318. the order of death

Public Image Ltd‘s fourth album, 1984’s This is What you Want … This is What you Get is a mess, the end result of a major reconfiguration of what had been one of the essential post-punk units. Main man John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) was still on board, but previous compadres Jah Wobble and Keith Levine were both gone amid much drug and alcohol messing around and perhaps absconding with various master tapes. But the album wis not a complete write-off if only for its lead off track, The Order of Death, which is just a chant basically, the album’s title repeated and repeated to ultimately powerful effect. Or as Philip Random puts it, “… theme music for the movie I seemed to be stuck in at the time, the one concerning an entire culture going down in the sewage and bile of its own corrupt desires and obsessions. Or something like that.”

(photo: Rosie Greenway)