1985 Chronology

Research by Karsten Roekens and Scott M, plus contributors…



PiL Australian Tour continues at Newcastle, Workers Club.


The 7" release of Time Zone - 'World Destruction' (Virgin. VS743). The 12" version was released the previous week on New Years Eve 1984 (see 1984 Chronology more info).

Although the single didn't make a huge impact on the charts, it was arguably the first real 'hip-hop meets rock' collaboration; predating Run DMC's 'Walk This Way' by two years; and is cited as a major influence on the later rock/rap crossover's.


'NME' review Time Zone - 'World Destruction' and vote it their "Single of the Week".


Short Japanese PiL Tour starts at Nakano Sun Plaza, Tokyo, Japan (see Gig List for full dates).


Nagoya City Hall, Japan.
This gig is specially taped for a Japanese only video release bizarrely entitled 'PiL in Anarchy Movie 85'. Lydon takes to the stage with a camcorder. Predating U2's Zoo TV by almost 10 years! (see video discography for full info).


'Musician, Player and Listener' - Keith Levene interview. The article states: "He's just undertaken a project for Activision to design software product for home computers and video games; he has also returned to recording... The music he is making right now he plans to release himself or work out one-shot deals with smaller record companies - he has already turned down contracts from two major labels."


Around this time Keith Levene moves from New York to Silver Lake, Los Angeles.


'The Tube' broadcast the promo video for Time Zone - 'World Destruction'.


BBC, Old Grey Whistle Test. Lydon is interviewed via telephone from LA for BBC-2's 'Old Grey Whistle Test' to promote his recent 'Time Zone' single with Afrika Bambaataa. He says, "I'll be doing more work with Bill Laswell, the man who produced it, because he's gonna be working on my new album."


Martin Atkins' Brian Brain – with Geoff Smyth on guitar and Margot Olavarria on bass – play the Greystone Ballroom, Detroit. They continue touring the US through the year.


Jah Wobble and Ollie Marland release the album 'Neon Moon' (see wobble discography for full info).


It is announced in the UK music press that Martin Atkins has left PiL to form his own record label and concentrate on his Brian Brain ensemble.


The release of Dub Syndicate's 'Tunes From The Missing Channel' LP. Keith Levene plays guitar on the track 'Wellie' (see Levene discography for full info). Jah Wobble also features on 'Overboard' (see wobble discography for full info).


The release of 'PiL in Anarchy Movie 85'. A Japanese only Video & Laser Disc recorded live at Nagoya City Hall, 12th January 1985 (see video discography for full info).


'Village Voice' - John Lydon interview.


PiL's live version of 'Anarchy in the UK' from their 1983 'The Tube' TV appearance is released on a semi-official Sex Pistols LP 'Live Worldwide' (see miscellaneous discography for full info).


Lydon records 'Album' in New York with bass player Bill Laswell producing. The remaining members of the 1984-85 PiL live band – Jebin Bruni, Brett Helm & Mark Schulz –  begin the initial recording sessions but are soon dropped. Mainly due to Bill Laswell's insistence on using his own musicians; coupled with concerns about the band's studio inexperience, and the impact that could have on the recording budget. However, Bruni & Schulz will receive co-writing credits on three tracks each on the forthcoming album.

The musicians used on the record include Ginger Baker (Cream) drums, Ryuichi Sakamoto (Yellow Magic Orchestra) keyboards, Steve Vai (Alcatrazz, David Lee Roth) guitar, and Shankar violin (see 'Album' session men for full info).

Steve Vai: "There was the consideration of putting a band together - John, myself, Bill Laswell on bass and Ginger Baker on drums. Would have been quite a band."

Most of the songs for 'Album' were originally written by Lydon along with Mark Schulz and Jebin Bruni from the 1984-85 PiL live band. When the tracks were registered with US copyright in September and October 1985 an unrecorded Lydon/Schulz composition entitled 'Animal' was also registered too. Some tracks also still had working titles: 'Round And Round (European Cars)' & 'Fishing (Pearls Before Swine)'.


The US release of The Golden Palominos 'Visions of Excess', featuring Lydon on 'The Animal Speaks' (see Lydon discography for full info). The track was recorded earlier in the year with Bill Laswell at Radio City Music Hall Studios, New York.

On the collaboration Anton Fier commented, "I gave him a tape three days before to listen to, which of course he didn't. The final result is OK, but the proceedings were very difficult. I like the guy, but he's really paranoid, and I know why, because for years people tried to exploit him. It took a while to convince him I wouldn't do that."


Soon-to-be PiL guitarist John McGeoch plays his last concert with The Armoury Show at the Luxor, Cologne, Germany.


Keith Levene records his contributions to the score of Penelope Spheeris' forthcoming film 'Hollywood Vice Squad'. He spends two weeks at Jim Lang's Knobworld Studio in Echo Park, Los Angeles. The results of these sessions are released in 1987 on the b-side of Keith Levene's '2011' EP.



1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 |
| 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 |
| 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 |

Chronology | Fodderstompf