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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Rewind: 1976 Sex Pistols Release 'Anarchy in the U.K.'

It was the single that would change the musical landscape for many and add a whole new perspective to our Soundtrack4Life. 

I was 13 years old when it came out and whilst it was a catalyst for a change of musical scenery for me there were many other bands who would shape my taste buds in the years to come. But it is an important record and one that set about change to a more wild side of life and caused many youngsters up and down the land to start bands of their own.

From a personal standpoint I actually prefer the B-Side! (Yes, beat me with baseball bats etc!).

Formed in London back in 1975 (though the classic line-up didn't emerge until August of that year), Johnny Rotten (Vocals), Steve Jones (Guitar, Vocals), Glen Matlock (Bass, Vocals) and Paul Cook (Drums), were all under the "watchful" eye of manager Malcom McLaren.

Their debut show at Central St Martins College of Art and Design was on the 6th November 1975 supporting Bazooka Joe, that featured Stuart Goddard, who would later become Adam Ant, and John Ellis who would go on to form The Vibrators. The Pistols performed a number of cover versions but prior to launching into some of their own material the plug was pulled by the headliners because their instruments were getting trashed by the Pistols. Goddard was so taken with the Pistols that he left his Bazooka Joe to form his own band The B-Sides that would morph into The Ants.

After many other shows including important ones supporting Eddie and the Hot Rods at the Marquee, playing the 100 Club in Oxford Street, and even their first show outside the U.K. in Paris, and of course the famous Punk Rock Festival at the 100 Club where they headlined the opening night, sandwiched inbetween was their TV debut:

On October 8th 1976 the band were signed to EMI Records on a two year contract. And then on this day back in '76 'Anarchy in the U.K.' was unleashed upon the world. It was not that first Punk single though to be released. That fortune fell to The Damned and their classic 'New Rose'. The debut single would only reach #38 in the UK Singles Chart but the Sex Pistols were already front page news after their TV performance on the Today Show with Bill Grundy on 1st December. They had been last minute replacements after Queen had pulled out, and they left their mark on the programme and upon the rest of the land with insults and bad language (at 6pm it was not the done thing!!).

In January 1977 EMI were forced to fire the band from the label after much political pressure was put upon them.

By the start of February Matlock was gone from the band and Sid Vicious was brought in as bass player. The band would go on to sign to A&M on 10th March 1977 (only to be dropped six days later!). Their second single 'God Save the Queen' was scheduled to be released, 25,000 copies were pressed but it never saw the light of day. Some copies of course did make it out and go for a nice price these days (an impressive asking price over £5,000!).

In May 1977 the band signed to Virgin Records and on the 27th 'God Save the Queen' would finally be released. Two more singles would follow ('Pretty Vacant' and 'Holidays in the Sun') and finally the debut album, 'Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols' was released on October 27th 1977. Within a couple of months the band would be no more. Their final live performance was at Winterland, San Francisco on January 14th 1978.

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