Album Review
by Scott Sterling-Wilder

Print this article
J. Lydon: 'The Best Of British £1 Notes'
John Lydon & The Young Gods: ''The Best Of British £1 Notes' & 'XXY - XX Years 1985 - 2005''
(Virgin & PIAS)
John Lydon & The Young Gods compilations

John Lydon
'The Best Of The British £1 Notes'

It was 30 years ago that Johnny Rotten appeared to cause a riot in our listening habit and terrorize our ears with The Sex Pistols. Although a great frontman he’s never been a great singer but that hasn’t stopped him becoming a legend. The Pistols burnt out rather quickly but he continued with a few interesting projects. [Somewhat marred by the punk myth’s reformation before the last century expired.]

‘The Best Of British £1 Notes’ comes at the strange time - there is no obvious reason really - in three formats: single and double CDs and a DVD. The former is fairly flawed by being non-chronological and offering three Pistols songs but only ‘Death Disco’ from the Public Image Ltd’s seminal ‘Metal Box’. The double-CD version at least includes ‘Careering’, ‘Poptones’ and 1981’s ‘Banging The Door’.

Lydon’s collection certainly proves his idiosyncratic charisma that referenced reggae and [progtastic] Van Der Graaf Generator, Can, punk, avant-garde and led to his collaboration with two of dance’s greatest innovators - Afrika Bambaataa and Leftfield.

There is a much better collection to be had, one feels.


The Young Gods
‘XXY - XX Years 1985 - 2005’

A far superior compilation is ‘XXY’ that collects 20 years of extraordinary music from Swiss band The Young Gods, whose sleek and sinister hard rock is created with samplers, drums and the rasping vocals of Franz Treischer. Bridging Kurt Weill, Industrial rock and avant-garde, they’ve recorded some marvellous stuff along the way.

Apart the 'regular' disc, there is Disc Two, full of Remixes & Rarities.

Swiss have produced only two great outfits in the history of rock, Yello and The Young Gods. If you’ve never heard the latter - it will be a revelation like no other!


Scott Sterling-Wilder
John Lydon’s ‘The Best Of British £1 Notes’ is released 03 October 2005 by Virgin/EMI

The Young Gods’ compilation ‘XXY - XX Years 1985 - 2005’ is released 03 October 2005 by PIAS