Sex Pistols

The greatest rock and roll swindle, as examined by the greatest rock and roll Prindle. Hee! What a delightful rhyme!
* special introductory paragraph!
* Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols
* Live At Chelmsford Top Security Prison
* Spunk
* The Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle
* Flogging A Dead Horse
* We Have Cum For Your Children (Wanted: The Goodman Tapes)
* Filthy Lucre Live
Hey, a while back I wrote a little blurb about Never Mind The Bollocks for some e-zine called "Riot In Your Mind," but I think it may have gone out of business - so how could I just let my "brilliant" and "thought-provoking" review go to naught? Impossible!!! But it would be a real pain in the ass to try to separate the "Pistols" stuff from the Bollocks stuff, so screw this opening paragraph. If you want to know about the Sex Pistols, read the lengthy album review below. And thanks for stopping by!

Add your thoughts?

* Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols - Warner Bros. 1977. *
Rating = 10

Until about two months ago, I hadn't actually sat down and listened to this record for several years. And why? 'Cuz it's so darn slow!!!! When I'm in the mood for "punk rock," I pull out something fast that kicks butt, like your Minor Threat or your Misfits or your early D.R.I., which I guess are actually more like "hardcore" than traditional "punk rock," but darn it, "hardcore," to me, is what "punk rock" is all about - speed, fury, excitement, slashing guitar chords, and a guy who can't sing worth a crap.

So what is this Sex Pistols album? Well, regardless of what the world will try to convince you until the day you pass on to the spiritual realm, the Sex Pistols did not invent punk rock. All they did was combine the guitar chop boogie of the New York Dolls with the fuzzed-out axe attack of the Stooges, toss some snotty lyrics on top, and act like assholes in public. That ain't nothin' revolutionary!!!!!! They claimed that it was punk rock because they couldn't play their instruments, but that too is a total load of Metallica album; maybe Sid Worthless couldn't play his instrument, but drummer Paul Cook sounds fine on this record, and guitarist Steve Jones (who actually played bass on most of the tracks, too) sounds fantastic! He's throwing out Thunders-esque lead lines all over the place! So he plays lots of distorted chords? So what? Listen a little bit closer to what he's playing within and around the chords, and then try to tell me he didn't know what he was doing! Couldn't play his instrument, my ass. Couldn't play my instrument with his ass.

What else can I complain about? Oh, I know! "Punk" was supposed to be a speedy brash attack on traditional rock stylings, right? The Sex Pistols were supposed to be a revolutionary middle finger being flipped at the bloated dinosaurs of '70s radio, right? Then why the hell are the songs all so damn long???? The longest track on the Ramones' debut (1976 Sire Records) is two minutes and thirty-five seconds long. In contrast, only three of the twelve songs on Never Mind The Bollocks end in less than three minutes! "Problems" and "Submission" are over four minutes long, for chrissake!!! How "punk" is that?? Verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle part, verse, chorus. That's outrageous? Singer Johnny Rotten has said on many an occasion that this record was supposed to be "the end of rock and roll." If this was really the band's goal, they couldn't have failed more miserably. Why would a midtempo cross between the New York Dolls and The Stooges signify the end of anything??? You want the end of rock and roll, try the first D.R.I. record or Scum by Napalm Death. Next to the tons of more threatening aural attacks of the '80s and '90s (everything from Slayer to Naked City and back again), this carp sounds like classic rock!!!

Which brings me (finally) to my point: this Sex Pistols record, the only proper record they made before splintering apart, is one of the most infectious, fun, and worthwhile hard rock albums you will ever hear. Firstly, the guitars are blisteringly gritty, with Steve Jones doing everything in his power to sound as cool as Johnny Thunders, who wanted to be as cool as Keith Richards, who wanted to be as cool as Chuck Berry, who wanted to watch girls take a poop. Nextly, the melodies are as simple, gleeful, and wonderfully catchy as anything the rock world has seen since "Rock Around The Clock" won the hearts of jillions of pissed-off British skinheads on the dole back in '55. (d) The vocals are the epitome of "young and snotty," and probably the only reason that this stuff was called "punk" in the first place; Johnny Rotten displays a high-pitched sneering hateful British "nyaaah"approach to vocalizing that gives these ditties dozens more personality than even James Taylor might have managed. And finally, the lyrics are hilariously misanthropic in a manner reminiscent of, but more fully-developed and less cartoonish than, The Ramones; hot ditties like "No Feelings," "Pretty Vacant," and "God Save The Queen" made it darned clear that these angry young thugs weren't out to become heroes of the establishment. But who gives a crap? It was a beautiful way to kick off an exciting new youth movement!

So darn it all and nail it to the wall, whatever you wanna say about punk rock - whether you write it off as "crap" after sitting through a couple of Green Day songs or delve deep enough into it to be able to distinguish the clever bands from the suck jobs - you need to forget about all the mohawked, green-haired, anarchistic nonsense you associate with fans of the genre, and listen to this Sex Pistols record for what it is. Never mind the image, here's one of the greatest mainstream hard rock albums ever to be completely ignored by the mainstream.

Reader Comments (Doug Swalen)
The Sex Pistols were overrated. They weren't innovators. Their attitudes were what got them publicity. The songs are pretty cool though. But I disagree with you about that "what punk was all about" bit. In England punk wasn't aimed at destroying 70's Rock; it was aimed, at the outset, to be generally offensive to the mass public. So, attack the queen, say naughty words on the air, stick the word "cunt" in a song. The English bands were always more political than their American cousins. Do you think the Ramones would put out a song like "Anarchy In The U.K." when they started? No way.
Thank God SOMEONE set the record straight on the Sex Pistols. Too bad it had to be fuckin' Mark Prindle. Just kidding, Mark. Anyway, I'm so tired of hearing what "pioneers" the Pistols were. People act like they were the world's first and only goddamn punk band! I've heard the Ramones and the Clash called their "rivals". The Ramones were first and the Clash were actually talented and progressive, so the Pistols are the least of the trilogy. But, alas and alack, this doesn't weaken the appeal of the Never Mind the Bollocks...! It's one of those albums you just have to own or you ain't hip, like The Joshua Tree, Sgt. Pepper or Pat Boone in a Metal Mood. And it is good! Each track a bonafide punk classic (except for "Submission", which sucks). One of those albums that lives up to its hype. (Scott Floman)
Personally, I think this is the most overrated record in rock history. The songs are merely ok (except for "Holidays In The Sun" and "Bodies") and I can sing better than Johnny Rotten, and I can't sing at all. The only thing revolutionary about them was what jerks they acted like, although they were historically important because they influenced a lot of cool bands. I'd rather listen to innovative "dinosaurs" such as Led Zeppelin instead of this generic "punk rock" anyday. But then again, I think the Ramones (one trick pony) and Clash were overrated too, although London Calling is great. The Stooges, now we're talking. You're going to laugh, but check out the raw energy on the first Iron Maiden album. It kicks the Sex Pistols' ass all over the place. (Thomas W. Campbell)
If you like Bollocks, and you should, might as well get Filty Lucre Live, the recording of their show in Finsbury Park, Lydon's home town. The huge crowd loves them and the band sounds loud and fantastic. It's basically Bollocks and three other songs (get it and find out which ones they are). They can play, he can rant, pick it up and have some fun. What the hell - the songs are "Stepping Stone", "Satellite", and "Did you no Wrong".

It also made up for the time 19 years ago that I sent to Texas for a bootleg recording of their First American tour and never got anything back.
gee prindle im so glad you could give me the "rules" on punk rock. how can you give an album a 10 and then go on to trash it in the review. (Albert Handa)
Actually, the record was wasn't so much Dolls as sped up Mott the Hoople. I did see the Pistols live at Winterland in San Francisco, and since one couldn't hear the bass much (they mixed it down live, as Sid was screwing the bass up have to hear it on the Spunk boot though), it came off like very fast Who, and it was as classic an English rock show as I'd ever seen. The two locals, the Avengers and Nuns were good, but the whole crowd, even the tourists (which outnumbered the Punks) could see the sudden increase in charisma and energy when the Pistols walked on. I later saw the clash live, and there is no comparison, the Pistols in their brief time were the best live punk act (except for the Ramones of course). (Jim Hull)
Well. My thoughts on the Sex Pistols American debut--it blew me away..."God Save The Queen"??? "E.M.I."??? "Bodies"??? Are you kidding me???

What touched this 1977 release for snot and shit and piss??? NOTHING!!


