Best of British (Bonus CD)
There Arent Many of his So-called Musical Piers that Could Boast a Back Catalogue as Strong Or Diverse as John Lydon's. Whether it Be with the Sex Pistols, Public Image Limited, Leftfield Or as a Solo Artist He Has Made Some Remarkable Records. Through his Work with the Pistols and Pil Right Through to his Solo Work Lydon Has Left his Unmistakable Stamp on Everything He Has Touched Be it Through his Powerful Lyric, his Snarling Vocal Or It's Relentless Anti Melody. He Has Bridged Rock, Dance and of Course Punk and Has Truly Left an Indelible Mark on Music of the Last 30 Years. This Compilation with an Additional Bonus Disc Including 12" Mixes and Additional Tracks.
The bonus disc is as frustrating as it is helpful. Who is the target audience? It seems that it can't make up its mind whether to be a rarities disc or an expanded best-of disc. Neither aim is satisfied. If I were to recommend 2 CDs to a potential fan it would be the one-disc version of this set and Metal Box (not this two-disc set). Another possibility is the recent Gold set but that one is limited to PIL songs and doesn't include any of the one-offs. The thing is the second disc isn't a total train wreck either. Including the album versions of Poptones and Careering might convince someone to go ahead and buy Metal Box. Religion and Banging the Door are two solid additions - classic post-punk and classic Johnny. Pardon, well, I like the song but it wouldn't be my top choice as a second track from This is What You Want This Is What You Get. After that the casual fan might as well hit the stop button.
The rest of the disc seems to be aimed to fans like me. You get four 12" mixes are added including one (Rise) that is not on the Plastic Box boxed set. But the album versions of all four songs are on the main disc so why not just put the 12" versions over there to begin with? Acid Drops, okay, that's probably the second best song from That What Is Not and an otherwise unnecessary album. An additional remix of Open Up, okay it is nice to have. The dance mix of God Save The Queen is a novelty and not designed for repeated listens. Confusing matters further, the DVD (video) version of this set has three bonus audio tracks that aren't here, two different mixes of Albatross (one completely different from the album version) and another mix of Death Disco. I'd rather have these songs than not have them but you have to admit it is annoying. Kind of like packaging records in a film canister. And whatever happened to the single mix of Memories?
The first disc - also released as its own album - has a trio of tracks from the Sex Pistols (Anarchy in the UK, Holidays in the Sun, God Save the Queen), while loading up on PiL (13 tracks), with two songs as a solo artist (Sun, Rabbit Song) and a pair of collaborative efforts (with Leftfield and Time Zone). Disc two also provides a healthy dose of PiL - 10 tracks, including four remixes - and a remix each of Open Up (w/Leftfield) and the punk classic from the Sex Pistols, God Save the Queen.
Though the collection lacks the unearthing of previously unreleased tracks from a dusty vault, it is a solid set when taking into account that a number of albums in the PiL catalog are out-of-print, which makes many songs virtually impossible to find on CD.