Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols Song by Song Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Zoot Marimba, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    There's a far bigger story to GSTQ, about how the Pistols signed to A&M and the single was due to be released there, that single is now one of the most collectable records in the world.

    Subsequently signing to Virgin and being released, and how the single sold so many copies, despite many chains refusing to sell it, although at that time many of those were not chart return shops.
     
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  2. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia
    Thanks for adding that, I should have for certain.
     
  3. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    [​IMG]

    One of the most iconic images and picture sleeves ever.

    Listening to God Save The Queen 40 years on, you think of it as a great track, on a slightly controversial album. Back in 1977, things were very different. I don't know how GSTQ was perceived in the rest of the world, or indeed the Commonwealth, but in 1977 the UK was celebrating the Queen's Silver Jubilee, with street parties and events that had not been seen in years. It was all "nice".

    Before 1977 had started, the Sex Pistols were suddenly front page news in the papers after replacing Queen at the last minute on the 1st December episode of the Bill Grundy show, and being goaded by Grundy into saying "something outrageous": Steve delivered.

    What isn't so widely known was that there were so many phone call complaints, that some calls got directed to the green room where Siouxsie Sioux and the Pistols had been taken. I'll leave it to the individual to imagine a phone call from irate viewers to the group and Bromley contingent, left unattended answering some calls!!

    Anarchy In The UK managed 4 weeks in the charts reaching an unremarkable number 38 on Dec 11th before EMI decided the Pistols were not good publicity and the single deleted - I somehow managed to miss buying it by 2 days....

    A&M signed the Sex Pistols (with a big advance) outside Buckingham Palace, and then after pressing 25,000 (and then destroying most) copies of God Save The Queen, payed the band to leave. A few copies leaked out, AMS 7284, and a very rare single was born. One is for sale at £16,500 on Discogs if anyone fancies a copy!

    So the forward thinking Richard Branson signed them to his Virgin record label, where the Sex Pistols became label mates with ...... Mike Oldfield. God Save The Queen was finally available for all to hear, except of course the BBC banned it. I bought the single, VS181, covered with Did You No Wrong, with the picture sleeve and played it ....... a lot! I recorded it onto onto cassette and played it to anyone who would listen, and many others who had no choice!

    According to the lady in the record shop, God Save The Queen was outselling Rod 4/1 in many outlets and it looked like it was all set to be the number 1 single, in the official charts, in the UK, the week of the Queen's Silver Jubilee.

    As we sat around the radio listening to the chart count down, I well remember the words, "at number 2, the Sex Pistols, with a song called God Save The Queen". What a load of B******s!

    The controversy around the Sex Pistols and this single was simply massive back in 1977, and the Establishment was saved from the embarrassment of them reaching the top spot.

    In the UK God Save The Queen is track five on side one, and has been mentioned followed by Liar.

    I still haven't bored of listening to this track; it is still powerful, with venemous lyrics.
    It is played by the BBC regularly. The BBC, UK and the world is a very different place than 40 years ago when there was still respect for the establishment and the Royal family. For a few months in 1977 the Establishment was shaken and clearly stirred.
     
  4. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia
    Live in 1977:
     
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  5. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Forum Resident

    Location:
    Little Britain
    I can't really participate in this thread because I'd just be saying "fabulous, terrific, love it!" for every song. So there, I said it.
     
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  6. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    God Save The Queen: the Intro follows a rhythm pattern Steve likes to use. Same in Silly Thing and a couple of Neurotic Outsiders' songs. The song was originally called No Future and in his book Glen says that in the early days once he realized they had too many negative songs: No Feelings, No Fun, No Lip and No Future.
     
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  7. nodeerforamonth

    nodeerforamonth Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego,CA USA
    God Save The Queen: 9.4/10
     
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  8. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    It's worth registering also how God Save The Queen is different from the previous songs regarding the production. It is less refined, more similar to Problems that to the other four songs. Considering only the production, Side A gets relatively worse in the end.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
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  9. DirkM

    DirkM Forum Resident

    Location:
    MA, USA
    The NME had an interesting take on the banning of GSTQ: "But it. Buy it whether you like the Sex Pistols or not. It people try that hard to stop you from heaving something, then you owe it to yourself to find out why."

    Listening to the Mike Thorne version, it's almost shocking to hear how unfocused the song originally was. It could have easily ended up the Pistols' worst song, instead of one of their best.

