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Flowers of Romance PiL Public Image Limited

1981 album from Public Image Limited.

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I send you flowers, you wanted chocolates instead...The Flowers of Romance.

  • Sep 2, 2009
  • by
Flowers of Romance is a fascinating album.  Keith Levene and John Lydon needed to record a third album.  Keith Levene and John Lydon worked together on several tracks (usually Lydon listens to the music the band recorded and wrote lyrics to accompany it).  But with the dismissal of Jah Wobble and no available drummer the two decide to record the album themselves.  Levene played drums, guitar, bass and synthesizers whilst Lydon added some off key violin, saxophone and additional drums and percussion.  The music is centered around simple drum beats and patterns.  Music is added through loop and pastiche tracks.  Several tracks are played backwards creating an eerie aura.  Martin Atkins was brought back to work on three tracks and later toured with the new Pil line-up.  One song that Lydon had no input was Hymie's Hymm (he named the song as a dig at Levene).  Lydon felt that the music was so good that it didn't need any vocals.

I really enjoyed Flowers of Romance.  From the haunting lyrics and vocals of John Lydon to the drum centered music.  Only one song has Levene's trademark jangling metallic riffs (Go Back) the rest is either played backwards or buried under multi-layered music tracks.  I really enjoyed the dual drum attack on Under the House and the Middle Eastern influenced tracks of Phenagen and Four Enclosed Walls.  Check out the music video of Flowers of Romance on the web, it's an absolute hoot.  The band's videographer Jeanette Lee appears in the video "playing" the cello.  If you want to hear some real interesting music that's totally outside the box then I suggest you check out Flowers of Romance.

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Joseph Ulibas ()
Ranked #32
I have been working on my web series Fine Feather Friends.
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About this song


Third studio album from Public Image Limited.

John Lydon: vocals, violin, saxophone and percussion
Keith Levene: guitar, synthesizers, drums, bass and percussion
Martin Atkins: drums and percussion

The single "Flowers of Romance" charted at #24 in the UK Pop charts.

Richard Branson gave Keith Levene some wooden flutes he bought in Bali.  Levene used them in recorded the song Hymie's Hymm.

  1. "Four Enclosed Walls" – 4:44 *
  2. "Track 8" – 3:15
  3. "Phenagen" – 2:40
  4. "Flowers of Romance" – 2:51
  5. "Under the House" – 4:33 *
  6. "Hymie's Him" – 3:18
  7. "Banging the Door" – 4:49 *
  8. "Go Back" – 3:46
  9. "Francis Massacre" – 3:31
  10. "Flowers of Romance (Instrumental)" – 2:51 Bonus CD track (taken from the "Flowers of Romance" 12" single)
  11. "Home Is Where the Heart Is" – 7:34 Bonus CD track (taken from the "Flowers of Romance" single)
  12. "Another" – 3:51 Bonus CD track (taken from the "Memories" single)
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Label: Virgin Records
Genre: alternative
Release Date: April 10, 1981
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