Side 1: FFF / Rise / Fishing / Round
Side 2: Bags / Home / Ease
Label & Catalogue
Virgin. V 2366
Mid-Price Reissue: OVED
Re-issued on 180g vinyl in the USA on March 10th 2009 by Rhino Records.
Highest UK Chart Position:
Vox - John Lydon
Guitar - Steve Vai / Nicky Skopelitis (session)
Bass - Bill Laswell / Jonas Hellborg (session)
Drums - Tony Williams / Ginger Baker (session)
Organ - Bernie Worrell (session)
Synthesiser - Ryuichi Sakamoto (session)
Acoustic Bass - Malachi Favors (session)
Chatan - Aiyb Dieng (session)
Didjeridu - Steve Turre (session)
Electric Violin - L. Shankar (session)
Backing Vocals - Bernard Fowler (session)
track by track breakdown
Single LP, no inner sleeve.
'Fishing', 'Round', 'Bags' & 'Ease' were co-written with the
1984 live line-up. However, the band were dropped
prior to recording due
Bill Laswell's insistence on using his own musicians; coupled with
PiL's concerns about the live band's studio inexperience;
and the impact that could have on the recording budget.
The remaining tracks
were written in the studio by Laswell / Lydon.
Tracks written by Lydon/Laswell & Lydon/Bruni/Schulz
Published by Warner Chappell Music Ltd / Copyright Control / MCA
Music Ltd / Bug Music Ltd © 1986 Virgin Records Ltd
The generic style artwork for the album was inspired by an American
supermarket brand (Lydon also said that he liked the "Food"
tin in 'Repo Man'). Californian underground punk band Flipper – who
released their own 'Generic' album in 1981 – would later
claim that Lydon stole the idea from them, but the artwork is completely
different, and it seems a very obscure reference. Flipper pettily
responded by naming their 1986 live album 'Public Flipper Limited'.
Back in 1981 'NME' printed
an April Fool's joke that the drummer-less PiL were set to enlist
the help of legendary Cream drummer Ginger Baker. A complete hoax,
that six years later would actually come true, when Bill Laswell
coaxed him out of retirement to be one of the drummers on 'Album'.
When the tracks were registered with US copyright in September and October 1985 an unrecorded Lydon/Schulz composition entitled 'Animal' was registered too. Some tracks also still had working titles: 'Round (European Cars)' & 'Fishing (Pearls Before Swine)'.
Produced by John Lydon & Bill Laswell
Mixed by Jason Corsaro
The Power Station / Quadra Sonic / RPM / Electric Lady, New York
Concept: John Lydon
(Inspired by a generic style American supermarket brand).
In some ways 'Album' was almost like a solo album. I worked alone
with a new bunch of people. Obviously the most important person
was Bill Laswell. But it was during the recording of this album
in New York that Miles Davis came into the studio while I was singing,
stood behind me and started playing. Later he said that I sang like
he played the trumpet, which is still the best thing anyone's ever
said to me. To be complimented by the likes of him was special.
Funnily enough we didn't use him...
- John Lydon, 'Plastic Box' sleevenotes 1999
John, I think, got a
cassette the evening before. The idea was to get him on the initial
take… [During the recording] I would give John bulletins as
we drank beer in bars. "Today Steve Turre blew into conch shells,
tomorrow a Didjeridu…" John grew wary, restive, even
- Roger Trilling (Laswell cohort) (source unknown)