It rocks. It was the best album of 1977, if not the best debut...I give it a 10 also. If only more "manufactured bands" rocked this hard and influenced as many groups. (Chris Schwarz)
I agree that the Sex Pistols didn't invent punk rock, but they certainly contributed to it and influenced many other bands after them to pick up the punk rock banner and wave it around. Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols isn't THE BEST album ever, but it's an important one as far as punk rock history goes. It's easy to say in 1997 that this album doesn't mean that much or sound that great, but in 1977 I'm sure this album had a penchant for provoking people and pissing people off -- as did the band -- much like "shock rockers" do today with their meaningless horror-schtick albums ("shock rockers" who shall remain nameless because they don't deserve to be mentioned in a Sex Pistols review!). All in all, the music's good and Johnny Rotten's "singing" is as delightfully snotty as a young kid's runny nose in the dead of winter! I don't think that this album is the be-all-and-end-all of punk rock, but I do think that it's an important album, and one that has stood the test of time (unlike the actual members of the band, heh heh!) if you listen to it today. "God Save The Queen" and "Anarchy In The U.K." still remain as two of my favourite punk rock ditties of all-time, so BACK OFF, MAN!!! (Dean Reis)
In my opinion, this album is is one of those that is absolutely mind blowing the first time you here it, but the more and more you listen to it, you realize it really isn't that good at all. Once the shock value runs out, you find that they are actually rather mediocre at best. If your looking for classic first generation brit punk, the clash are ten times better as far as style goes, and an easy hundred times better as far as musical ability and creativity goes. The first three damned albums are also extremly awesome. (Bogus Andy)
I feel Never Mind the Bollocks... and Sgt. Pepper... are very much alike both are given credit for things that happened before the album's release. Never Mind... is given credit for the start of punk which in my book goes to the Ramones first album (which is also much better) and Sgt. Pepper... for the first concept album which Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention did before the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper... on Freak Out! Also both albums are way overrated, Never Mind has 4 good songs("UK", "Queen", "Sun," and "Bodies") and Sgt. Pepper is like a Weird Al album its fun and thats it the album didn't change my life any. I think Never Mind is so highly regarded because its their only album, while Sgt. Pepper because nobody heard Freak Out! and no one would buy Pet Sounds. Though Sgt. Pepper and Never Mind are like the movie Faster Pussy Cat Kill! Kill! if you don't have it, you're not cool! Which is a shame because I know people that only own Sgt. Pepper for a Beatles album and won't buy Revolver, Help!, With the Beatles, and The Beatles, and people that own Never Mind and won't buy Ramones, Rocket to Russia, London Calling, Talking Heads: 77, Marquee Moon or In the City which I feel are all better. But really do I know what I am talking about, I just seem to be writing doesn't it, spooky isn't, well Mystery Science Theater 3000 is coming on soon so I better pop in Man or Astro-Man's Destroy All Astro-Men so I can hear their version of the theme, so long. (Jon Poirier)
Who the hell is Green Day you bloody bastards?!!!!!!!!!! (Elliot Imes)
A fantastic record. I'm almost positive I was the first kid in my grade to own it. I don't get around to listening to it a lot, but sometimes, I just must hear it. The Sex Pistols take you back to an exhilarating time of rebellion, hopelessness, and revolution that is almost indescribable. Never Mind the Bollocks is an instant classic that should be owned by any fan of punk rock. By the way, this is punk, but just not what punk sounds like today. (booji boy)
A good after the fact, glossy-produced slice of cheesecake to the listening public from the Pistols. Greatest hits. The reason people say they only had a few good songs here is that those songs were so COMPLETELY ahead of everything else in punk. Sure, Pere Ubu kicks their ass all over the place for musical inventiveness, but these guys hit the nail on the head with a fucking sledgehammer. In England, they completely epitomized that underclass hate, vomiting up all this frustration at the formality, the obliviousness of Brit culture at a time when it seemed the nation was going down in flames. With TWO SINGLES basically, they became national pariahs, media demons, single-handedly responsible for the deterioration of the commonweath! Dig? You really need to be British to understand why they made history and became the most notorious rock group in rockdom - read Jon Savage's book England's Dreaming to get some idea of how absurdly turbulent the Sex Pistols' story is. People are wrong in calling this album "important", because it was an afterthought. By the point it was released, they were codified as rock stars/anti-christs, based on the media tornado they generated and "Anarchy in the UK" and "God Save the Queen". Just two damn singles and a few gigs! I mean, the lyrics, goddammit - "I am an anti-christ/I am an anarchist/don't know what I want but I know how to get it/I wanna DESTROY passersby" - Rotten knew what he was doing. It don't get more nihilistic than that. His vocals too, the way he says "We meeean it, MAAAAAAN!!" that final time... Iggy on Funhouse is the only singer who compares to him for "loose"ness and complete derangedness. The vocal equivalent of a cheap guitar with the distortion'n'treble all the way up. The way "Holidays" builds into total hysteria. The anthem-like quality of "Pretty Vacant". Rotten's horrific disgust on "Bodies". That charging riff on the chorus of "Problems". "Submission"s slithery guitars. How "God Save the Queen" absolutely perfectly rips the royalty a new one. You may call the songs "slow", but they worked best that way - they had a grandiose, queen's march kinda feel, as if mocking that aspect of the British, you see?! The into to "Anarchy" sounds like royal fanfare, turned upside down, while Johnny looked sickly and disgusting and had that cold stare. The whole picture was perfect in its ugliness. Kind of like me. And so goes my thesis. YOU'RE ALL WRONG, FUCKERS!
why are you accusing the Sex Pistols of copying off the Ramones thats totally fucked considering the Ramones hadn't had a name until 1976 (although i like the ramones more) almost and by then the Pistols almost had the whole bollocks album written, who says punk has to be short and choppy little songs, punk can be any kind of sound, joe strummer taught us that, punk is just a form of music that is played with fury and often has rude or inappropiate lyrics (Websters dictionary) now if you can't find fury in anarchy in the UK your fucking screwed.
punk is a group of kids doing whatever the fuck they want to do, even if it is pointing a bloody middle finger at authority. isnt this what punk is about? you are labeling them. a punk is not a set of a rules, so fucking give them a break, you want them to have absolute confusion? who would listen to shit? without steve jones's guitar playing, and paul cooks drummming, it would be dont need to suck to be punk, i think you are a little misinformed about punk, punk has no definition, and unmelodious shit is not a reasonable defintion for a even a poser. they were revolutionarys, and still are
I can't believe all the negative comments about this album. "The Ramones were better" my arse. This has a couple of songs I don't care all that much for - Submission, Seventeen, even New York - but the rest of the album, as relatively tame as it might sound today, compared to all that Marilyn Manson stuff, is some of the most exciting, brilliant rock music of all time. Who cares if these guys weren't technical greats? When has rock and roll ever been about playing your instrument like a pro? (Though Mark is right that Steve Jones and Paul Cook were actually both pretty good at their respective assignments) And as for Johnny Rotten - look, on just the basis of the quality of the songs, I might be compelled to admit that the Clash's debut is a better album. (the Clash album plays somewhat like an ALBUM, with all those reggae/punk tunes about punk London, while this sounds more like a greatest hits compilation...which, in a way, it was) But the way Rotten tears into these songs, shouting and snarling over Jones' thundering riffs, and the way he seems to mean every word he says in a way that's just too terrifying to believe - "I am an Antichrist, I am an Anarchist, I want to DESTROY passersby!" The way he rants "Bodies" and "Liar" as if he were vomiting up everything he hated about himself and the world. The way he rolls his Rs - Greil Marcus said that it sounded like his teeth had been ground down to points. The way "Anarchy" starts out - the sound of pure chaos being manipulated by a lunatic.

But I can't really say all that much about it. Pete Townshend did it better: "When you listen to the Sex Pistols, to 'Anarchy' and 'Bodies' and tracks like that, what immediately strikes you is that THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING. This is a bloke, with a brain on his shoulders, who is actually saying something he sincerely believes is happening in the world, saying it with real venom, and real passion. It touches you, and it scares you - it makes you feel uncomfortable. It's like somebody saying, 'The Germans are coming! And there's no way we're gonna stop 'em!'"

No way we could get that kinda impact from Joe Strummer. As cool a punkish voice as he had, he could never pass for an antichrist. After the song is over, it seems pretty silly, and we almost laugh that we almost believed this crazy guy screaming his head off about destruction and anarchy, that he sounded almost convincing....nah. Then we put the record on again, and we can't escape it: for the length of one song at least, or one album, Johnny Rotten's threatening, consuming power is all too real. (Nadine Canady)
the sex pistols are still overrated. Revolutionaries. my ass. It doesn't take much too cop a fake anarchistic attitude. The songs are boring, when you listen to them. it doesn't move you to want to do anything. Now on the Ramones album, you feel like singing along and etc. On Never Mind theres nothing special going on. (James L. Tichenor)
Well, I'm not going to just restate what everyone else has said- obviously my opinions are echoed somewhere in this mammoth response section. But let me just say this about Never Mind the Buttocks- you have to give credit to an album that's got enough word of mouth behind it after twenty some years that it is still hyped as a must have in your record collection. (Do you dig the sarcasm?) Hehe, anyway, this is a good album, and actually I think it is a good place to start listening to "punk" if you're some little kid just hearing about it. Always trying to help the kiddies out, thank you, thank you. (Timothy Graff)
Never mind the Bollocks...Mr. Rotton is laughing all the way to the bank.
This is a manufactured group like the Monkees? Could we have more of them please? (Michael Burrus)
Classic. It may not be AS revolutionary as The Ramones, but it sure influenced a load of artists in the punk genre. Plus it's a great album. No offense, but Mark, your cynical review didn't amuse me at all. Actually it kinda pissed me off, but I guess it's your opinion even though I also give it a ten.

I don't ever recall there being any "method" or "rules" on punk music. So I think bad-mouthing an album for not being "punk" enough is complete crap. Especially since you point out the songs not being long enough! (Bill Lyman)
"God Save the Queen" is GREAT, the rest is great noise. I bought this on CD, can U Blieve? I guess I wanted 2 HEAR IT CLEARLY or something. & U know what, it doesn't matter! It STILL sounds like shit, like loud, roaring noise, & who cares?! Classic stuff.

Oh, & Little Johnny Loudmouth has had at least 1 other great moment, that Public Image Ltd. song called "Rise." Not as loud, not as noisy, not as anarchic, but great stuff NEway.... (Jeffrey Kas)
The album of the Pistols was a fine album, which arrived right on time during the 70's altough their attitude towards other bands (especially the old ones) But give the Stooges (and Iggy Pop) also a try, because they were punk before punk was even invented (listen to Funhouse from the Stooges).

Even MC5 was doing some things with rock to give it some new impulses.

I am not saying that this album is better then the other one, it makes no sense, I am just listening to Funhouse and see some common things between them, like the energy both albums displayed.

For the new kids who are listening to Greenday,sneak out to your older brothers room/house and take out any album of the Ramones,Pistols,Stooges and you will be surprised to find a rich blend of fine music. (Johnny Offender)
Hey dude, I don't want to be an ass or nothing but the SEX PISTOLS are one of my all time fav bands. And I feel I have to defend them. RAMONES SUCK! OK? Punk rock is not about Singing about girls and about "being sadated" EMO (like blink 182 who sucks and NOFX who sucks) is what singing about girls is. PUNK ROCK is a state of mind. Not the lenght of a song or how much talent a band has. Listen to ANARCHY IN THE UK , that song(lyrics) is about punk, unlike the song "JUDY IS A PUNK ROCKER" (or what ever)which is about a girl. I like girls as much as you do (providing your not gay which I don't think you are.) but GIRLS and PUNK ROCK are 2 diffrent things. Anarchy,Being yourself,Doing what you want,Drinking beer(this isn't really a nessecatie but it's fun) thats punk rock. Thats what the sex pistols stood for. The clash,DRI,Dead Kenndys,SEX PISTOLS,Circle jerks,Black flag, and The exploited were (or are) punk. The ramones were emo.

Sorry to sound like a dick but i really like the pistols. Don't take any of this personally i just felt i needed to state my point. (Zach English)
I've always been more interested in music as music, as opposed to music as social and political theory. This probably explains why I listen to London Calling and the Bad Brains frequently and rarely pull out a dusty old copy of Never Mind the Bollocks. See, I can see how this album may have been revolutionary in 1977, but it's been twenty two years, and I simply cannot imagine someone listening to the album today in any other mind set than the punk rock "Oh, man, now this is REAL punk! None of that SELLOUT shit here! Yeah, stick it to the Queen, Johnny!" that seems so cool when you're fourteen but just seems silly when you're eighteen. The Stooges had MUSCLE, and their songs were powerful and catchy and frightening. This album just sounds leaden and tinny and boring. In fact, I can't honestly give this album a grade simply based on the fact that I don't "get it". Sorry. John Lydon's best work, for those who may not know, was on PiL's Second Edition, and even that band was like a lesser pastiche of Lee Perry and the Fall.
i think the sex pistols were somehow important, but i think they also that...well, Sid Vicious was a bloody idiot and all the Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle Stuff SUCKS! They were good and agressive in their early days and johnny rotten is an absolutely cool and intelligent guy, the best of em. the songs are all enjoy them. (Robin Clarke)
Sometimes I think you lot just don't get it. The Sex Pistols were punk, the Ramones were a comic book (good but endless records of the same songs?). I guess you had to be in the UK at the time to realise what a breath of fresh air they were. I don't claim to have seen the Pistols at the 100 Club or wherever I just know that as a little kid they opened my eyes to so much more and (re)kickstarted music in the UK. So the album can be bit tedious but you have to place on context - at the time it was a life saver. (Jane Caulfield)
The Pistols were a manufactured band, just like the Spice Girls.

