Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bo***cks, Here’s The Sex Pistols
Never Mind The Bo***cks, Here’s The Sex Pistols is already a controversial album. That was always the intention. Without doubt it has an important place in music history. It broke barriers, changed music history, got banned, had a legal case, attracted enormous publicity and demand. Released in November 1977, it caused mayhem before and after it came out.
This was one of the forerunners of punk rock releasing a commercial album. Sticking two fingers up to the world as they did so. Anarchy, in more ways than one, was to the fore with this release.
Four previously released singles were included on the album, despite objections from the Pistols about ripping off their fans. “Anarchy In The UK”, “God Save The Queen”, “Pretty Vacant” and “Holiday In The Sun”. These were all great songs, and still are. The raw energy, the noise, Johnny Rotten and his sneering, snarling voice, guitar crashes and thrashes, it’s all there. Apart from polished musical performances, that's of course part of the charm here and maybe part of the problem too.
Beyond the four singles there are more songs in a similar vein, but they don’t grab you quite as much as the hits did or still do. I loved the Pistols and that time when punk emerged. I still love hearing the singles, but the rest of the album is too much of the same. It doesn't take long before the rawness starts to become a drawback, the odd drum pattern out of step and all those quirks are soon less appreciated.
You do start to wonder if it was all about the commerciality really, cramming in those four hits, riding the wave of publicity feeding success. Maybe not so much for the band, but for those who were taking the money. It's a milestone and seminal album for punk rock and music generally for sure. It is though, overrated in my view as a complete album filled with great songs to listen to in its entirety.