Friday, 30 November 2018

Public Image Ltd. - Commercial Zone (1983)

'Commercial Zone' is an album of studio recordings by Public Image Ltd., recorded in 1982 and 1983, and released in 1984 by PiL founding guitarist Keith Levene. It includes five songs that were later re-recorded for PiL's fourth official studio album 'This Is What You Want... This Is What You Get', but some songs remain unreleased. In May 1982 drummer Martin Atkins had rejoined the band and PiL started recording their new studio album for Virgin Records at Park South Studios in Manhattan. The band had 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 materialised. 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, but this never happened, and so the band instead continued to record a full-length album at Park South Studios. By March 1983 a new track 'This Is Not a Love Song' was earmarked as a new single by the band, but PiL broke up when first Pete Jones and then Keith Levene left the band. The single was still released, however, and it went to no.5 in the UK single charts.
In mid-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, but Levene decided to release the album himself on the American market and on 30 January 1984 registered the label PIL Records Inc. for this one-off release. The first limited pressing of 10,000 copies was paid  for from Levene's own pocket, and 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, but Virgin Records took legal actions and stopped the distribution of any further re-pressings of 'Commercial Zone'. This post is your chance to hear the first pressing of this now extremely rare PiL album.

Track listing

01 Mad Max
02 Love Song
03 Bad Night
04 Solitaire
05 The Slab
06 Lou Reed (Parts 1 & 2)
07 Blue Water
08 Miller Hi-Life


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