    As much as I love the Steve Jones guitar & root-note bass sound on NMTB, Glen Matlock's bass playing on the Dave Goodman version is heavenly, especially during the bridges.
     
  10. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    This is true. And it's also interesting noting how the song evolved from Thorne (Dec 1976) to the demos recorded by Goodman in January 1977.
     
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  11. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    Just to add, the A&M single didn't have a picture sleeve, all copies are in a generic A&M company sleeve, and of course (and I'm sure you know) Problems follows GSTQ on the regular 12 track version, not Liar.

    The single was banned by Woolworths, which was actually the biggest retailer of chart singles in the UK, and also by Boots and WH Smith.

    I bought my first copy in Impulse records in East Kilbride the day it was released, ran down to the store after school to buy it.
     
  12. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    This single was released in Brazil in 1977 with a different cover (unique cover as long as I remember):

    Buy Sex Pistols - God Save The Queen (Vinyl) at Discogs Marketplace

    This pressing is kinda rare, I don't see it for sale very often here. A bit expensive too. The cover was manufactured in a low quality paper so when you find one for sale it's usually warped. I have one in what I would rate as "fair" condition.
     
  13. Blueshirt

    Blueshirt Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ireland
    Never Mind the Bollocks is an album that starts with the sound of jackboots marching and ends with a raspberry being blown... that alone is enough to make it a classic album among all the pretentious nonsense of that era.

    The music in between also happens to be quite good too... it changed my life anyway!
     
  14. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    There was a replica A&M GSTQ single included in the Deluxe Edition of Bollocks.
     
  15. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    For those who may be not familiar, @jimod99 means the big Super Deluxe 35th anniversary box. There are other deluxe editions.
     
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  16. Veni Vidi Vici

    Veni Vidi Vici Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Agree. The coda of GSTQ is for me the high water mark of punk, the Seventies, British rock’n’roll, if not the entire history of human civilization (although it’s perhaps too early to tell with the last one)
     
  17. Veni Vidi Vici

    Veni Vidi Vici Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    The swindle continues!
     
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  18. Veni Vidi Vici

    Veni Vidi Vici Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Chris Thomas —> Bill Price?
     
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  19. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    Unfortunately, I could never find an accurate description of how these two masters of music worked together on the record as a whole and individually on each song, rough mix or outtake. I have to stay with the infamous "Chris Thomas or Bill Price".
     
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  20. Veni Vidi Vici

    Veni Vidi Vici Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    McLaren claimed to deliberately confuse the issue to try to avoid paying either of them...
     
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  21. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    Yes, but besides that, the books and documentaries on the record aren't enough for a complete description of how they did work. As long as I know. Even that great book referred early in this thread and that also great DVD documentary. Maybe I should read that book again. I also didn't read Savage's God Save Sex Pistols, maybe it has more information.
     
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  22. Standoffish

    Standoffish Don't you dare call me an ostrich!

    God Save the Queen

    Johnny Rotten is in nice snotty rebellion mode here. I like how Cookie Monster plays the pocket in different modes throughout the song.

    This song is both angry and catchy. I'm sensing a theme with this album...
     
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  23. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    I really don't dig that much Cook's decision to play quarter notes with closed hi-hat in the verse. It doesn't sound so strong as I would prefer. However, Cook knows what he does and that patter is actually nice because it accentuates the change to the eighth notes in the bridge (or is that a chorus?), making it more powerful. As you said, different modes throughout the song.
     
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  24. Alf.

    Alf. Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    The (UK) 'hoo-ha' over punk, and especially The Pistols, was reminiscent of what had happened re Alice Cooper, five years earlier: tabloid hysteria; questions in Parliament; church denunciations; restricted airplay (or, as with GSTQ, a total ban); general public aghastness etc. The big difference in '77 to '72 though, was the perceived anti-establishment dimension (more of a 'threat' than AC's graveyard slobberings).

    Where I lived, all the chain-stores refused to even stock the single. The only independent shop willing to actually sell GSTQ, had a notice in the window stating that under no circumstance would they play it; plus when you bought the 45 it was handed over in an already sellotaped, brown paper bag. Oh the thrill of it all!
     
  25. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Forum Resident

    Location:
    Little Britain
    I think that was really about Britain's future and I don't think it's too early to see that Johnny was right.
     
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