Most so-called punks like to talk big and tuff, but end up listening to their girlfriends. So they stay at home to make bean-sprout salads while their chicks go to gigs, get pissed and beat up old men.

And another thing. You, MARK are so obviously a male, sexist pig. Why no reviews of female artists and girl bands?

Everyone knows that all the best musicians were women : Janis Joplin, PJ Harvey, Alanis Morrisette, Kate Bush, Madonna, Joan Baez - I could go on and on. Woman artists have been kept off records and radio playlists because of the male domination of the industry and society as a whole.

However, things are changing and us girls are taking back the world - and that includes the music world!

JEBANKS@MSN.COM (Jim and Margaret Banks)
When the album came out, I thought that it was head and shoulders above other records of the same genre. Still do. Sex Pistols could play their instruments and the album mix is great.

I find myself listening to that record while leaving other bands' material on the shelf or in the trash can: Clash, Jam, SLF, Stooges, Ramones, Gang of Four, Damned, Buzzcocks, Dead Boys, Sham 69 - take your pick, most of it sounds horrible 20 years after the fact.

The current Establishment anti-Establishment is retreading the Sex Pistols and the whole "punky nasty thing" for a horde of willing teeny boppers. Limp Bizcit and Offspring are to the Sex Pistols what N-Synch and 98 Degrees are to Frankie Lymon.

Maybe Maurice Starr will get into the act and we can get a decent Sex Pistols tribute band rather than asswipes like Offspring. Imagine the New Edition playing through a stack of Marshalls.
i think that even though the pistols may not have been the first punk band that they are still good and i think whoever disagrees with me can fuck off and die!
LIsten you little bastards the sex pistols are 100 times better than any thing you little sod s mention so go and fuck yourselves .
Personally, I think this record is ass. I can't stand listening to it. I know it had significance on the music and fashion world, and that's fine and all, but it reeks. I get the impulse to rake it with a switchblade and burn it when I see it. Perhaps that's the intent though. Hmm. If anyone knows where I can get a cd/tape/mp3/whatever of the spelling mistakes song "hate me hate me" please email. (Madd Hunter)
Yeah, that's a good album. Back in early 70's, there was no punk. But in the late 70's Sex Pistols made a hard effort!! But, God, all their other albums suuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!!!!
Dont care if this album is overrated, i like it a lot, and i dont think theres a bad song on here at all, and is the type of album i can listen to straight through. My favorite is probably "Bodies" or "EMI" though. Just good, fun, snot nosed rock n roll, which is now concidered Punk rock. Sure, i perfer The Stooges, or Minor Threat or NY Dolls to this a lot of times, but this is a great classic album very deserving of the tag "Punk rock", so i shall agree with the 10.
It's a whole lot simpler than we're all making it out to be. Flash back to 1977: Captain and Tennille...Peter Frampton...Diana Ross...Kansas...

...Insert the Sex Pistols......

For those of us not living near CBGB's (i.e. L.A.), The Ramones and the Talking Heads meant nothing, "Psycho Killer" was a year away, and "Beat On The Brat" sounds like some weird Rockabilly riff. The Pistols were the loudest most obnoxious shit out there, and caught us way off guard (even Rush was starting to sound like ELO). It's still another two years away before L.A. and Orange County start to bloom with Black Flag, the Vandals, X, etc., and these guys were on WARNER BROS.! No Indy labels here. Good old-fashioned, every-Wherehouse-and-Music-Plus-has-it-on-the-fucking-shelf Warner Brothers records. Johnny pushed the envelope vocally, Malcolm found how to turn the straights into a marketing tool, Sid was the punchline, and all in all, "Never Mind The Bollocks" is a good, simple, interesting, Punk Rock milestone, and can be appreciated as a simplistic metaphor to a crazy time, or a bookmark to the Censorship of the times, and the paving stone for the Dead Kennedys to bleed and die on. Sure, it's trite musically, but it's fucking fun, and reminds me still of how much I despised "Rick Dees In The Morning".... :)

Lastly, as the truest testament to it's lasting power over us, I just want to point out the six or seven people have commented on how the album is crap except for the tracks... ... You'll note that they all have totally different opinions on the best tracks, proving it's appeal to everyone in different ways. That's what makes it a 10.

P.S. BTW, Justyn909, as much fun and incredibly "punk rock" as killing random passers-by might be, the lyric is actually "...I wanna destroy parts of me..." :)

(two milliseconds later)

Eeek! I stand corrected, Justyn909!

I had always been going off the lyrics as per John Lydon's performance of "Anarchy in the UK (Cocktail Lounge Version)" from his guest appearance on 120 minutes on MTV back in 1985'ish, and after hearing the original recording from "Never Mind The Bollocks" again on CD ( the Sex Pistols with Digital clarity?!!! My God, what is the world coming to?!!), I will concede he's definitely destroying "passers-by" on the album (I guess my tape is going on 23 years now, it's allowed to be a little unclear.. :)

Sorry to have corrected you in error... :)
I agree with Prindle: the music on this album is very good and sounds much like it was played by guys who knew what they were doing. at least Paul is a very good drummer...i guess the guitar was a bit much overdubbed, but that's okay, i'd rather have that than a shitty sound. i like the pistols' album (the only real one), i HATE sid vicious, but anyway, he never played a note on this record or at the most concerts, so what. i think johnny had a great talent to write funny lyrics...although everything is quite negative, it's still fun! Pure fun! not like the stupid offspring or any other stupid shitty punk band. this album didn't invent punk rock (who the fuck could invent a whole genre with one album, that's stupid)...but who cares? it's so great to listen to johnny cursing in holidays in the sun and the rest of the album just goes on like big complain, but a funny one. they were a funny band with a cruel kind of humor i really adore!
At first, I thought this album was incredibly overrated. I liked maybe three songs, God Save The Queen, Anarchy In The UK and No Feelings, and immediately blew the rest off as crap and went back to my Ramones albums. Fuck, was I ever wrong. How I ever could have overlooked the brilliance of Pretty Vacant, complete with bloozy lead guitar courtesy of the genius Steve Jones is beyond me, although I suspect it was the same way I overlooked the insanely catchy Holiday In The Sun, featuring an obvious but underrated descending guitar melody. Sure, both Submission and Problems are a bit too long, but the intensity of Bodies more than makes up for it. Seventeen takes a little while to get going, but the payoff's worth it. At this point, the only songs on Never Mind The Bollocks that I don't like are New York and Liar. I have seen the error of my ways and have already begun undergoing the necessary conditioning to rectify it. So then, allow me to make a ballsy statement here and say that I actually feel that E.M.I. is the best song on the album, by far. I'm so glad I shelled out $9 for this at one of Tower's infrequent sales.
Most of you guys are talking bollocks,this album is the best. I never tire of listening to it.Maybe the pistols were not the first punks, but they sure talk the music away from the doldrums, boring pit the music scene was in at that time.I have found nothing that comes close to that album. (James Welton)
Nothing attests to the influence of the Sex Pistols as much as the arguments they inspire. You can't even discuss their music without getting into a conversation about what punk rock is, did they start it or continue a tradition started by The Stooges, The Dolls, etc. (my personal line of thinking), did they cheapen and demean music, open it up to glorious new vistas of innovation and originality, or strip it back to the basics and away from the pomp and circumstance of Kansas, Genesis and on and on. The mere fact that EVERYBODY seems to have a firmly held opinion makes them influential almost by definition.

The music itself is bare-bones, energetic (if a tad mid-tempo) rock. Lyrically, they celebrate disgust, anger and nihilism more than the popular acts of the day, for sure. I, for one, believe Rotten when he says they mean it, man. Personally, "Pretty Vacant" is my favorite song, but I don't hear a stinker on the entire album. "God Save the Queen" and "Anarchy In the UK" are worthy of the tag "classic."

As an American who was a mere pup when the Pistols were around, I'm damn sure that I can't understand the impact they had on music in England, especially from the cushy distance of 25 years of increasingly aggressive, speedy and frank "punk," but I can almost imagine what people must have thought when they heard "God Save the Queen" around the time of the Jubilee. What a great "fuck you" that is!

All said, this is a great album by a band that, in retrospect, had no choice but to fall apart. Beside the fact that Mr. Lydon seems to hate most people is the fact that these guys were under incredible pressure by both the people who hated them, both inside and outside the music establishment, and the people who made them icons. That's a lot for a band to handle. Too much, apparently.

One last thing for the idiot who said the Ramones were emo because they sang about girls.... actually, never mind. The sheer idiocy of the statement defies a reply. (Uncle Buzz Records)
Proof that you had to be there. The first two songs are incredible, then.......zzzzzzzzzzzzz. What made the Sex Pistols exciting, for the most part, isn't on this record. What the Sex Pistols symbolize is much more powerful than what they sound like. The album cover is just as important as the music; What a beautiful sight, walking into Musicland in '77, and seeing that sloppy shocking pink and neon green album cover, right in between Bob Seger's "Night Moves" and The Best of Sha-Na-Na. Extremely impressive to a 12 year old weaned on Journey and Jethro Tull. Three years passed before I actually HEARD the album, but by then, Johnny Rotten had already changed my life. Yep, I look back misty-eyed on this album, like I do the "Scum of the Earth" WKRP episode. 1 star out of 10, but that's not the point. (Akis Katsman)
7/10. The songs are amazing, but... the whole album is one song*! Where's the diversity? Punk, punk, punk, punk. Yeah maybe punk is cool. But I'm not going to sit through 12 clone songs, so gimme my fuckin' Beggars Banquet album and we're ok. "Submission" rules though. 5 points for the quality + 2 points for the... revolution.

*like Thick As A Brick, you know this album! cool! (Derek Smit)
it sucks! (Hossein Nayebagha)
Yes, Steve Jones is a great guitar player on this album (haven't heard him anywhere else) and whoever is responsible for the sound of the guitar, very likely Jones himself, has also done a good job.

The thing about this album is that Rotten's vocals will really speak to you one day, and the other you're just not up for it and it'll ruin the whole thing; a great rock 'n' roll album as you say. That last EMI song isn't really all too swell... and the two legendary songs; "God Save The Queen" and "Anarchy In The UK" must be more appreciated for their lyrics, 'cause they're actually pretty weak. The nice ones are "Holidays In The Sun", "Bodies" (hilarious lyrics) and "New York".

