Public Image Ltd.

Commercial Zone

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This takes some explaining. Commercial Zone was the album Public Image Limited were finishing when Keith Levene left the group. John Lydon's new lineup of PiL later returned to the studio and rerecorded several of the tracks here on This Is What You Want...This Is what You Get, replacing two songs with newer material. Meanwhile, Levene was basically left to press Commercial Zone himself. The two albums are strikingly different. While This Is What You Want is more produced, with eccentric horn arrangements and pseudo-ethnic drumming, Commercial Zone is Spartan by comparison, with more of a focus on straight-forward guitar work than on previous PiL albums. The two songs not available on This Is What You Want, "Bad Night" and "Blue Water," are not of much consequence, while much of the other material here sounds half-realized, especially in the vocal department. Only "The Slab," the original version of "The Order of Death," offers something as musically rewarding as on This Is What You Want. However tempting it is to laud Commercial Zone for Levene's sake, like many lost albums it just doesn't live up to its reputation.

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