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Keith Levene Portal Classic Album Reviews



Get your hard hats on for this fest of eardrum ripping drumming, dark synth, blood curdling Lydon vocals and a 'way out there' cornucopia of instrumentation and sounds.

'Four Enclosed Walls', 'Under The House', and 'Banging The Door' gave drummer Martin Atkins free rein, and he takes full advantage! A joke in a British music paper, NME, at the time, was that it was really a whole array of vaunted drummers on this album, hammering away simultaneously, including Ginger Baker. It wasn't, but, ironically, the ex-Cream man would drum for PIL some years later.  

This album encompasses historical references aplenty, and, musically, moves from free jazz to a distorted type of Eastern folk music, with a very sparing use of conventional electric guitars.  

The title track, 'Flowers Of Romance', even has a 'Johnny Rotten plays violin' moment, which, surprisingly, he pulls off with aplomb. It's the nearest there is to a commercial track here.

'Go Back' is a dry and witty observation of right wing paranoia, more specifically about refugees coming into Britain. This track sums up an undercurrent of darkness which pervades the whole album. An album which bellows, "We're not in it for the money" - an attitude lost on the wannabe celebrity culture of now.  

This is not rock or pop music, and it has no real pigeon-hole to go to. Okay, let's try! Experimental, primeval world music perhaps? High marks for Lydon and Levene for not settling on producing the rock fodder which was expected of them. Musically, this album still leaves me as puzzled as when I first heard it, but maybe that was the whole idea...

- Paul Rance/

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Flowers of Romance
The Flowers of Romance Classic Albums - Reviews

The Beatles - Abbey Road
The Beatles - Revolver
The Beatles - Rubber Soul
The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles - The Beatles/The White Album

Blur - Parklife

David Bowie - Aladdin Sane
David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
David Bowie - Hunky Dory
David Bowie - Outside
David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust
Kate Bush - Hounds Of Love

Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head
The Doors - The Doors
Green Day - American Idiot
Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV
Maroon5 - Songs About Jane
The Moody Blues - Days Of Future Passed
Morrissey - You Are The Quarry
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells

PIL/Public Image Ltd. - Flowers Of Romance
Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon
Pink Floyd - The Wall
Queen - A Night At The Opera

Stereophonics - Performance And Cocktails
10cc - How Dare You
Travis - The Man Who
The Verve - Urban Hymns 1970s Music Index 1980s Music Index 1990s to Contemporary Music Index

'Flowers Of Romance' Track Listing
(All tracks written by Keith Levene/John Lydon unless otherwise stated)

Side One
Four Enclosed Walls (Lydon/Levene/Atkins)
Track 8
Flowers Of Romance
Under The House (Atkins/Levene/Lydon)

Side Two
Hymie's Him
Banging The Door (Atkins/Levene/Lydon)
Go Back
Francis Massacre

Public Image Limited - Paris in the Spring
One of the weirdest live albums you're ever likely to hear. The crowd are out of it in more ways than one, and Johnny seems in a mood. Features early PIL gems such as 'Bad Baby', 'Poptones', 'Theme', and 'Chant'. - P.R.

PIL/JOHN LYDON CDs available from - in association with
That What Is Not
~Public Image Limited
Virgin (Audio CD) - March 12, 1992
Avg. Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Usually dispatched within 1 to 2 working days
Second Edition
~Public Image Limited
Virgin (Audio CD) - October 1, 1999
Avg. Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Usually dispatched within 24 hours
Psycho's Path
~John Lydon
Virgin America (Audio CD) - June 16, 1997
Avg. Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
Usually dispatched within 1 to 2 weeks
PIL CDs available from - in association with

Product photo

Second Edition

Product photo Public Image Ltd. - Greatest Hits So Far
Product photo Public Image
Product photo This Is What You Want...This Is What You Get

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