PIL, or more precisely Public Image Ltd, is an English group formed in 1978 and made up of John Lydon (ex Sex Pistols better known under the name of Johnny Rotten), Keith Levene, Jah Wobble and Jim Walker.
The name of the band would be a reference to Muriel Spark's book The Public Image and the term Ltd would not have been added until a few months later.
The group will experience its first success the year of their formation with their first single "Public image", a title that will work both across the Channel and across the Atlantic. Single whose lyrics are a direct charge against Malcolm McLaren, former manager of the Sex Pistols, and considered by Lydon as a con artist first following several embarrassments within the said group.
The album "First issue" which came out in the process was also a success. Followed a year later in 1979 by the single "Death disco" and then by the album "Metal Box", both of which were also very successful.
The year 1981 saw the release of the album "The Flowers of Romance", album which will remain as the highest ranked of the group and yet subject to controversy by a musical style which destabilizes the fans. Another paradox, the album will produce only one hit with the eponymous single.
The excesses of the group, especially on the part of some members during concerts in the United States, begin to undermine the reputation of the group. Not to mention the problems associated with excessive drug use.
Only positive note, the enormous single "This is not a love song" which was released in 1983 and which will stay in history as their highest ranked single. And this despite the cries of horror from the early fans who find this track purely commercial.
New air hole a year later in 1984 when the album "This is what you want ... this is what you get" was released. This one finds only a very relative echo with the public despite the presence of "This is not a love song".
Back in force in 1986 with the album "Album" (!), album which allowed the group to return to success, notably thanks to the title "Rise" which had a very good career in the Charts.
Success which this time will indeed be the last major success of the group.
To discover or rediscover.
Discography (among others ...) :
Public image 1978
Death disco 1979
Flowers of romance 1981
This is not a love song 1983
Bad life 1984
Don’t ask me 1990
1978 ... hard to let go of his mythical Sex Pistols costume like that. The sound is very close to it, as is the style. But that will change ...
1979 ... the group looks for himself, experiments and sets out on multiple paths. Shouldn't it last for years ...
1981 ... the change of decade will be rather beneficial to them even if for the moment, we are still getting lost ...
1983 ... then comes THIS title. And there, everything changes. The group finally reached the desired planetary dimension and signed here one of the biggest titles of the decade. In addition Dance, the total paradox for this type of group. MAS-TER-FUL !
1984 ... the metamorphosis is obvious, the style, like the sound, is much more structured. More commercially acceptable. At some point, you have to know how to fall into line ...
1986 ... when Lydon launches into committed texts, here is the result. Here he signs a strong tribute to Mandela, a tribute which will offer the group its second biggest success
1986 ... a 2nd part of the decade much more in accordance with the sound standards of the moment. Even if Lydon remains a UFO for the time, the rest is normalizing ...
1987 ... the group continues on its way, far from the summit of the Charts but without leaving it. Nice feat anyway !
1989 ... we had to wait for 1989 to finally see them break through across the Atlantic. It was enough for the group to fall into line ...
1989 ... a BIG year with 2 top hits in quick succession. A consecration that will have taken a long time to arrive but better late than never !
1990 ... 12 years after their remarkable debut, they signed their last notorious hit here. A Lydon who can nevertheless boast of having had 2 distinct careers and which marked their time, both of them, is extremely rare !
1992 ... a return to pure rock. Suddenly, the group backtracked any side of success. Too bad, too bad, but originality does not always pay off ...
Official Website :
http://www.pilofficial.com/ Greatest Hits :