Public Image Ltd (PiL) are an English post-punk band formed by vocalist John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten), guitarist Keith Levene and bassist Jah Wobble, with frequent subsequent personnel changes. Lydon is the sole constant member of the band.
Lydon emerged after the break-up of the Sex Pistols with PiL's First Issue (1978). His new band had a more experimental sound: Wobble's "droning, slow-tempo, bass-heavy noise rock, overlaid by Lydon's distinctive, vituperative rant." Their early work is often regarded as some of the most challenging and innovative music of the post-punk era. Their 1979 album Metal Box was ranked number 469 on Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The NME described PiL as "arguably the first post-rock group".
Following the Sex Pistols' break-up in 1978, Lydon spent three weeks in Jamaica with Virgin Records head Richard Branson, in which Lydon assisted Branson in scouting for emerging reggae musicians. Branson also flew American band Devo to Jamaica, aiming to install Lydon as lead singer in the band. Devo declined the offer.
Upon returning to England, Lydon approached Jah Wobble (né John Wardle) about forming a band