Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Public Image Ltd. Commercial Zone

I'm the lucky owner of a 1st pressing of this, white jacket and white labels.

Below taken from wikipedia, coz it's just feckin easier.

Commercial Zone is an album of studio recordings that were released in 1983 by guitarist Keith Levene. Levene fled with the master tapes to America, where he sold the rights for the material and had several hundred vinyl pressings created without consent from John Lydon or the rest of PiL. Levene soon received a cease and desist order from PiL's record label. The album includes several songs that were later re-recorded such as "Blue Water" and "The Slab"(renamed "The Order of Death" for inclusion on This is What You Want...). Frontman John Lydon originally wanted this stripped-down acoustic version played over the end credits of Copkiller (AKA The Order of Death), a low-budget Italian film Lydon had acted in alongside Harvey Keitel.

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.

Band Line-Up

* John Lydon - vocals
* Keith Levene - guitar, synthesizers (bass on "Bad Night" and "Lou Reed Part 2")
* Pete Jones - bass (on "This Is Not A Love Song", "Mad Max", "Solitaire", "Miller Hi-Life")
* Martin Atkins - drums, percussion
* Bob Miller - sound effects (on "Miller Hi-Life")

Ken Lockie was a member of PIL during the initial recording sessions, playing keyboards, but was dropped from the line-up in September 1982. His contributions, if any, were erased or not used.

The second pressing of Commercial Zone was released around the same time as the official This Is What You Want... album and was generally more favourably reviewed in the music press.

Side A

01 Love Song
02 Mad Max
03 Bad Night
04 Solitaire

Side B

05 the Slab
06 Lou Reed (Pts 1&2)
07 Blue Water
08 Miller High Life


JR said...

Late to the party as usual but glad to finally get a chance to hear this. Highly recommended.

martin41smith said...

Thanx for this, been looking for this for a while

Anonymous said...

Keith finished Commercial Zone this year.