Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Public Image Ltd - "First Edition" (Virgin Records, 1978)

This iconic P.I.L. logo was designed by British photographer/artist/musician Dennis Morris. Johnny Lydon and Dennis Morris had been working together since Morris was a teenager and Lydon was Rotten. The Sex Pistols hired Morris on as there official photographer in 1977 after Johnny saw his portraits of Bob Marley. Johnny and Dennis became good friends and after the Pistols called it quits Dennis ended up being Johnny’s go-to-guy for design work with his new band Public Image Ltd. Morris designed several of their album covers including First Edition and the amazing Metal Box.

Johnny paid his friend well giving him a huge chunk of the band’s recording budget for First Edition before the record was even finished. P.I.L. ended up running out of money halfway through the recording process and had to move from the classy Wessex Studios into a series of cheap-o demo studios to complete the album.

Dennis Morris went on to be the art director of Island Records, signing The Slits to their record deal and designing album covers for Bob Marley, Marianne Faithfull, and Linton Kwesi Johnson among others.

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