Album, Cassette and Compact Disc were released in conceptual generic packaging in 1986 and reached No.14 in the UK charts. You will be most familiar with the single Rise, Ease was the last and longest track on the album at just over eight minutes and featured a surprising cast of musicians.
The album was produced by John Lydon and Bill Laswell and this song included Ryuichi Sakamoto, Steve Vai, Ginger Baker and Swedish bass connoisseur Jonas Hellborg – never has there been a stranger bunch of musicians put together to play on a track. Interestingly they all sound like themselves – you could pick them out (not familiar enough with Hellborg) but the others, you can hear it’s them.
The song starts with what sounds like didjeridoo underneath Japanese classical music probably played on a Fairlight (the wonder machine of the era) and despite the drums suffering from snappy eighties production it’s an adventurous piece of music. I just can’t imagine Ryuichi and Ginger sitting in the studio lounge chatting wondering when Steve Vai was getting there. And when he arrives playing himself at 5.40 you realise that despite your preconceived ideas about Lydon, his genius is his open minded attitude towards music.