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PiL*Metal Box

Label:Virgin – METAL 1
Format:
3 x Vinyl, 12", 45 RPM, Album, Limited Edition
Country:UK
Released:
Genre:Electronic, Rock
Style:Post-Punk, Dub, Avantgarde, Experimental

Tracklist

Metal 1.1
AAlbatross10:32
Metal 1.2
B1Memories5:05
B2Swan Lake4:19
Metal 1.3
C1Poptones7:45
C2Careering4:32
Metal 1.4
D1No Birds4:43
D2Graveyard3:07
Metal 1.5
E1The Suit3:29
E2Bad Baby4:30
Metal 1.6
FSocialist/Chant/Radio 412:31
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Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes

"Public Image Ltd...John Lydon.Keith Levene.Wobble.Jeannette Lee.Dave Crowe..." were the members of PIL at the time of the release. However, Jeannette Lee and Dave Crowe as non-musical band members are not featured on the record.

Packaged in a 12" film can-style metal box. Includes an A5 size sheet with tracklist and line-up.

Side B ends with a locked groove which repeats the last few seconds of "Swan Lake" endlessly until the needle is lifted from the record.

Edition of 50,000 copies (plus an extra 10,000 for export).

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Label side A): Metal 1-A
  • Matrix / Runout (Label side B): Metal 1-B
  • Matrix / Runout (Label side C): Metal 1-C
  • Matrix / Runout (Label side D): Metal 1-D
  • Matrix / Runout (Label side E): Metal 1-E
  • Matrix / Runout (Label side F): Metal 1-F
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side A, etched/stamped, variant 1): METAL.1-A-1 TY-CBS Λ 3
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side B, etched/stamped, variant 1): ·METAL.1- BA̶B-1 TY-CBS Λ 0
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side C, etched/stamped, variant 1): ·METAL-1-C-2 tim-cbs Λ
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side D, etched/stamped, variant 1): ·METAL-1-D-1 TY-CBS Λ 2
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side E, etched/stamped, variant 1): METAL-1-E-1 TY-CBS B
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side F, etched/stamped, variant 1): METAL-1-F-2 tim-cbs Λ
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side A, etched/stamped, variant 2): METAL.1-A-1 TY-CBS Λ
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side B, etched/stamped, variant 2): ·METAL.1- BA̶B-1 TY-CBS Λ 4
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side C, etched/stamped, variant 2): ·METAL-1-C-2 tim-cbs Λ
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side D, etched/stamped, variant 2): ·METAL-1-D-1 TY-CBS B
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side E, etched/stamped, variant 2): METAL-1-E-1 TY-CBS B 7
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side F, etched/stamped, variant 2): ·METAL.1-F-1 TY-CBS B 13
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side A, etched/stamped, variant 3): ∙ METAL∙1-A-1 C 1 3 TY-CBS
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side B, etched/stamped, variant 3): ∙METAL∙1-BAB-1 C TY-CBS
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side C, etched/stamped, variant 3): · METAL-1-C-1 C TY-CBS
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side D, etched/stamped, variant 3): ·METAL∙1-D-1 ∴ TY-CBS
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side E, etched/stamped, variant 3): ∙ METAL-1-E-1 C TY-CBS B
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side F, etched/stamped, variant 3): ∙ METAL-1-F-1 C TY-CBS 5
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side A, etched/stamped, variant 4): ∙ METAL∙1-A-2 tim-CBS Λ
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side B, etched/stamped, variant 4): ·METAL.1- BA̶B-1 TY-CBS 21 C
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side C, etched/stamped, variant 4): · METAL-1-C-2 tim-CBS E
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side D, etched/stamped, variant 4): ·METAL∙1-D-1 5 TY-CBS C
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side E, etched/stamped, variant 4): ∙ METAL-1-E-1 20 TY-CBS C
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side F, etched/stamped, variant 4): ∙ METAL-1-F-3 12 tim-CBS Λ
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side A, etched/stamped, variant 5): · METAL-1-A-2 1 C tim-cbs Λ
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side B, etched/stamped, variant 5): · METAL∙1-B-2 1 2 tim-cbs Λ
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side C, etched/stamped, variant 5): · METAL-1-C-1 1 C TY-CBS C
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side D, etched/stamped, variant 5): · METAL∙1-D-1 ., ., TY-CBS Λ
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side E, etched/stamped, variant 5): · METAL-1-E-2 1 tim-cbs Λ
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout side F, etched/stamped, variant 5): · METAL∙1-F-1 Λ TY-CBS

Other Versions (5 of 85)

