portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Saturday, October 27, 2018


Still have the album from when it came out and the single it came with . . . . . I really rate this album and the Steve Jones & Paul Cook driving rhythm section pile drives the whole album. I think Jones especially was hugely underrated and Glen Matlock on bass too if it comes to that. Sid not so much although a novelty figure of fun in his self destructive character proved telling and tragi-comic merely,  the album stands as a tour de force of a John Lydon vehicle for someone trying to say something different however angrily and I stuck with him through to Metal Box from P.I.L. too. I confess to feeling threatened by much of punk rock; I found The Clash hugely pretentious and fashion conscious poseurs, who like much of Punk couldn't play their instruments and couldn't sing a note, I dug the Jam but thought of them as second gen Mods mainly. Bands like the protopunks UK Subs, X-Ray Spex were shrill and painful, Howard Devoto's Buzzcocks dreadfully out of tune and no talent no marks, The Damned - beer swilling party boys, Sham 69 I enjoyed sort of as comic characters go and Wire were up there too but more interesting than fellow fashionistas the Clash somehow. I liked Souxie and The Banshees and yet bands like Eddie The Hot Rods were a pub rock band only it seemed to me. The Pistols for me were saying something that even sounded radically different. Cook and Jones could really play and Lydon was rethinking what it meant to vocalise hurt, disenchantment, angst and anger of the time

On this day in music history: October 27, 1977 - “Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols”, the debut album by The Sex Pistols is released. Produced by Chris Thomas and Bill Price, it is recorded at Wessex Sound Studios in London from March - June 1977. The Pistols begin recording their only album, after being dropped by A&M Records. New bassist Sid Vicious is added after Glen Matlock departs, but can barely play. Guitarist Steve Jones does double duty, playing bass as well when Matlock isn’t paid in advance to play. Still without a record deal as the sessions progress, manager Malcolm McLaren negotiates with Virgin Records who release “God Save The Queen” (#2 UK), after A&M cancels its release and sign the band. The album creates an immediate sensation in the UK, entering the charts at #1, in spite of several major distributors banning and refusing to handle it. Warner Bros. Records picks up the album for release in the US. The album is also the subject of an obscenity case when a Virgin Record store manager in Nottingham is arrested for displaying the album cover in a shop window, citing that the word “bollocks” is obscene. The case is heard in court on November 24, 1977 and is thrown out when the court finds that the word is not obscene. In time, the album is regarded as one the greatest and most influential punk recordings of all time. It is initially released with eleven songs, omitting the track “Sub-Mission”. The running order is quickly shifted, adding it back into the track listing, and are in UK record stores by early November. As a result of the late addition, the first two pressings of the album do not feature a track listing on the back of the LP sleeve. There is similar confusion in the US when Warner Bros releases album, with “Sub-Mission” not listed on the sleeve back. The label hastily prints a sticker with the song title which is affixed to the back. The album is remastered and reissued in the UK for its thirtieth anniversary in 2007, as a three CD box set + DVD and bonus 7" of “God Save The Queen” b/w “No Feelings”. It is also issued separately as a 180 gram LP with a poster and a bonus 7" of “Sub-Mission” b/w “Pretty Vacant”. Another limited edition double LP set issued on color vinyl (one yellow and one pink). The second LP features a live concert recorded in Stockholm, Sweden in July of 1977, with the Pistols performing “Bollocks” in its entirety. It is also reissued in the US on 180 gram vinyl by Rhino Records in 2008, even replicating the original copies with the “Sub-Mission” sticker on the back. “Never Mind The Bollocks” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2015. “Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols” spends two weeks at number one on the UK album chart, peaking at number one hundred six on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

thanks to Jeff Harris' blog Behind The Groove

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