It's a classic, but I'm not sure I'd give it a ten, it's just not doesn't have that many good songs to make it that far.
Regardless of who did or didn't invent punk I would like to set the record straight on one thing. The Pistols were not a 'manufactured band'. In my opinion a band like NSync is manufactured. They are put together by people who know how the music industry works and they don't write their own songs. Malcolm McClaren was an opportunistic chancer. All he did was introduce John Lydon to the other three. Jones and Cook had been friends for years and knew Glenn Matlock from hanging around McClaren's shop. By the time Sid came in (another of McClaren's so called Svengallian masterstrokes) the whole thing had become a circus revolving around hype. McClaren had practically no input in the music. The Pistols wrote all their own tunes. All he did was suggest, from time to time, a song title that they could used. When he suggested that they write a song about submission (at the time he was running a kinky S&M shop called 'Sex') Matlock and Lydon took the piss out him by using the title but instead writing about love on a submarine! Granted McClaren could drum up publicity but even then some of it came about by accident. After the interview on the Bill Grundy show where the Cook and especially Jones swore on British TV and caused a media storm McClaren was shitting himself thinking that the band would never work again. When rather than burying the band the incident made them infamous tabloid front page stars McClaren claimed to have instigated the whole thing. Typical of the man. In the end his most telling contribution was to fleece The Pistols of most of most of the money. (Louise Gagliardi)
3/10. I have to agree with watta502. The album is basically one long whiny repetitive motherfucker of a song, sorta like “how soon is now?” by the Smiths. Some work great ie Anarchy and God Save the Queen and some ie the rest of the album just drag on and on… how many times do we need 2 hear im goin over the fukin berlin wall for Christ sake!!!!

I don't see the Pistols as a talented band for their music, but I see them as talented for their comedy value-i mean God Save the Queen was Funny as hell...true, they are not musically gifted, but was Rotten actually trying to sing like Whitney fucking Houston? I doubt it, they were put there to upset people, and it's obviously worked-evil laugh...hehehe good on them! (JD Kingham)
Steve Jones & Paul Cook played on the Johnny Thunders "So Alone" album, actually on what I think is the best hard rock song on the album, "Leave Me Alone", A remake of NYD's "Chatterbox".
Ahoy! It's been two years since I first heard of this site and I've never listed a SINGLE blog on this legendary, wondrous, immortal landmark of unpretentious stupidly simple rock and roll. Well, here's my two cents. . .

This album is WAY overrated, but not a bad listen. The problem isn't so much that it's mediocre, just HIGHLY uneven. It contains such immortal classics such as "Holidays", "Anarchy", "Pretty Vacant", the absolutely vicious "Bodies" (an extreme leftist band doing an extremist anti-abortion rant? Kick ass), and my personal favorite, the three-chord masterpiece "Problems." Other than the Stooges' "No Fun", it's my favorite proto-punk song of all time. What can I say--the longer the better, bitch!!

It also contains such UNGODLY crapjobs as "Seventeen", "New York" (a rant against the New York Dolls), and "Liar" (a ripoff of the New York Dolls' "Puss N Boots"--can anyone spell "hypocrisy" here???). Plus, the production is worse than sub-shitty--hell, the Stones did better on their 1965 recordings. Hence, the highest rating I can award it is a high 8 out of 10.

However, I would like to say a word or two about the "innovativeness" of this album, which several dozen people seem to have bashed on this page. Mark accurately labels it as a "classic rock" album--and so do a large portion of punk fans who don't think the album's all that edgy-sounding. However, anyone who's actually a fan of "classic rock" radio can tell just how revolutionary this album is--at least when we compare it to everyone else on the rock charts in 1977; we're talking Boston, Steve Miller, Kansas, Styx, the Eagles, Supertramp, and Lynyrd Skynyrd here, people. NOTHING sounded this loud and unhinged in 1977, and no mainstream act matched this level of intensity until Metallica hit the Top 10 in 1988. Plus, this album marks the first time since 1969 that a prevailing musical trend reflected the political consciousness of the masses at the time--at least in England, where the war between punk and prog was more than a matter of mere musical taste. In that country, it symbolized the historic class struggle of Western civilization itself.

You think I'm kidding? Read Robert Fripp's essays on the matter--he'll write your ear off about it.

In any case, all academics aside, this is a good album. An entertaining listen. Fun at times.

But not a masterpiece.

Eight out of ten.

Oh, and I would like to add one more thing. Somewhere else on this site, I once made the claim that punk rock did not constitute a "leap forward"-- rather a angry, conservative, reactionary lunge backward.

Sweet merciful crap, how wrong I was.

Well, only about that "conservative" part. See, what I didn't realize was that since the early '60's, rock and roll had simultaneously been moving in TWO very opposite directions. One of them was the more complex, thought provoking, flowery world of progressive, complicated pop (represented by Sgt. Pepper, In the Court of Crimson King, Pet Sounds, etc.) the other was the more primitive, primeaval, hormone-driven world of distorted testosteronish nightmares (represented by early Stones, hard-end Hendrix, Blue Cheer, Stooges). In the end, it was the primitive shit that won out, because--and this is just my personal opinion, don't shoot me--popular culture has been getting dumber and dumber by the minute since before we were born. It won the affection of the public because our tastes weren't going to get any more refined as time went on, and punk kept us from having to think too much (damned thought-provoking Genesis. Damn them all to hell!). It won the affection of the professors, intellectuals, and critics, however, because they've always sided with the proletariat anyway. Punk rock isn't conservative, and it has nothing to do with the ideals of '50's rock and roll (hear that George Starostin? Hear it loud and clear.) but it IS nihilistic, much as are the lower classes when they destroy the establishment of the upper classes--those upper classes represented by progressive rock, art-pop, and anything smacking of "pretentiousness."

Geez, no WONDER critics hate progressive rock. I guess it's not "proletariat" enough.

In conclusion, punk rock IS a social force to be reckoned with. I still hate it, though.

By the way, all that nonsense about punk, prog, socialism, bourgeoisie, and Leninist dogma comes straight from the pages of The Nation. As wrong as they usually are, they know their shit on this matter. (Darren)
What the hell would YOU so-called "AMERICANS" Know about music anyway??? You Faggot-slime imposters! U.K bands have always been way,way above your toilet music, just list them.........The Beatles,Led Zeppelin, SEX PISTOLS! By the way, The Sex Pistols dispised your ugly smelly country as i recall on their infamous tour there in `78. Your just a low level bunch of try hards! Sex Pistols Are better than anything you YANKS ever came up with, just like all your musicians, i`ve never heard such insolence!!!!
1977 was a fucked up year! disco, prog, arena rock but punk
probably the most overrated punk/pink album ever. i should know, i have two orignal pressings. "bodies" is a great song, but man hearing a band cover their most popular tunes "anarchy in the uk" and "god save the queen" is more irritating than lydon's voice (half the time on this record). as i look at it, they were cute british kids that had the first "punk" look and they got the biggest publicity over any band. and i don't even have to mention the biggest sex pistol scandal (if u don't know what i'm talking about, look up nancy spungen). i really don't think they did ANYTHING that hasn't been done before. by the way, a guy i knew who fucking loved the sex pistols pointed out that my favorite pistols' song "holidays in the sun" is a direct rip of the song "in the city" by the jam. i hope that wasn't a let down to all u other pistols' lovers.
i pretty much agree with this review. this was probably the first 70's era punk album that i ever bought (can't remember if the clash's debut came first) way back in 8th grade. i never fell in love with it like i later did with all those (much more more innovative) early ramones records but i did like it. and i still do...even though i haven't heard it in a long time. i probably should be listening to it as i write this but i have been enjoying the real kids (i STRONGLY recommend their self-titled debut, also from '77, which i prefer to the pistols'. they were more in the ramones' vein though, and the singer was the original guitarist in the modern lovers).

back to the sex pistols' record. it is slow. it is rather slick. steve jones more than knows how to play his instument. the riff from "holidays in the sun" is a rip-off of "in the city", the riff from "EMI" sounds a lot like the damned's "neat neat neat" and i think parts of "liar" are quite similar (and inferior) to the dolls' "puss 'n' boots". plus johnny rotten wasn't really breaking new ground with the vocals...listen to the electric eels' "agitated" (recorded in 1975) and tell me who is snottier/more pissed off.

BUT...this is still a great album. the bottom line is that most of these songs are great, although i've never been a huge fan of "submission" or "seventeen". but songs like "god save the queen", "bodies" and "no feelings" are classic. still, i might give this album a 9 because of its inconsistency. and maybe out of spite because of how overrated it is. but i would never say that this was not an extremely important record, even if the damned did release the first british punk single and record.

i still think the buzzcocks were by far the best british punk band...

oh and that guy who called the ramones emo has NO IDEA what punk rock is about. i wonder how he'll feel when he discovers how influential the ramones were to every band he mentioned... and i really hope he doesn't take the manufactured sex pistols so seriously...i've read stuff where steve jones has said that they weren't exactly serious and that he was never into that "punk stuff" but just wanted to play football and get laid. sounds pretty damn revolutionary to me.

emo. yeah. "well you're a loudmouth baby. you'd better shut it up. i'm gonna beat you up." IS pretty damn emotional...
How ever you want to look at it... at there age they came up with some great tunes that influenced a generation! And spoke for a generation at the time being smothered under Thatcher's Iron Fist... bit like Oasis catching the moment in 1994. With out this album things would have panned out different.

(a few minutes later)

Maggie Thatcher came into power in 1979... but Britain was f3ked in it's day...not in 1977...that kicked off the Silver Jubilee.
"Bodies" is actually about a girl called Pauline the Rotten and Vicious knew. She was in an institutional hospital for the mentally ill and was raped by one of the staff. She was made to have an abortion, apparently done by the staff in a hush-hush kind of way. This fucked her head up so she climbed a tree and refused to come down. Not sure what become of her aftrerwards tho Mr Lydon was obviously touched by it so wrote a song about her.

