Album #394 – Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols

Album #394

Album #394

Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols changed rock and roll from prog rock excess to raw, honest energy. Their sound influenced countless bands overnight. Johnny Rotten’s lyrics and singing style shocked a nation that wasn’t ready for punk rock. But, even though the album was controversial and almost never released, it is a rock classic. What many discount from the Sex Pistols is that they actually were an amazing band. After listening to this album all the way through, I have a new found respect for lead guitarist Steve Jones. He is an amazing guitarist and his riffs are legendary. To get more background, I watched the episode from the series Classic Albums on Never Mind The Bollocks and learned some surprising information on the group and their manager, Malcolm McLaren. It turns out McLaren was a horrible manager who didn’t care as much about the music as he did the image. Also, each member of the Pistols were different. The weren’t all like John Lydon. In fact, they worked well as a group but, couldn’t stand each other in real life. The beginning of the end of the group was when bassist Glen Matlock left the group shortly before the sessions began. Jones had gone on record as saying had Matlock stayed with the group and The Pistols never appeared on the Today program with Bill Grundy in 1976, they would have made more albums together. The Pistols were never about an image. They were about music and creative freedom. The freedom to say what you feel about society and life. This album should not be looked at as horrific but, as a musical achievement. Steve Jones’ bass and guitar parts single-handedly changed rock forever. Because Jones could not play Beatle chords, he had to stick to what he knew. The result is a guitar sound that rivals any punk band at the time.  The Pistols are not fast like the Ramones, nor arty like the other New York punk bands. Their sound is rich and full and thanks to Producer Chris Thomas ( a veteran rock producer who took a huge risk with this album) and co-producer/engineer Bill Price, the band stayed on task and created a rock masterpiece. The Pistols took what was missing from rock and gave it the boost it needed to stay relevant in the late 70’s. For that, they deserve the praise and attention that they rebelled against. Highlights include: Holidays In The Sun, No Feelings, God Save The Queen, Problems, Anarchy in the U.K., Bodies, Pretty Vacant and EMI. Overall, I give Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols, 5 out of 5.

Next: The Modern Dance by Pere Ubu

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