaining members, John Lydon and drummer Martin Atkins hired session musicians to fulfill touring commitments and carried on under the PiL name. The single "This Is Not A Love Song" (with "Blue Water" as a 12" single B-side), both from the Park South sessions, was released by Virgin Records in September 1983 and went to no.5 in the UK single charts.
In summer 1983, in PiL's absence, Keith Levene took the unfinished album tapes and did his own mix. He then flew over to London and presented them to Richard Branson as the finished new PiL album for Virgin Records, but John Lydon decided to completely abandon the tapes and re-record the whole album from scratch with session musicians. This new version of Commercial Zone became This Is What You Want... This Is What You Get in 1984.
Levene decided to put the album out himself on the American market and founded the label PIL Records Inc. for this one-off release. The first limited pressing was released in November 1983 and was heavily imported to the UK and European market. A second pressing (with the track listing changed around and a shorter mix of "Bad Night") followed in August 1984 in an edition of 30,000 copies, to compete directly with the official re-recorded album This Is What You Want... This Is What You Get. Virgin Records promptly took legal actions and stopped the distribution and any further re-pressings of Commercial Zone.
Remember Fun were a Scottish band formed in the mid-1980's who aligned themselves with contemporaries the Close Lobsters and the Church Grims in believing pop music could have a bitter edge. Following a string of accomplished demos, they appeared first on a Sha La La flexi with a song called "Hey Hey Hate" in 1986. Two compilation tracks followed: "Clearly Blurred" on an Airspace charity LP in 1987; then "Cold Inside" on the Egg Records 12" "A Lighthouse in the Desert" in 1988. The following year, they made a recording of their most accessible song to date called "Train Journeys." It should have taken the world by storm but sadly never made it to proper release. Instantly memorable, the song features shimmering guitars, honest vocals and a superb beefy bass. Perfectly capturing the disaffection of youth, the song deserved to be heard by everyone.
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