Was anyone who posted any of these comments there in 1976 in London to say that Malcolm McLaren put together the group or any of that nonsense. According to the band, Malcolm acted as any manager would, Johnny Rotten came up with his own image which happened to coincide with the Richard Hell image of the punk look, but so what?! Alice Cooper wore torn up clothes way before either Richard Hell or Johnny Rotten... Cheetah of the Dead Boys dressed in torn clothes and dog collars as well so who freakin cares? Reasonable conclusions for the nerdy music geek with nothing better to do than write about this:
1. The Pistols got nothing from the Ramones, Steve Jones learned to play from Stooges and Dolls L.Ps and admits to copying Johnny Thunders.
2. McLaren did nothing more than any other manager would have. He helped find a singer and booked gigs, then stole Johnny Rotten's clothes ideas and manufactured them.
3. Johnny Rotten didn't really like the Bollocks album. As he said, any of those riffs could be found on any early Who or Kinks albums. Just 3 minute songs with quirky melodies. If he had produced it, it would have sounded different apparently.
4. Sid probably killed Nancy but then, according to these books I read, anyone would have.
5. Read Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs by Johnny Rotten. Very reasonable stories, not sensationalized nonsense, I think.
Dear Mark, all i can say is that i agree 100% with that guy, Jorg Groj. I know you are extremely fond of The Ramones, and they may be almost your favorite band, but sometimes that fondness avoids you from being totally objective; for example, talkin' bout the early Black Flag, you refer to them as a "Ramones-influenced band", and when i listen to "Nervous Breakdown" or "Wasted" is the Sex Pistols, not the Queens Quartet who come to my mind; man that Keith Morris was mimicking Johnny Rotten, with that snotty performance. The influence of the Ramones on the Pistols? i can't see it too much, man: The first show of the Ramones in the UK was in July and the Sex Pistols were already doing gigs at strip tease clubs some months ago. The Pistols took the Stooges nihilism and drove to an extreme (but, unlike GG Allin, they wrote good songs), they were slower than The Ramones, but they were much harsher. The Germs, The Dead Boys, and Dead Kennedys, for example owe to this guys (Pistols) a lot of their sound.

As much as i love The Ramones (i even got involved with my band in a tribute show to The Ramones three months ago, playin' bout 20 covers of them), i think they never did an album that stands there with "Never Mind The Bollocks", the epitome of British Punk.
Occasionally you are funny. Mostly you're a twat.

(thirteen minutes later)

I been drinking...and reading the comments. All I gotta say is Fuck you Limeys!!! Johnny Thunders fuckin' taught those little English pricks how to do everything. John Lydon is a little mama's boy crybaby. America taught you everything you know, yer all just Chuck Berry copy-cats. Sod off Safari Dodo!!!!
these are all facts,john lydon is and allways will be a fucking useless irish bummer,sids rabbit padlock n chain was given to garry oldman during a visit to sids mums house concerning the characteristics of sid for the film love kills,the s.p.o.t.s on tour meant sex pistols on tour because they couldntuse there real name because nobody would let them play,the pistols WORLD tour only had eight dates which where mostly cancelled,sid did play drums with the banshees in 76 while matlock played bass for anarchy inthe uk the only recording which matlock played on,malcolm wouldnt let them play cos they were so fucking bad live so when they did sid would cut himself up instead,no sid couldnt play bass......or the fucking drums ,it didnt matter punk i think was more spiritual than musical thats why no fucker felt the need to learn exept the stranglers of course
Hi Mr Prindle long time no speak!!!! Well you Yanks just don't get it do you. My dad, a wise man who speaks little but with weighty words, told me that this album was too well played to be punk. And he is right. But then I suppose for a nation that in 1977 were listening to Journey, Styx and Kansas, this would be punk. Not in dear old blighty it weren't though. The film was good for a laugh however.
yea buddy you better do some freakin' research first malcom mcclaren WAS the bassist before sid and HE played most of the bass for never mind the bullocks and sex pistols WERE one of the pioneers in developing the british punk rock scene let's see you do all the things the did i don't see your name on ANYTHING and oh yea if they are so terrible then why are they in the rock n roll hall of fame.i think you are one of those people that hate EVERYTHING but what you like and are waaay too ignorant to pull your head out of your but and listen to more things other than conplain about them

I didn't get them. I had always resigned the pistols as a novelty act (like emminem). A footnote in rock history. I thought it was primitive music and bad musicianship. Couldn't understand most lyrics.

But when I was 30 (four years ago), I saw 'The filth and the Fury' (Fantastic Movie), and borrowed the album from my brother-in-law. The movie helped me understand the band and premise a little better.

When I listened to it again, I was surprised about how slow it was compared to any hardcore or punk. And I could understand all the lyrics now. But man, talk about emotion. This album is the greatest packaging of emotion I've ever heard. If you listen to Rotten after the solo in Holiday in the sun , It makes the short hairs on your neck stand up. Bodies, Holiday in the sun EMI,. pretty vacant are the best songs.

Yeah they couldn't play, Syd was borderline retarded. But this is the epitome of soul. There is a feeling that can never be replicated. The unemployment, all the pompous prog on the radio. It is a time capsule from the shitty quality of life in the 70's. Thats why Sex Pistols reunions just don't do it for me. It's not the same.

If you hate the Sex Pistols at least see the movie 'Filth and the Fury' it'll change your opinion of them. They were real, the raw feeling is real, exploited kids trying to do something that summer. 15 years ago, I'd given it a 4 or 5. I was very happy to see this album get a 10. It truly is a masterpiece not in technical terms, but in terms of soul (conveying feeling) its the might be the best.
Mr. Prindle said it all; although “Never Mind the Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols” and the Pistols themselves where far from being the pioneers of Punk Rock, this is nevertheless a highly enjoyable record, forget about who invented Punk Rock, It’s just fun and dirty. By the way, I think there is a little band that people totally forget when it comes to that “pioneers of Punk Rock” argument, that band is Neu! Why Neu!? Well, on their 1973 sophomore album “Neu!2 you will find a couple of songs, one is “Super” and the other is “Lila Engel (Lilac Angel)”. Now I’m sure there are other songs from other bands that take a shot at Punk Rock before it was “Invented” that I have never listened to, but my point is that the late 60’s and the 70’s where years of a lot of experimentation in music world (specially Rock music) so Punk wasn’t something that just popped out of the minds of some young dirty lads from the streets of NYC, it has a history, a very interesting one.
You know, I always hear a lot of people who are 25 or less bash this album, say that it isn't innovative, or whatever else they decide to say using complete hindsight. But honestly, if you heard this in '77, or '78, would you not have been just BLOWN away? The line "Fuck this and fuck that, fuck the little fucker, fucking brrrrrrat" from bodies was all I needed to hear. It's a great album. That is all.
First, I agree with the review--this album deserves a 10/10 rating. Recently, Johnny Rotten (Lydon) said that the songs have "held up" and "nothing else has come close." I tend to agree with him. All of the songs have memorable hooks, the guitar riffs are explosive, and the lyrics reflected the social strife that engulfed England in the 1970s (some have complained by the songs' "slow tempo" (as compared to other punk songs); but that's one of the reasons why the songs maintain their power and conviction. Second, the Pistols were NOT a manufactured band--sure, McLaren had some input, but he nothing to do with the music and Rotten wrote the lyrics not McLaren (McLaren called himself a "mismanager" which about sums up his contributions to the band). Third, Sid Vicious was a pathetic prop. He did not write any of the songs and he was in the hospital when Bullocks was being recorded (he only contributed to one track and even that contribution can only be heard by dogs). The band realized, all too late, that the departure of Matlock left the band without its principle song craftsman. Bullocks has stood the test of time and the band's imitators are too many to list. Buy it!
Never mind the bollocks is a great album!

In terms of getting punk over to the masses in the UK, the Sex pistols were the most important band, period.Never mind the bollocks is a great album simply because of the timing of its release.Just like any other important work, it mirrors its time perfectly.The Ramones, New york dolls etc were a good bands but didn't have the cultural significance of the Pistols.
The "Innovation" that surrounded the SexPistols was not musical, it was the anti-establishment and shock tactics of their songs and image. Who else did it before them? Who used FUCK on national TV? Wether you love them or hate them, wether you want to believe it or not, the pistols kicked off a change in society....maybe not for the better, but a change never the less.

When has they ever been NO number 1 in the UK charts before or since them? What other group was BANNED from touring under their own name as councils refused to book them ("Ackney Rabble" was used instead)

Dont like there music? fine....don't like their personalities? fine...but in the mid seventies this band, mabufactured or not, hit the UK scene like a sledge hammer!!! You should be thanking god for them....
I wrote a comment on this years ago (see how dedicated a reader I am!) and took another look at it. I really don't give a damn about the history behind this album anymore, as I've said to others, it's a wonderful way for mr. lydon to start his career. The music rocks and lyrics are funny and smart. Despite the medium pace of the songs, the opening with the stomping jack boots is still one of the greatest, energetic ways to open an album and gets me all excited when I listen to it. Honestly the Sex Pistols are one of my favorite bands for the reasons above and I think they do stand head and shoulders above, I don't know, Sham 69 or any other football chanting, British thickos, who's songs get waaay boring after all the 1 - 4 - 5 chord changes and retarded sing-along lyrics. Have you heard the b-sides, 'I Wanna Be Me', 'Did You No Wrong' and 'Satellite'? They're awesome!
I never liked this album at all until a few days ago, about 11 years after diving head first in the punk/underground music abyss where liking the Sex Pistols is a major NO-NO. Back in the days when I was craving punk this was a joke to me, now years later where I've heard-all-seen-all for the time being and have a massive boner for well executed rock on top of a trained ear for GOODNESS this one damn fucking good rock album! Its just good, Liar is a great song, Pretty Vacant is a great song, this whole album is a fucking rocker. Nothing means anything, especially other peoples opinions, while good for pointing you to things you've never heard of there is nothing more tiresome than listening to someone complain about the Sex Pistols, everything attached to this band means nothing (their mediocre life story, WHO STARTED PUNK FOR REAL discussions, THESE GUYS WEREn'T PUNK blah blah who gives a fuck, i don't), I'm in it for the content, and thats one albums worth of good rock songs, classic rock album indeed. Just a good record, if someone wants to give it endless praise, why not? I mean, HAVE YOUR HEARD NEW MUSIC RECENTLY? Spin this fucker for a change, for some reason this isn't in my PUNK BIN (if I categorized my shit properly) but is actually in my REGGAE bin, because, I dunno, this album rocks, its relaxing, throw it on for some folks who never heard it, the way the awful modern music of today is this is actually SHOCKING to normal people again.
As Johnny Rotten said at the final concert, "How about a deceived feeling?"

But we are not deceived by this review because it's a good album for those times when you want to listen to some songs.
I bought this album not expecting what I got really. I'd never heard any Sex Pistols songs beyond a different (and my favourite) version of 'God Save...' so you know...

I loved it when I got it home. People blabbing on about punks 'not being able' to play their instruments are taught a lesson - Steve Jones is tight, considering he taught himself to play. I'll always remember the riffs, if not Johnny's lyrics.

Sure, they were a little manufactured, but hey what can you do. It's still a great album. 'Bodies' is wonderful/bad ass! And Johnny Rotten has had a lot of bad press recently (especially since he did that silly Butter comercial), but I was never that fond of him anyway! Ah well!

And that ' (Johnny Offender)' must be about 13.


Come on... I mean... 'PUNK ROCK is a state of mind.' ?? - we all remember repeating that to our friends/parents when we were 13.

And I remember the days when I too used to list a bunch of punk bands I hadn't even listened to and claim they were REAL punk (despite knowing more songs by the bands I was 'dissing').

