Public Image Ltd.

John Lydon (center) and his merry pranksters are back with Public Image Ltd.'s first album in 20 years.
Paul Heartfield

Allow Public Image Ltd. to reintroduce themselves. Following 1992 LP That What Is Not, the irrepressible John Lydon became a best-selling author with 1993's childhood/Sex Pistols memoir Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs; was sued by a former bandmate on Judge Judy; reloaded an approximation of the Pistols; and appeared in a butter ad on British TV. (Among many, many other things.) His hilarious, sometimes unfortunate media eruptions, while not all that different from the kind of postmodern pranks Lydon regularly pulled in PiL, eventually clouded public memory of how important they had been. Apart from Gang of Four, no band fused rock with insurrectionist politics and the coming tide of electronic dance music more successfully and influentially, so much so that Lydon and various PiL alumni effortlessly skip over that 20-year gap on sleek and cheeky brand-new LP This Is PiL.

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