The Spindle: Public Image Ltd-“Public Image” B/W “The Cowboy Song”

Drawing on Jamaican dub, progressive rock, and outsider art traditions, Public Image Ltd was a band much more than the sum of its parts. Formed by John Lydon—shedding the “Johnny Rotten” persona he utilized with the Sex Pistols—along with bassist Jah Wobble, drummer Jim Walker, former Clash member Keith Levene, who passed away on November 11, 2022), the band’s eponymous debut single hit the charts in October 1978. Dropping the needle on this strident and stark recording, John and Marc dig in on its attendant Beeheartisms, uncompromising art rock ethos, and Lydon’s remarkable vocal performance.

About The Spindle: The 7-inch record isn’t just a format—it’s an art form. On each episode of The Spindle podcast, music writer Marc Masters (Pitchfork, The Wire, Bandcamp) and music historian (and music maker) John Howard dive into a great 7-inch, dissecting its background, impact, and the reasons why it stands out as a small plastic piece of music history. 

What’s your favorite 7″? Call us at 1-877-WASTOIDS and weigh in!

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