And I don't know how anyone living today can actually consider the 'Sex Pistols' their all time favourite band, when they only did one album which has totally lost its meaning in modern society? Accept it - punk has moved on. Listen to new things... get over yourselves?

NoFX are about as emo as my ass. There aren't many songs about love either, apart from a few TSOL-esque/Buzzcocksy ones. Just because someone expresses love in a song, doesn't mean they're 'emo'.

And all that 'doing what you want' shit pisses me off the most. That's the flaw in what these people consider the punk 'message'.

''Do what you want (aslong as it involves being pissed off at everything and only listening to punk music.)''

I agree with Ice T when he said he feels sorry for people who only listen to one kind of music.

(So after some untouchable rap albums, he went and recorded Body Count... -_-)

Their a manufactured band? As in what, malcom mclaren managed them? The important thing is that they weren't contrived, but then again who really cares? Art is about as contrived as life gets; and although this isn't art it sure does stuff! Stuff like lots of great almost classic rock songs, (as you said) but playing power chords, (maybe?) with a wonderful compressed distorted sound, fun tempo. BRILLIANT lyrics, which are basically too humorous and catchy to really seem dangerous today. Even if their not clever they sure paint some wonderful if obscure pictures: "eat your heart out on a plastic tray"? It's a ridiculous album, sounding almost like a pastiche of punk, but completely innovative in it's aesthetic at the time which was very far removed from the ramones or even the clash; hyper intelligent, spitty, painfully bratty, aggressive. All of those individual elements can be seen in a thousand other bands but to say the least the sex pistols turned it into their own weird thing; the ramones where self consciously stoopid archetypes of teenagerdom and rebellion. Nothing political at all (except maybe on a very abstract level); they where comic book characters, as well as being as "real" as they could; loosers, nothing to lose, blank, lobotimised, addicted to rock n roll - the sex pistols wanted to destroy rock n roll, (ironic as I think you say). They thought of themselves quite pretentiously as utterly superiour, completely "real", politcally revolutionary, none of that new york conceptual art stuff. I guess they took the nihillistic sound of the stooges, and turned it into a political movement, (fashion movement) by making it FUN and self consciouly teenage; the ramones!Joe strummer just wanted people to think he was some kind of political martyr, a revolutionary with answers, heroe of the kids, gruff cockney lad who saw through everyone elses lies and had nothing but contempt for them; rotten just wanted to keep his contempt and have some fun with it.

LW, The Right Wing Liberal
Possibly Mr. Pringle's (sic) problem here is that the Pistols debut album came out before he was knee high to a wanker. It's sometimes difficult to assess the impact of an album if you weren't there. Like many of the great innovators, it's difficult to look backwards, after so much work - crap and otherwise - have been cloned after the fact.

Now, we can say that there were others before that did this and that first. Of course we can. Essentially everyone in rock is ripping off Ike Turner doing Rocket 88 over and over again. Oh wait a minute, I meant Louis Prima. Oh shit no I meant Cab Calloway, er, Bill Haly, uh, Upchuck Berry , that's not it..... ad infinitum (That's Latin, you rat bastards).

I've been paying attention to musical trends my entire adult life (and I'm an old bastardo now) and I've always looked under every rock for the next innovation - the next original idea. Nothing is worse than the same old crap - unless, of course some time has passed and it's done really well. (Hives fans - like me - take heart) Like it or not, rock music repeats itself almost every 10 years or so. Most people don't notice, and the "industry" gets away with it because most people, when they turn 26 and get married, have no use for listening to "new" music unless it's to crap on to upset their children. (Repeat after me - It's just noise and I can't understand the lyrics).

The Dicks (what they really wanted to be called - And you say there's no magic in the world) a "manufactured" band? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Well, musical snobbery aside - oh wait, that's it - musical snobbery. You don't care if your babe is any good at lovemaking as long as she's sincere. Malcom MacClellen (or whatever that cheap Scottish shytemeister was spelled) was a Svengali - I guess. But so is Randy Fitzsimmonds - AND HE'S NOT EVEN REAL. So pull up your pants or pull them down Anything is an improvement.

I care not how the girl gets into my bed - just whether she's down with anal.

A lot of punk was, as the kids say, SHYTE! But good punk is some of the finest, most funsy-wunsey music on the planet. Also I have to admit my fetish for black haired girls with lots of metal, especially with multiple nipple piercings.

The Pistols are all that plus Sid Viscious is dead. Maybe there's hope for Courney Love - But I'm not sure.

Some day Marky will ask for a poll on what we thought were the most original albums (or groups) of all time - and why.
A lot of people seem to be missing the point. This is punk, not hardcore, which would come a couple of years later. First, this is one of the greatest debut albums ever. I went over this I beleive in another post. Second, those who said this is mainstream, Mark, would a mainsteam album drop as many F-bombs as they did in "Bodies"? C: Remeber, Thatcher just came to power and Regan just after that. This is revolutionary. Perfect album, perfect time. 30+ years later I still like to listen to it. Isn't that what music is supposed to be?

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Live At Chelmsford Top Security Prison - Restless 1990
Rating = 7

How was your day? That's great. Let's talk about mine now. About two weeks ago, a Second Dan (sp?) Black Belt instructor in my Tae Kwon Do class took it upon himself to ruin a perfectly good sparring match by kicking me in the ribs as hard as any human being has ever kicked another human being in the ribs. I was winded at the time, but got over it. Then a week later, following another sparring class wherein I had (as usual) been socked and kicked in the ribs about fitty times, I noticed a dull pain in the ol' ribbage telling me I got to beware. For God's Stupid Reason, I went to Breaking Class last night and did about 100 stretches, 400 twists and 900 jumps. Midclass I noticed, "Say! I am in tremendous pain!" but I foolistupidly completed the class (poorly) anyway. Went to bed a few hours later and noticed that any attempt to sleep on my right side, left side or tummy was met by somebody jamming a fork into my ribs for dinner. Thus, slept on my back. Paragraph change here to represent the passing of night.



Woke up at 7 AM and had to use the Urine Machine. Got up in pain, emptied bodily waste pud, and again, for God's Stupid Reason, tried to re-join the bed on my left side in order to face my young and beautiful wife. This attempt was met by a tiny invisible man squeezing the entire right side of my torso in some sort of steam press like they use at dry cleaners. I moaned/shouted in severe physical distress and attempted to rise back up to my feet, creating more angry nervous system signals in the process. Grabbing onto the top of the closet door, I hung helpless in unutterable pain until my wife finally asked, "Do you want to go to the emergency room?" You don't have to ask me twice!

In this case she did though, because my brain was too wracked in terminal ouch throes to hear her question the first time. So we took a caxitab to Mt. Sinai's Women's Clinic, walked a block up to Mt. Sinai's Children's Clinic, walked ANOTHER block up to some other Mt. Sinai building, were told to take the elevator down to the "MS" level, failed to find the elevators that go to the "MS" level, walked out the other side of the building and finally found the Emergency Room. Walked in, were told that the sign-in person had left for a minute and would be back soon. Thought "Do emergency room people generally just leave?" Was forced to stand up and sit down - at steadily increasing physical expense - about sixty jillion times as the dumbass women idiot moron check-in people asked us to move from window to window back to previous window, argued with each other about meaningless bullshit instead of gathering my information, took my blood pressure and forgot to write it down (necessitating a second blood pressure taking ten minutes later) and sent me to a second sign-in area, where yet another idiot moron fucking piece of shit idiot cocksucker whore woman typed me into the computer as "Mark Frinble" and logged me as "Single" even though I was wearing a wedding ring and my wife was standing three feet away from me. Finally, a full NINETY MINUTES after we entered the "Emergency" Room, I was taken back to the doctor section, where they keep the people with even a single grain of common sense. The doctors and nurses took care of me quite nicely, checking my urine for blood, blood for urine, and X-rays for fractures. No fracture, it appears, and also no internal bleeding -- just appears to be a very bad "rib sprain" or "bruised ribs." They gave me a couple of Percodan, which had me flying high as a kite made out of hemp, and told me to stop going to Tae Kwon Do like a dumbass until it heals. Meantime, I'm looking at 3-6 weeks of intense, abominable pain every time I cough, sneeze, laugh, breathe too deeply, sit up the wrong way, lie down the wrong way, walk the wrong way, slightly twist my body the wrong way, bend over, yawn, get dressed, inhale through my nose or look at a girl. My lesson to you: TAKE CARE OF YOUR MCRIBS.

I don't actually own this album, but I own nearly every song on it in MP3 form. It was recorded during a single concert at an actual prison back when Glen Matlock was still in the band, yet sound quality varies from track to track, suggesting that perhaps my MP3s aren't all from the correct record. Still, whatever the heck it is I own has tons of great energy, with drummer Paul cookin' along like a Speed King of Rest 'n' Relaxation (R'n'R). The guitar is wonderfully fuzzy and loud too, but at times you can't hear the bass at all and Johnny Rotted's voice is almost universally too quiet in the mix, as well as occasionally distorted due to a third-rate speaker being turned up too loudly. Not that Johnny Rotted is a third-rate speaker; he's actually a very talented storyteller, as I'm sure you know from reading No Blacks No Irish No Dogs: The Life of Henry Ford.

The set list that fateful Prison night consisted of 7 Bollocks tracks and 4 b-sides/rarities, as well as butchered covers of The Three's "No Fun," The Guess's "Substitute" and The Hey Hey We're The's "(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone." Some performances rule ("Problems" books with speed! "New York" is presented with lighter distortion so you can actually make out the note changes between the chords, lending the song an even DARKER air! "No Lip," "I Wanna Be Me" and "Did You No Wrong" are three of their greatest songs, yet they're unavailable on Bollocks!), others jaw down dick ("Anarchy In The UK" is a sluggish bore of muted phase guitar, "No Fun" is an out-of-tune joke thanks to Steve breaking a string and continuing the song for an additional four minutes anyway, and "Stepping Stone" just isn't any good when played by a punk band. Ask Minor Threat!).

I hope you didn't actually ask Minor Threat. They broke up over twenty years ago. Thankfully, their "louder faster" hardcore spirit lives on in the brutal mosh speedpunk of The Evens.

Reader Comments
Mr. Prindle,

I was just gonna say that the Dolls totally hooked me into exploring the Punk Rock era that I totally missed in my Rockumentary. I ordered 3 books to "Please Kill Me" "Too Much Too Soon" and " Trash! The Complete Story of New York Dolls" (I think this is the title) becuase I have to know what the scene back then really looked like. And I started surfing your reviews to find the Punk Rock album for dummies, and the first one in my wish list is "Raw Power" - I live in Michigan, yeah!

Anyway, then I came to the Sex Pistols review and was surprised with the loooooooooong list of comments - wow, these guy are so popular - and then I read that you got beat up in your Tae Kwon Do class and I thought "wow! I practiced Shaolin Kung Fu! I have so much in common with Mr. Prindle!" and then I read more and I couldn't pretend I'm working anymore because I started laughing so hard (yes, I'm at work)!!!!

