Wednesday, 8 June 2016

John Lydon ‎The Best Of British £1♫'s

John Lydon The Best Of British £1♫'s CD1/CD2

Get It At Discogs
Rightly or wrongly I've always looked on the Sex Pistols and PiL as completely different things. And I have to admit at first I wasn't sure about having them on the same compilation, but it really is amazing how well they work together. You only have to listen to the first few tracks to hear it. I mean what a way to start: 'Anarchy in the UK', 'Public Image', 'This is Not a Love Song', 'Open Up.' How good is that? Taking the records out of chronological order really was a masterstroke. It might be stuff I've heard a million times before, but listening to it I was genuinely excited to hear them work together. One after another, it's relentless! It made me remember just how much I liked them; and why. Make no mistake about it this compilation isn't a case of John Lydon claiming all the glory for these records and bands by himself (check the credits). It's just a great way of showcasing the variety of his work. Obviously, John is the common dominator here (and what does that tell you?), but there's much more than that; there's a proper thread here. Through PiL, through the Pistols, through his solo work, but you work it out for yourself, that's the whole point. I know what they mean to me. I think this compilation works on so many different levels it encompasses (almost) everything… As well as pandering to the casual, or potential new fan, it also lets fans of each band or period – whether it be early PiL, late PiL, Sex Pistols or whatever – have access to a whole bunch of records they might not necessarily have heard or own. It crosses a lot of divides. Which is a big part of what John's music is all about. Every single record here is as relevant as the next. Some of the stuff you love someone else might hate, or vice versa. It makes them no less important. For whatever bizarre reason John's musical output is largely ignored these days. A lot of this material just doesn't get played as much as it deserves, but hopefully this compilation will bring a whole new audience to a lot of this music. There really will be young kids out there who will only know John from the Pistols or TV who are going to get a very pleasant surprise. They might not get it all at once, but they'll have fun going through it. These records change lives and that's a fact. This isn't a rarities compilation for the hardcore fans, it's not about that. But that said, even they can't really argue. It's a superb compilation that's had a great deal of thought put into it; it's not some horrible cash-in. If you don't want to buy it: don't. You're getting all of John's singles; bar 'Pretty Vacant' and 'Memories' (and they would have been there if they had fitted, but something had to give), and with 20 remastered tracks crammed onto Disc 1 (and running to over 75 minutes) no one can say it's not value for money. Given that the original single version's are featured here, and tracks like 'This is Not a Love Song' & 'World Destruction' have never really had a proper CD release, there's more than enough to please even the most cynical fan. The Best of British £1 Notes CD: special edition There is also the option of the 'special edition' featuring a bonus disc of a further 12 tracks handpicked by John (running to another 80 minutes). Although mostly compiled from extended 12" mixes it also includes some of his favourite album tracks. It really is great to hear underrated material like 'The Pardon' or 'Acid Drops' mixing it with the big boys like the 12" mixes of 'Death Disco' or 'Open Up'. It also gives the 2002 dance mix of 'GSTQ' a far wider audience. At long last. While I'd love to hear an extended version I honestly think John has just about packed more lyrics into it than any other song on the compilation. More a controlled chant than a rap, he twists the vocal and the pronunciation the way only John Lydon can. Given the variety that's on display here it really is a badge of honour that 'The Rabbit Song' doesn't sound like anything else on the compilation. Of course, I don't expect any of the other songs on his forthcoming album to sound like this, but if it's anything to go by, it's going to be a real treat. Have no doubt about it there's life in the old dog yet, he's not about to go the way of the £1 note…

1 comment:

Josh Wink said...

I love this compilation! As you said, this really works cohesively despite the mixture of genres, or maybe because of it!

Great share!

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