Public Image Ltd.

The Greatest Hits, So Far

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The Greatest Hits, So Far mines the singles PiL released through 1990. Ten years after its release, it was doubtful that a second volume would surface (the '90s saw one lone studio release, not to mention a John Lydon "solo" record), so thankfully Lydon didn't embarrass himself by titling it "The Greatest Hits, Volume One." That said, not many outfits under the guise of one name can boast a collection of singles so diverse and ranging in quality. And really, the title should be "The Singles, So Far." By attempting to hit upon all the studio releases, bright moments like "Bad Baby," "Banging the Door," and "The Order of Death" get left behind. The distance between 1979's "Death Disco" and 1990's "Don't Ask Me" would be impossible to traverse with the trustiest of vehicles. The back cover of the disc depicts Stonehenge and an earthbound spacecraft, with a howling dog in the middle. That's accurate. With peers mutating from the Pop Group ("Careering") to Information Society ("Warrior"), PiL couldn't possibly expect to concoct a compilation that would appeal to all ears. In that regard, GHSF is more of a Denny's sampler than a thematic banquet spread. (To clarify: "Rules and Regulations" is a cheese stick, not tasty bean pâté.) Whether or not this is a proper first place to go for PiL is up for debate, as it takes a very eclectic head to thrill to both their early discordance and later chart-targeted tunefulness. It's not going to provide a solid idea of where they stood at any point in their existence, but it's just enough to pique further investigation.

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