Public Image ltdJohn Lydon hits 60 and it suits him.

Despite the Sex Pistollian youth droog pop culture baggage and his role in helping tear the fabric of Englands dreaming in the late seventies as the perma staring youthful anti icon there has always been something of the old man about Lydon.

And that’s a good thing.

Instead of the cliched you burn out of rock n roll Lydon was always something different – even in the late seventies he dressed beyond the teenage gang look of fellow rockers. 60 suits the former Pistol and with Public Image’s musical wanderings following their own instinct he is free from all the dead weight of rock career.

These 60 songs are in a rough order – this is not science – music depends on mood and there are lots of moods here from the filth and the fury of the Pistols to the angular dub of Public Image to the collaborations to the new sound of the new PiL.

  1. Sex Pistols ‘God Save The Queen’ Firebrand anthem of 1997 that nearly brought down the government

2. PiL ‘Poptones’ mesmerising hypnotic work of genius from perfect PiL of Wobble/Levene/Lydon

3. Sex Pistols ‘Anarchy In The UK’ The call to arms that changed everything

4.  Leftfield/Lydon ‘Open Up’ Techno punk party! proving that collaboration is art power – still sounds great

5. PiL ‘Public Image’ Stunning comeback single that reinvented the template

6. PiL Careering Stunning stripped down piece from the game changing Metal Box

7 PiL ‘Theme’ Dark and enthrallingly oppressive piece with corrugated iron vocals over metallic KO Keith guitar and THAT dub bass

8. PiL One Drop proving there was still life in the old dog with the recent comeback PiL

9. PiL Flowers Of Romance One of the weirdest top 30 singles ever and oddly catchy. Fantastic clatter.

10. Sex Pistols Satellite With the Pistols the gems could sometime be on the b sides

11. Sex pistols Submission the song on Bollocks that hints at where it could have gone…

12. PiL Rise Post Wobble/Leven PiL changed but there were still stunning moments like this piece of perfect pop

13. PiL Albatross Mesmerising exorcism in song

14. Sex pistols Holidays In the Sun – John peel’s favourite Pistols song

15 Afrika Bambaata/Lydon ‘Time Zone’  Perfect synthesis of early hip hop and punk proving with that voice you could go anywhere – would have loved to have heard more collaborations

16. Sex Pistols Bodies – psychodrama in song

17. Sex Pistols  No Feelings – Bollocks is one of the great pop records – every song is perfect

18. Sex Pistols  EMI Riposte to the label that burns

19. Sex Pistols  Liar – Rotten tears  strip with that penetrating glare and vocal

20. PiL  Socialist – pushing the parameters

21. Sex Pistols  Seventeen – the generation gap in song

22. Sex Pistols  New York – spitting in the ye of hipster city

23. PiL Religion – the stark anti religious poem

24. PiL Religion II – and then the chords arrive –

25. PiL  Annalisa – churning pop noise madness

26. PiL  Low Life – anti dark side of rock n roll skree

27. PiL  Attack – the new thrill of PiL

28. PiL  Double trouble brilliantly catchy rant proving that the manic sense of humour and intensity is still there

29. PiL  Memories – brilliantly insane second single from metal Box

30.  PiL  Swan lake – glorious zig zag dub disco rhythms – genius

31. PiL No Birds – spooked and eerie

32. PiL  – Graveyard – atmosphere soaked dub shape shifter

33. PiL  The Suit – sneering poetic rant

34. PiL  Bad Baby – psychotic sneering weirds

35. Sex Pistols  Problems – telling the truth

36. PiL  Chant – hypnotised by the weird

37. PiL  Four Enclosed Walls – Stunning drum sounds – mesmerising muezzin

38. PiL  Big Blue Sky from the current album – gorgeous pastoral neo prog – love it!

39. PiL  Phenagen – really pushing the envelope

40. PiL  Fodderstompf the disco jam at the end of the PiL debut that was  a harbinger of what was to come

41. PiL  Hymies Him

42. PiL  Banging In The Door

43. PiL  Go Back

44. PiL  Francis Massacre

45. PiL  Bad Life

46. PiL  Another

47. PiL Under The House

48. PiL  Betty Page  ‘tapping into the inner kookyness on this hypnotic track from the What the World Needs Now album

49. PiL  Terra Gate

50. PiL  Lollipop Opera

51 PiL  Reggie Song

52. PiL  Seattle

53. PiL  This Is Not  A Love Song

53. PiL  Psycopath from the long lost same title solo album

54. PiL  Sun from solo album

55. PiL  Bad Life

56. PiL  The order Of Death

57. PiL  F.F.F. opening track from album

58. PiL  Tie Me To The length Of That

59. PiL  Home Is Where The Heart Is

60. PiL  Track 8 – precision weirdness

Previous articleNew Artist of the Day: FAT SUN
Next articleThe Winter Social Festival Set For Underground House And Techno Session


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here