View All
Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
Recently Edited
Second Edition (2×LP, Album, Gatefold)Island Records2WX 3288Canada1979
Recently Edited
Metal Box (Cassette, Album, Stereo, Grey Cassette w/ Corner Screws)VirginMBCAS 1UK1979
Recently Edited
Second Edition (2×LP, Album, Gatefold, White Text)VirginVD 2512New Zealand1979
New Submission
Second Edition (2×LP, Album, Gatefold)Island Records2WX 3288US1979
New Submission
Second Edition (2×LP, Album, Gatefold, Jacksonville Pressing)Island Records2WX 3288US1979
  • charliesorbit's avatar
    charliesorbit
    Any UK seller with just the tin in reasonable state they want to sell? Please message me. Though I kind of love my version - the three original vinyls in handmade filthy worn sleeves with the lyrics and other annotated pictures glued to exteriors. Car boot in Cornwall some years ago. Still sounding as fresh as ever. (As a tender 16 yr old saw them at Futurama in Sept 1979, and they blew my mind...)
    • rezmole's avatar
      rezmole
      For information. I bought this the week it was released. It did NOT have the printed sheet inside. However, this must have happened to many of the initial batches which went out for sale. I remember getting a copy of the insert in one of the music papers a few weeks later (either NME or Sounds). This might explain why a lot of copies appear to be missing the insert.
      Still loving my copy. Very little of the tin remains untarnished, but I like it that way. The inside has faired better, but has tarnished where greasy fingerprints have been (possibly due to salt in sweat). Again, I don't mind this.
      • monchito1972's avatar
        monchito1972

        Hello, I have bought the Box 1 - 233 box, it does not appear on discog, it is of the same edition as the one I have, I need someone to tell me and Thank you
        • ihave5dollars's avatar
          ihave5dollars
          Any suggestions for how to store this? Something about keeping these in the tin, separated by the paper dividers, makes me feel like they will be damaged. Maybe I'm paranoid but I feel like keeping the vinyl in poly sleeves with the tin kept separate... is this ridiculous?
          • henryhopkinsmusic's avatar
            Hi all! What sort of value would you give to just the tin?

            Many thanks,

            Henry
            • Christopher_Packer's avatar
              Apologies in advance if this is a non-point, which everyone finished talking about 40 years ago, or even if not that, it is beyond pedantic.

              But anyway, in my copy of the film-can metal box release, on three of the four circular white paper dividers, the lyrics are printed in red capitals. In two places, corrections have been made. First, in the lyrics to Albatross, the line “another will not forget” has been tippexed out and overtyped with “If I wanted”. Second, in the lyrics to Memories, the last “and on” in one line has been deleted in the way one could with the ribbon in a typical typewriter from the 70s (so that it is still legible).

              Were printed lyrics (whether with or without corrections) a standard feature of the initial release? Or has a previous owner of what is now my copy unilaterally typed up the lyrics and then corrected a couple of self-made mistakes?
              • muphasta's avatar
                muphasta
                Edited 6 months ago
                Martin Atkins started The Museum of Post Punk and Industrial Music in Chicago which I got to visit in September, 2021.
                He has a copy of Metal Box in the museum with "PiL" printed tape wrapped around it. He told me that the Richard Branson paid for the tape with the intention of wrapping each copy of Metal Box with it, but when he calculated how much it would cost to pay people to wrap 50-60K tins, he decided against it.
                • drgn238's avatar
                  drgn238
                  On mine copy there is a sticker and on it you can read HMV 7.50 pounds .
                  Was , is & stays one of the best EVER !
                  • MrDayInTheUk's avatar
                    MrDayInTheUk
                    Edited 7 months ago
                    What can you say about this that hasn’t already been said ? The sound of post punk distilled into three 12”s, with a bass that makes dogs ejaculate. I bought this back in 1979, and if memory serves me right it was £9.99 which was a small fortune in those days. Just to show how little regard we had for this - and because we stupidly assumed it would be available to buy for years - me and my mate Ian used the two copies we had as “cymbals “ on our crappy DIY recordings we knocked out then. Not sure if Johnny would be proud or horrified 🤣. It’s not as if they made good cymbals anyway ! We hit them with wooden coat hangers. Oh well.
                    Needless to say we soon found out that we weren’t going to just stroll into the local record shop and buy another one, so I hung on to my poor battered specimen for quite a few years. Somewhere along the line I either lost it or sold it, then eventually bought it on CD. But it never sounded the same and I yearned for a nice copy of the original set.
                    I did buy the Three Men With Beards issue years ago but that never sounded right either. Then I read comments about that version on the Steve Hoffman forum that basically echoed what I felt. So that version went too.
                    And here I am now with - at last - a very nice copy of the original beauty. I love the authenticity of it. The oxidation on the tin, the difficult to get out of the case records (I’m convinced Johnny wanted it that way 😀 just to be a git) , that bass, that glacial guitar, those intense vocals. What a statement! And it sounds so fresh. Does it sound like it was released in 1979 ? Yes and no. The late 70s was such a febrile time for artists and this fits in perfectly. Yet it also sounds ahead of itself. Like Magazines Secondhand Daylight, Entertainment by Gang of Four, 154 by Wire, Hell even Lodger by Bowie. All of their time but not of their time.
                    I don’t think we’ll see this level of artistry again. Not like this anyway.

                    BTW If you have a copy of this with substantial oxidation and you want to clean it up a bit, I made a paste up of baking powder + water, then spread this all over the metal front. Left it for a few hours, then very gently rubbed the paste off with a fine wire gauze, finally rinsing thoroughly in warm water. I did this three times and it has got rid of most of the markings and spots. There’s still a bit of ageing - I think that’s unavoidable, but in all honesty I’m not fussed with a bit of wear. I just wanted to clean the thing up a bit and make it look a little less rusty. Now, I’m very pleased with my copy. The seller I bought it from looked after it and I feel I got a good deal.
                    • selfstarter's avatar
                      selfstarter
                      anybody selling just the insert please reach out to me! thanks!

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