Keith Levene, founding member of both The Clash and Public Image Ltd., plans to resurrect what was to be PiL’s fourth album —1984’s Commercial Zone, released in two different incarnations — and “enhance it with original material,” finishing the album 30 years later “not so much to set the record straight, but get the right record out the right way.”
To that end, Levene recently launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign with a goal of raising $12,500 (and, as of late Sunday, he was more than halfway there, with a month still to go).
On his website, Levene writes:
“Finally producing the Commercial Zone my way will allow me to finish important unfinished business. I know there’s been a gap in time of 30 years. However, it seems like it’s coming right on time for a myriad of reasons. So now with Commercial Zone 2014, you will get what the fourth album was supposed to be — and much more. It will be much better because it’s current and has the benefit of 30 years of my work.”
In early 1983, Levene began work on what was intended to be PiL’s fourth album, Commercial Zone. Because of what he terms “endless complications,” Levene quit PiL later that year, taking the tapes of the unfinished album and securing, in early 1984, his own release of Commerical Zone.
John Lydon re-recorded the album, releasing his version — PiL’s This Is What You Want… This Is What You Get — in the summer of 1984 as Virgin Records took legal action to quash Levene’s release.
That rift between Levene and Lydon, the guitarist notes on his Indiegogo page for the Commercial Zone 2014 project, resulted “in two diluted releases, neither of which were satisfactory.”
The new version of Commercial Zone will feature multiple remixes of “This Is Not a Love Song” as well as “four original, totally unheard tracks,” Levene says in a video introducing the project (see below). Also, “there’s some stuff taken off the Commerical Zone I put out.”
Of the revived record, Levene says: “For me, it was the album that was gonna consolidate everything. It was going to make it. It was going to be better than anything we’d done.”
For more on Levene’s Commercial Zone 2014 and to pre-order, visit the project’s Indiegogo page.
Below, check out a short video of Levene explaining the project:
Video: Keith Levene on Commercial Zone 2014
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- John Lydon joins North American arena tour of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’
- Free MP3: Jah Wobble & Keith Levene, ‘Yin & Yang’ — off ex-PiL members’ new album
- Video: Jah Wobble and Keith Levene revisit PiL with ‘Metal Box in Dub’ in London
- John Lydon reuniting Public Image Ltd. for 30th anniversary of ‘Metal Box’
This won’t end well.
This will be interesting to hear. It’s a shame the new PiL album couldn’t have been a reunion of Wobble, Lydon, & Levene.
I just hope we GET to hear it. Have a sick feeling this will end in litigation.
finally! Lydon’s a joke and a bore. looking forward to hearing what Keith intended here good luck mate
This would be worth a follow-up article. What Levene ultimately released is interesting, but definitely not Commercial Zone — no original recordings, no remakes, no alternate mixes of “This is Not a Love Song”. Instead you get a few vocal tracks and lots of instrumental noodlings.
Imagine if Paul McCartney raised funds to “complete” Get Back, but then gave us Memory Almost Full…
Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?
Did you even buy the album? Probably not. so how do you even know what’s on there and how the music progressed?
Keith was the composer of the original album. Not Lydon Jones Atkins or that tape op who Levene hired and has been spewing his venom out of jealously all over Facebook because the very people who Levene hired to help him turned on him so viciously.
I was a backer. I got the album as promised on 23 Nov. 2014 the 35th anniversary of that other album Levene composed – you might have heard about it. Metal Box.
What Keith did with Commercial Zone was deliver much more than what was promised. I got more than my money’s worth. He wiped the floor with anything Lydon’s PiL covers band has done and did it all himself – played all instruments, wrote all music, mixed, produced, etc.
He’s put several previews up on his website. Give it a listen and you might know what you’re talking about next time.