Various Artists:
Tribute - a tribute to public image limited

15 track PiL tribute CD from Martin Atkins Underground Inc.


(see below)

Running Time: 66:54 mins

review by Alain Clerc, October 2005
©2005 / Alain Clerc

Tribute - a tribute to public image limitedThe idea of tribute has never pleased me. I really enjoy a cover on an album among other new stuff from a band (here I'm thinking of the Ramones who brought fans to many obscure hits from the 60's), but such a concentration of covers on a same album is a bit too much for me (like 'Acid Eaters' LP from the same Ramones). Nevertheless, I made an exception because PIL was at stake there and, to be honest, because of Irmin Schmidt (CAN) contributing to the effort with a cover of one of my favourite PIL track's :'Banging the Door.'

The other thing is that, with the exception of Pete Jones and The Damage Manual (both including ex-PIL members), I never heard of the other bands before, so that would be a good way to extend my poor knowledge of the bands of today.

The Irmin Schmidt & Kumo's cover of "Banging the Door" is absolutely brilliant. They keep the basics (background sound, etc) and add the CAN touch and other noises. The lyrics are reduced to the very minimum but essential. The vocals have been turned into a phone conversation : "Hullo?" What do you want ? You're irritating !" this is not a real home, you're not dead yet, you're wasting", all right, stop this! keep banging the door !" – that's perhaps how CAN should have sounded at the time they wanted John Lydon to join the band ??

Then, you have more conventional covers, but sincerely done : The Damage Manual ('Memories'), Pete Jones ('Blue Water') , Omegaman vs. Pigface ('Religion'), October File ('Under the House'). I would like to make a special mention to You Shriek, who turn 'Ease' into an electro-danceable tune (not that easy).

The other covers do not bring anything new or refreshing. Sadly, the worst of that compilation is, the cover of 'Public Image' (the original is so perfect !). Hanin Elias has made it as bad as possible : it's ugly and out of scope. It is not even funny nor parody, only grotesque.

One can also regret the choice of the covers. Covers of obscure tracks are missing, such as 'Tie me to the Length of That', 'Fodderstompf' and, why not, 'The CowBoy Song' or 'Home is Where the Heart is' !! - for instance, Pete Jones took the strange 'Blue Water' and make it more listenable than the original version… That's what I would expect from a tribute (or a cover in general)… A way to prove how important PIL is for you, should also have been to choose odd tracks and rebuild them into something stronger, more finished, like an updated version …

'Tribute' is certainly not here to last and most presumably will be forgotten within the next few years. However, this is the first attempt to bring the attention to PIL made by various bands and hopefully, many young listeners will go to the original after having listen to these tracks. And everything which leads to PIL is certainly not a bad thing.

Review by Alain Clerc

Track Listing: (rated 0 to 5)

1. Hanin Elias Public Image (0)
2. The Winterbrief Bad Baby (2)
3. The Damage Manual Memories (4)
4. Jared Louche Poptones (1)
5. Omegaman vs. Pigface Religion (3)
6. October File Under The House (5)
7. Irmin Schmidt & Kumo (of CAN) Banging the Door (5)
8. Sheep On Drugs Four Enclosed Walls (3)
9. The Countdown Annalisa (3)
10. You Shriek Ease (5)
11. Scars (feat. Greta Brinkman) Seattle (4)
12. Pete Jones Blue Water (4)
13. Vanishing Kids Death Disco (4)
14. Twitch of the Death Nerve Order of Death (4)
15. Chris Haskett Banging the Door (3)


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