You are crrupting me, and I like that! (Rock'n'Roll !!!)

Add your thoughts?

Spunk - Blank 1977
Rating = 9

This famous bootleg (that I'd never heard of until I interviewed Don Bolles) comprises the original demo tapes for what would become Never Mind The Bollocks, recorded (I suppose) while Glen Matlock was still playing bass. Although interesting and obviously filled with great songs, it's definitely not much of a revelation so don't bother seeking it out unless you've just got to have everything in the world that Paul Cook has ever played on. And if such is the case, don't forget the Professionals, the Chiefs of Relief or those Edwyn Collins albums. And don't get me started about the "I Love Rock and Roll" demo!

What's that? IQ? Well, DUH. Who doesn't have 14 copies of Namazamo playing in their iPod concurrently?

Ten of these twelve tracks would wind up re-recorded for Never Mind The Biloxi Blues, Here's Matthew Broderick LP; the other two -- the catchy/poppy "Satellite" and B-side "I Wanna Be Me" -- would find themselves more than adequately replaced by "Holidays In The Sun" and "Bodies." The main difference between this and the final album can be found in John's herein-contained weaker, hoarser, less confident, less tuneful and less playful vocals. And THAT, people, is why you'd might as well stick with Never Mind The Bollocks and leave Spunk to the pretentious. Mr. Rotten's silly, high-pitched and snotty voice is one of the key factors in Bollocks' rulingness, so listening to a near-exact copy of that LP but with lower, less thought-out vocal deliveries can be a real let-down. He misses all the high notes in "Seventeen," "Satellite" and "No Feelings," simply recites the lyrics to the soon-to-be-obnoxious-and-funny-as-hell "EMI," and even allows his voice to be run through some asinine rocket-ship metallic effect for "Anarchy In The UK." The man wasn't ready yet. His flour was in the oven, but it hadn't yet baked to perfection. His tomatoes were sliced and put in the porridge, but the iced tea and cole slaw hadn't yet gelled to fruition. His house of cards was built on sand, but asdf OWW! MY NUTS!

Sorry, dropped some hot cashews in my lap.

Other points of interest include:

- a tremendous amount of glam-style phase on Steve Jones' guitar throughout several tracks (plus DELAY/REPEAT during that hot "Pretty Vacant" intro!)

- You know that ugly, double-vocaled lousy mix of "I Wanna Be Me" that's on Flogging A Dead Horse? Well, it turns out that the song originally sounded GOOD (as found on here), and then some dumbass recorded two tapes of it at the same time onto a third tape (or added a terribly misguided "echo" effect, one of the two) and RUINED an originally tight, compact, terrific punk rock song! So you might want to at least try to find this version online or something. Be careful though; apparently if you don't pay for it, a musician will die.

- Brutally loud guitars in "Anarchy In The UK," along with a funny anarchic mess of guitar racket at the song's conclusion.

- In "Submission," a guitar is overdubbed but only on every other "ba-dah!," so the entire song goes loud-quiet-loud-quiet "" It's a neat effect! Not sure why they dropped it for the official album.

- "Liar" has a different chord progression during the middle part, and an adorable ascending bass line during the chorus. Are these in the final version? I didn't recognize them! Maybe I should check. Nope!

- This short tour has covered only part of the facilities and collections housed in the Main Library. For example, in the basement, you will find the Special Collections department, theses and dissertations by MSU students, and all of the Main Library's oversized books.

Actually, I found that last one by typing "Other points of interest" into Yahoo. What were the odds it wasn't going to be about the Sex Pistols' Spunk bootleg? I'm as boggled as you are!

So you see, you can do many things on an Internet. I'm particularly fond of the pornography aspects myself. Have you ever visited I came and came again! Those four blue bitches at the top are STEAMING HOTTT!

In conclusion: Never Mind The Bolles, The Real Album's Better.

Reader Comments
hey, you forgot the Pretty Vacant bassline. it's simplified (you know, just follows the chords) on bollox because steve jones didn't like it, i guess... i prefer spunk because of glenn's bass playing.
I'll tell you right now, I went to MSU and most of those oversized books are a major pain in the ass. One time I had to read the entire congressional record of 1861 for a class, and it was no treat.

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The Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle - Virgin 1979.
Rating = 9

This is basically a comedy album, but a darned amusing one. Malcolm was responsible for this baby, a double-album soundtrack to the hilarious Swindle movie that features, among other things, a classical rendition of "E.M.I.," a disco medley of Pistols hits, a couple of godawful early covers ("Johnny B. Goode" and "Roadrunner," neither of which Johnny knew the words to), Sid's infamous rendition of "My Way," an obnoxious ditty belched by train robber Ronald Biggs ("No One Is Innocent"), a disgusting burlesque tune voked by Steve ("Friggin' In The Riggin'"), and a HIIIIILarious little violin tune called "Who Killed Bambi," sung by some new wave guy named Tenpole Tudor. I love the record, myself. With all of the string arrangements and jokes, it's probably the last thing that punk fans were looking for when they headed out to the shoppes in search of the hot new posthumous Pistols release, but hey.... It's funny! And the title track is killer goodtime fun.

Nevertheless, I gots to be warn youse - this isn't really a Sex Pistols album. It's a Malcolm McLaren album. But it's still probably the only possible way they could have followed up Never Mind The Bollocks. I mean, how do you improve on a style like that? There's no way. So, rather than repeat yourselves, why not just pretend the whole thing was a joke? Offensive? Nah. Hilarious and entirely appropriate, just like the much-berated 1996 reunion tour (which I thought was brilliant - especially seeing John on stage wearing a P.I.L. shirt). The Pistols were nothing but goofball thugs who wrote some great songs - their FANS were the revolutionary ones. Well.... you know what I mean. If thousands of kids hadn't colored their hair and painted their noses, the Sex Pistols would have been just another circus act. It was the copycat fans that made them a phenomenon, dang it all.

Which reminds me - when I was in high school, it sure seemed neat to color and shave your hair in weird shapes and stuff, but in retrospect, it sure was lame. Folks have been doing it for 20 years. TWENTY YEARS. Mohawks for TWENTY YEARS. Safety pins and painting "Subhumans" on the back of black leather jackets for TWENTY YEARS. Speaking for myself, I'd MUCH rather see a Sex Pistols reunion at age 40 than a bunch of 17-year-olds with no imagination acting out a cartoon that took place TWENTY YEARS ago. You know what's cool? Dressing entirely innocuously, so people have to really get to know you before they find out how friggin' weird you are. THAT'S cool. Dressing outlandishly just so people will look at you is weak. It's better not to be looked at. I think so, anyway. I still dress like I did when I was 15, but only because it's cheap. When I'm 30, I'll start dressing better; who wants to see a wrinkly guy in a t-shirt? Not me, that's who!

Reader Comments (Michael Rohm)
While I wasn't alive when the Pistols were big and not much of a "punk rock" fan, I have to agree with your review of Rock n' Roll Swindle. It's not an especially good album, but I do like the live cuts of the Pistols doing "Stepping Stone," "Don't Gimmie No Lip, Child," "Belsen Was A Gas," etc.. "Friggin' In the Riggin'" is offensively funny, "Who Killed Bambi?" is bizarre, and any and all tapes of "You Need Hands" should be burned since it is a really awful song. I like to play "My Way" to torture people.
i think it kicks ass, sure it's just a big joke, but what the hell, it fucking cracks me up...i think that is probably the cd i most listen to, and you are right about the kids just trying to be noticed, just acting out a steriotypical punk rocker, as fully as possible, wankers
The demo version of "Anarchy In The U.K." alone is worth the purchase price of this one.
Hi there... :)

Well, I'd have to agree wholeheartedly with one of the other reviewers who think the Pistols are a bunch of posturing wankers... personally, I'm an Adam & the Antz person (*artsy* posturing wankers, some may say - but just fuckin' peachy with me!). I really did like PiL's Happy album - but once again, that's neither here nor there. The point is, I think Johnny Rotten is a bitter, noxious little git, still to this day - Steve Jones was a relatively decent guitarist for the times and situation; Paul Cook, mediocre drummer (but again, those were the times they lived in - the music was *meant* to be mediocre), and despite the mesmerizing yet repulsive nature of Sid's self- destructiveness (like gawking at a car wreck as you pass by it on the highway, seeing bloody bodies lined up on the pavement covered by white sheets), basically didn't play a single friggin' discernable note.

And I'd also have to agree with you, too, Prindle - punk is supposed to be FAST and fierce like a gunshot, in your face like one of the punkers themselves, with the first two fingers of both hands waving about boldly, saying, "Fuck it!"

I picked up a copy of The Greatest Rock and Roll Swindle at my local video store and now that I've seen it - I REALLY wish I hadn't. I should take the thing back and as for a refund. First off, I wouldn't spit on Malcolm McLaren if he was on fire (long story) - so being forced to stare at his simpering puss through most of the thing nearly made me ill (and seeing him naked in the bathtub was NOT high-up on my major-turn-ons list) ... the movie is really BAD. The only two bright spots that I can remember in the entire movie were Malcolm's tartan bondage suit and the guy from Tenpole Tudor spouting off about "Who Killed Bambi?" - I was falling on my ass laughing while I was watching that...

Give me Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb in Sid & Nancy any damn day...

The token Antz fan,
JG :") (Felipe)
I thinks that's a great album, but too many "Disney" stuff. Symphonies and stuff like that didn't make the Pistols. The Pistols are together and not with different people singing, like that ten pole tudor, what a stupid singer. I just wanna know if "Belsen was a gas" is a Nazi or Anti-Nazi song???!! I wonder it's nazi because Sid Vicious used to wear a t-shirt with a suastica.
In my opionion the great rock and roll swindle is a great classic punk album. especially the Sid Vicious songs on it.It's good old classic fuck you punk said you associate speed with punk, but punk is all about attitude and the pistols had the punk attitude, more than any punk bands i ever saw.Sex Pistols are the definition of punk, talentless, drunk, losers.
u know i really thought nevermind the bullocks was an overrated piece of shit. but this release changed my mind about the pistols. it has so much variety and it's one of the few fucking albums that made me laugh and enjoy the music.
This is the soundtrack to a movie. One of the best. I was just a wee 14 when I marvelled at this album, back in '85. Alas it's been 20 years. To me, being a Mormon boy, this was absolutely the most rebellious album I could have owned. So I owned it. I've since sold it, bought it again, and sold it. I just saw a vinyl copy of it, last week. I may buy it again. The DVD is now available.

Add your thoughts?

