Sex Pistols “Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols” (1977)

     We have dipped our toe into the pool of punk rock several times, especially in 1977.  All that being said, I feel like it is today’s album, more so than any other, that truly jump-started the punk rock movement, never to be the same again.  That’s right, its time today for “Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols”.  Amazingly enough, this is the only studio album the Sex Pistols ever recorded, and it is rated #80 on Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Greatest Albums of All Time.  Not surprisingly, it is the #1 rated punk rock album of all time, as rated by loudersound.com.

     Listening to the entire album twice today, I was surprised by the higher-than-expected musical quality of the record.  My preconceived notions were mostly shaped by the recollection that bass player Sid Vicious, the iconic and tragic poster child for self-destructive punk attitude, barely even knew how to play his instrument.  As I heard some really solid bass lines to compliment the guitars, it turns out that guitarist Steve Jones also recorded most of the bass on this album as well.  Of course, the true face of this band is none other than John Lydon, known then as Johnny Rotten.  Time and age haven’t really helped evolve Mr. Lydon into someone I would want to spend much time with, but in his day, his raw, attitude-filled and angry singing truly defined and shaped a generation-plus of punk rock.

     The album opens with “Holidays in the Sun”, which is definitely one of my favorites on this album, and certainly got me in the mood for the rest of the record.  There is some variation in style and presentation, but not a lot.  It is in-your-face aggressive, fast, authority-hating, lets-fight-right-now rock music.  Other standout tracks (for me) include “No Feelings”, “Liar”, the highly controversial “God Save the Queen”, and the genre-defining “Anarchy in the U.K.”  Even as one who wasn’t a big punk rock follower, I have always loved the attitude and intensity of that song.  The last song on the album, “E.M.I.”, is a classic dismissal of their former record label and the music industry as a whole.

     Every punk rock band, and to a lesser degree, any rock band since that time, can all thank the Sex Pistols for taking rock and roll, which has always been an anti-establishment and anti-authority form of music, and pushing those boundaries several degrees further.  I watched my college roommate and many of his friends immerse themselves deeply in this world, and some of them are still punk to the core, all these years beyond.  I love that about them, just as much as I love each one of them.

Published by tacopepper

A music fan...

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