Yesterday was Malcolm McLaren and two days ago was Cabaret Voltaire with me admitting that my 16-year old self struggled to enjoy Nag Nag Nag, a situation that hasn’t changed in 2017.
Back in 1979 I also struggled to understand and appreciate much of the output of Public Image Ltd, albeit I adored debut single Public Image. The follow-up Death Disco freaked me out and went way over my head as indeed did the next single Memories.
The difference, however, is that today I can listen to early PIL and really enjoy what I’m hearing with probably no better example than said third single:-
mp3 : Public Image Ltd – Memories (12″ mix)
I think it was being exposed to the emerging Associates and listening out more for bands who sounded similar to Joy Division that made me come to fully appreciate PIL. I had actually forgotten that the single version of Memories, was a totally different mix from that which appeared on Metal Box. It’s about a minute or so shorter in length as well. I feel it’s the superior version as Jah Wobble‘s bass playing is much more to the fore and John Lydon‘s vocal feels more focussed and angry as he rants about how nostalgia for the old days of punk is a waste of time and energy.
mp3 : Public Image Ltd – Memories (album mix)
Here’s the b-side of the single:-
mp3 : Public Image Ltd – Another
Those of you familiar with Metal Box will have spotted that this is a version of an instrumental track from that LP – Graveyard – but with vocals and a bit more bass action.