Flogging A Dead Horse - Virgin UK 1980.
Rating = 7

Let me warn you of something else, as I so enjoy warning my fellow man of potentially disappointing situations; every other Pistols album you run across is going to be a bit sketchy. For example, this one, which I USED to think was a great album, is a rip-off. Four of these fourteen tracks are on Never Mind, and seven are on Swindle, which leaves a decent B-side called "I Wanna Be Me," a sickening but fair cover of The Stooges' "No Fun," and a really great emotional song called "Did You No Wrong" that should have been on Never Mind. So if you want to spend your fifteen bucks just to hear "Did You No Wrong," go right ahead. But this album, as far as I can tell, exists solely to rip you off. Don't fall for it! Aye! No es bueno!
Reader Comments
I'm from Sweden and I would be very, very thankful if somebody can show me (a link) where I can find the texts to the songs in the album Flogging a dead horse.

It's very hard to hear exactly what they sing about (specially when your english is not perfect!!)
"I Wanna Be Me" is the best Sex Pistols song, period. It's also not a bit like "No Fun", Prindle , you lunkhead. However much you have to pay to get "I Wanna Be Me", lay it down, baby, lay it down.

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We Have Cum For Your Children (Wanted: The Goodman Tapes) - Skyclad 1988.
Rating = 7

This one's a bit less of a rip, but the production on most of it is pretty awful. Among its treats are that funny Bill Grundy interview where they cuss, a couple of alternate versions of Never Mind tracks, and three songs that were either previously unreleased, or (more likely) previously available only on any of the fifty-two million other posthumous Pistols releases. These tracks are "Suburban Kid," "Here We Go Again," and "Revolution In The Classroom," the latter of which sounds suspiciously like The Clash, but who am I to judge wapner? This is basically a good album, but you don't need it. Just buy those first two that I reviewed and consider yourself Sexed out. Especially if you can't get a male sexual erection or female lubricated vagina.

By the way, when I was about six years old, I saw the words "Sex Pistols" carved into a bench at my baseball park, and I told my little friend Kathy (who's dead now, but not as a direct result of this incident), "I think it's like a joke - like 'love arrows' and 'sex pistols'." I didn't know it was a band for probably six more years. But oh! The things you remember! Oh!

Reader Comments
great site, but just wanted to point out that we have cum for your children contains NO new pistols tracks. revolution in the classroom is NOT by the sex pistols (it's a goodman and co feeble impersonation). suburban kid is actually called satellite, the b-side to holidays in the sun. here we go again is a cook'n'jones track from 78 that appeared on the pistols pack and the japanese official compilation the very best of sex pistols and we don't care (although this is a different version). so now you know.
I've understood one funny situation, where figurated 'Sex Pistols'. Beeing in all-Rossia child's center 'Ocean' (sort of boyscout camp) I painted insolent-looked young punk boy with irokez smoring cigarette. There were two slogans on this picture - 'ANARCHY WORLD WIDE' and 'SEX PISTOLS'. I and my friends were laughting for week or two after replica of our tutor (young girl) when she had looked at punker: 'The picture is hot so interestind, but (she confosed slightly) what's that got to do with 'SEX'?'

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Filthy Lucre Live - Virgin 1996.
Rating = 7

Conceptually hilarious. Two decades after cementing their reputation as a short-lived bunch of bastards out to "take the piss" out of old bloated rock and roll stars, what do they know? REUNITE AS A BUNCH OF OLD BLOATED ROCK AND ROLL STARS!!! It's totally a gag, done totally professionally, and the result was a bunch of farty old rock and roll shows filled with absolutely AWESOME antique songs from a previous generation.

The band run through Never Mind The Bollocks in its entirety here, along with the excellent non-LP tracks "Satellite" and "Did You No Wrong" and a crappyass crap version of "Stepping Stone." The mix is good, sludgy and heavy, and John Lydon sounds almost surreal using his patented colorful PIL vocal delivery to recite his snotty old lyrics. Weird? And how! But they totally knew it - it was timed perfectly, an absolute money-grubbing cash-in on the success of Green Day. Johnny even shouts in the middle, "Fat, forty and ba-a-a-a-a-ack!" It's fun! Not great and obviously doesn't hold Russell Crowe's luscious codpiece to the original, but hey, it's r'n'r (elaxation). Also, hell, while I'm bitching, moaning, complaining and bleeding from the anus, the vocals are a tad annoying at parts (he sings "No Feelings" WAY too high, and don't think the fucker didn't know he was doing it) and there is no rage at all in these songs - just fun, glee and catchy midtempo rock music for nostalgia's (and the musicians' wallets') sake. If that's not what you want from the Sex Pistols, I can't help you Larry.

Oh, you're Steve? Oh, sorry about that. I can certainly help YOU, Steve!

Reader Comments
Hey, it could have been worse. They could have had another go at covering Substitute, something that I don't think anyone would have wanted to hear, based on the Great R&R Swindle version. The only good thing I can see in it is how it will instantly repel any stuck-up Who fan from the room it is being played in. Good stuff. Or not. Filthy Lucre Live, though, well, there's a reason you can find used copies in just about any record store. Although that reason escapes me at the moment... oh yeah, because its really pointless. There's a zillion Pistols posthumous releases (something Prindle commented on earlier) and chances are most fans will have bought one or two (and promptly learned a lesson in the process). The live tracks from the few concerts the band played before breaking up are much more entertaining than the ones they played in 1996. Except for Substitute. Yecch. (Kevin Jones)
So, you want to be petty about who 'started punk'? try MC5, The Pebbles, Pretty Things even Mozart!

does it really fucking matter? the Pistols were a band that gave the bored, glammed out youth an alternative. As I was born in London and was fortunate to be part of the punk scene, I can honestly say the Pistols were awesome live furthermore 'The Bollocks' was a much needed injection into a stagnant UK music industry (much like it has reverted to now). I think trying to view the UK punk movement from the US is like trying to see a hamster up Mr Geres arse, if you wern't there you aint going to see it.

nuff for your review one line sums it up...........'And we don't care!' (Jorg Groj)
I stumbled on your reviews page and after reading feel there are few things you should know. I don't know where this is supposed to go because I'm just responding but it seems you give the same reviews that the shitty gives only with more attitude and the stuff you write is more myth than anything else. My main point is when you claim that the sex pistols were inspired by the ramones. Read Rotten: No Irish No Blacks No Dogs where Johnny Rotten not only claims that he can't stand the ramones but that his band was in no way inspired by them. This makes sense since the sex pistols started in nov. '75 and steve jones main point of reference for guitar playing was stooges and new york dolls albums. Furthermore, what the ramones stand for (goony teen rebellion led by a cartoon band into oldies music who all look the same) had nothing to do with what johnny rotten stood for in the sex pistols. Furthermore, the bollocks album, a classic is much better than anything the ramones have made (an oppinion true). It wasn't meant to be fast. Johnny Rotten claimed that fast punk was stupid and said nothing. Punk need not be fast. The guitar corrosion and cynical lyrics on bollocks make the ramones look like seseme street. Furthermore again (sorry) Rotten claims that Bollocks compromised too much with its sound and had it been recorded or mixed his way, it would have been unlistenable as he would have wanted. He like many agrees that the album isn't the upheavel of rock n roll itself. It's fun, obnoxious, snotty and so fourth. Speaking of Young Loud and Snotty, check The Dead Boys, the greatest band ever who in no way were influenced by the ramones, like the sex pistols formed before even knowing who the ramones were but moved to new york from youngstown ohio and became a staple on the NY scene.

With your view that punk needs to be fast to be good or for that matter punk at all, your reviews seem very biased towards bands who blast out chords really fast. okay sorry for the rant.

ever read american hard core? it tells all sides to the earth a.d. controversy. Think misfits fans are passionate about the way it sounds. The misfits are too.

Jerry Only claims Earth A.D. should have sounded like Motorhead meets the Walk Among Us album which probably explains the metal rippin cheese punk on American Psycho. Glenn Danzig was disapointed that Doyles limited Johnny Ramone meets heavy metal style of guitar playing limited him to only playing fast tunes which is why he claims songs on that album like "Devilock" and "Bloodfeast" were played way too fast further claiming that the first Samhain LP was what Earth A.D. was supposed to sound like. Maybe "Devilock" was supposed to sound like "Macabre"? now, Earth A.D. the story because I know you want to know:

After the 'fits performed a show in LA they relocated to a studio with Black Flag producer Spot and the three musicians in the band recorded Earth A.D. live in the studio from midnight to 9 in the morning while Glenn Danzig slept only waking up once to time the break in "Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight", (which you can actually faintly hear him yelling "Mommy... can I go out and... kill tonight!" on the actual live studio recording just before his actual vocal track) then going back to sleep. He then laid down his vocal a couple months later and according to Jerry only did a half ass job mixing the album. Danzig claims the album sounds the way it does (like one long song) because the band couldn't play well enough to diversify and just had to thrash it out. Only claims they played fine and Danzig did a week vocal performance. The result still tops most hard core albums and Danzig claims it sure is better than most of what was out there but it wasn't the best they could have done. The European version was called Wolf's Blood (released through a German label called Aggressive Rock Productions) and had two extra tracks "Die Die My Darling" (from the Walk Among Us session apparently) and "We Bite". In '84 Danzig issued the Die Die My Darling 12" ep with the studio version of Mommy... and We Bite as the b sides. The current Caroline cd issue of Earth A.D. contains all 12 songs at a wopping length of 21 minutes. One more thing about Earth A.D. Glenn wrote the songs "Death Comes Ripping" and "Bloodfeast" for the first Samhain album but gave them to the misfits to make a full LP which explains why he performed both of those songs a lot during his years with Samhain.

Oh yeah and according to a guy that works at a local record store, Doyle was so bad at guitar at the time of the recording of Walk Among Us that apparently after he recorded his guitar with the rest of the band live in the studio, Glenn Danzig went back to the guitar track, turned it down and recorded himself playing guitar over it. Neat huh? (Eric B.)
one of the worst pieces of garbage (pronounched GAR BAGE) ever committed to tape. i heard they didn't write these songs, or even play the instruments. heh. JUST LIKE THE MONKEES!!!! except hte monkee's were dots out of 10.

(a few minutes later)

actually, i came down a bit harsh on this album. the most famous songs are actually quite good the rest... meh. chnage it to 4 of 10 stars that's as high as i can go. four good songs don't make a good album.
C'mon the Pistols wrote all the songs on Bullocks and, consequently, most of the songs on the live album (all except No Fun, I believe) are penned by the lads. They also played their instruments--contrary to the myth, the Pistols could play and they did with restless abandonment, aggression, and spite (for example, Steve Jones played the guitar (s) on every track and the bass on every track except "Anarchy"). Please do some research before spouting off lies and exaggerations--see my comments on the Bullocks album. The Pistols were not, I repeat, the Monkies or any other manufactured band. They certainly were not a Boy Band--they were the real deal and, for a moment, a real threat to the England government and other members of the establishment. Read Jon Savage's book, England Dreaming, or many other books and articles on the subject and you'll get the picture.

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