Rise (Public Image Ltd song)

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PiL Rise.jpg
Single by Public Image Ltd
from the album Album
A-side "Rise"
B-side "Rise (Instrumental)"
Released January 21, 1986 (UK)
Format 7" & 12" vinyl
Genre Alternative rock
Length 6:05 (album version)
4:27 (7" edit)
Label Virgin VS 841
Songwriter(s) John Lydon
Producer(s) John Lydon, Bill Laswell
Public Image Ltd singles chronology
"Bad Life"
"Bad Life"
Alternative cover
12" cover
12" cover

"Rise" is a single released by post-punk group Public Image Ltd in 1986. It was the first single from their fifth studio album, Album.

The song was written by John Lydon about apartheid in South Africa and specifically about Nelson Mandela, as Lydon stated in a 2013 Glastonbury interview,.[1] Lydon also referred to Northern Irish RUC interrogation techniques, such as electric torture, in an MTV interview in 1987.[2] It was one of the group's biggest commercial hits, peaking at #11 on the UK Singles Chart and being featured on albums in both the Hits and Now That's What I Call Music! series in the UK. The song contains the phrase 'May The Road Rise With You', which is a rephrasing of the old Irish blessing "may the road rise up to meet you".

"Rise" was featured in the films "The Rules of Attraction", "The Promotion", and "Remarkable Power".

Steve Vai contributes his guitar work to the track while former Miles Davis drummer Tony Williams contributes drums, Bill Laswell plays fretless bass and L. Shankar plays violin.

Liam Howlett of The Prodigy included it on his instalment of the Back to Mine mix album series.

Cover versions[edit]

The song was covered by Australian Industrial Metal band Jerk on their debut album When Pure Is Defiled. It was also covered by Tripping Daisy on the EP Time Capsule (1997). It has also been covered on Adrian Edmondson's folk band the Bad Shepherds' debut album, Yan, Tyan, Tethera, Methera! (2009). Brazilian rock band Legião Urbana covered it on their MTV Acústico album and DVD. British band Love Amongst Ruin released a cover of the song as a free download in July 2012.[3]


Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[4] 35
Ireland (IRMA)[5] 10
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[6] 29
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[7] 11