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Now Playing May 2017

Posted by Nick G on

On high rotation this week is...

Sex Pistols

Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols (1977)

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The Sex Pistols. What short yet impacting musical career.

They have a gold selling album. The only member reputedly with any talent wasn't in the band when the album was released. They went through more record labels than they made actual records.

Play No Feelings

Two of the biggest names in punk - Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious - weren't actually in the bad when it formed. Glen Matlock (bass), Steve Jones (guitar) and Paul Cook (drums) with manager Malcolm McLaren found John Lydon with a defaced Pink Floyd t-shirt and got him to sing along to Alice Cooper on the jukebox. This was enough of an audition for him to join the band. Lydon was renamed Johnny Rotten by Jones, apparently because of his poor dental hygiene.

After Matlock left the band in early '77 John Simon Ritchie (Sid Vicious) joined the band to play bass despite having little talent for the instrument. Formerly a drummer for Siouxsie and the Banshees, Vicious's bass playing was so bad that it can only be heard slightly in the track 'Bodies'. No other track by Vicious was good enough to make the album, which mostly features Jones playing bass as well as guitar.

The release of the second single "God Save The Queen" was fraught with controversy. The artwork for the single is the infamously defaced Queen Elizabeth II to the point that a lot of staff at Virgin Records refused to handle it at all (though it was later ranked No. 1 in a list of the 100 greatest record covers of all time by Q magazine). Despite the song being banned on radio and TV it still managed to make number two on the charts, and even then there is speculation that it actually made it to number one but the BBC falsified the charts to make sure a song viewed as anti-monarchy wouldn't be ranked number one in the UK.

After two and a half years of chaos and controversy The Sex Pistols broke up during a US tour that was laden with problems. Never Mind the Bollocks is the only album they managed to release, but their legacy is much larger than a single album. The scene they helped spawn still exists in various incarnations.

So maybe we weren't around for the release of this album and the ensuing chaos. Our kids definitely weren't kicking around in the early punk scene. But I think kids are the embodiment of punk so I think this album is perfectly suited to designing kids clothes.