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

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Musicman1998, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. bzfgt

    bzfgt Custom Title

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I always thought the Grundy thing is a weird thing to make them iconic renegades or whatever since Grundy basically manipulated Jones into saying that stuff, so it made him look kind of foolish, whereas refusing to be baited would have been the more genuinely "rebellious" thing to do.
     
  2. BadJack

    BadJack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Well-spotted. It's those subtle touches like that that make me appreciate him all the more.
     
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  3. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    I don't think that Steve would think that deeply!
     
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  4. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    It gives the song more light and shade / dynamics. Essential elements on this forum!
     
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  5. DirkM

    DirkM Forum Resident

    Location:
    MA, USA
    Although everyone remembers Steve swearing, a lot of people forget that Johnny muttered "That's their tough ****" earlier on and got called out on it by Grundy. It prompted my personal favourite moment from the interview: "Nothing, a rude word! Next question." Anyway, whereas Johnny acted sheepish (especially when Grundy made him repeat "the rude word"), Jonesy gleefully told Grundy what he thought of him. I think that that had a big impact; Grundy was the bully for the first 3/4ths of the interview, and sure, he baited Jones into swearing, but his snide asides ("What a clever boy") just made Steve seem all that much more ballsy, to swear at him and quite obviously not give a damn. You can also see Johnny snickering, which is pretty funny. And, of course, Grundy's last words (barely audible) are "Oh ****!"

    Anyway, they sort of had it both ways. Johnny tried not to take the bait, and Jonesy gleefully snapped it up.
     
  6. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    My favorite too.
     
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  7. bzfgt

    bzfgt Custom Title

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I haven't watched in years, I should look at it again.
     
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  8. DirkM

    DirkM Forum Resident

    Location:
    MA, USA
    Heylin addressed this in his book, though it's worth taking with a grain of salt, since his math is wrong:

    It's possible that he's referring to "five" cuts on the original pressing of the album (without Submission), or it could just be a typo (or Thomas misspoke, or one of those six cuts was produced by Thomas, etc.).
     
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  9. DirkM

    DirkM Forum Resident

    Location:
    MA, USA
    It's hard to find a complete version of the Grundy interview that's not marred by dodgy editing/voice-overs/quality, but this one is pretty good:



    Johnny's swearing comes around the 1:18 mark. Also note that, around 0:46, Steve says, "We ****ing spent it, didn't we?"
     
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  10. bzfgt

    bzfgt Custom Title

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Yeah, Jones is actually insulting him before he says "say something outrageous," so it is not as I said.
     
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  11. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    Which reflects their different personalities.

    I've always wondered what Glen was thinking.
     
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  12. Musicman1998

    Musicman1998 That Wannabe Music Critic Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia
    Seventeen:

    We open Side Two with Seventeen, written as sort of a spiritual successor to Alice Cooper’s I’m Eighteen, which of course is known among Pistols fans as being the song that John sang at his audition.
    Paul kicks off the track with Steve’s dirty ass guitar, very Johnny Thunders esque, honestly, this song in general reminds me of the New York Dolls, I could hear David Johansson song on this, but of course John very much puts his stamp on the track, giving it such an irreverent, piss taking attitude that is classic John, and I love it, and Cookie once again drives the track so nicely, doing some pretty neat fills and rolls along the way, he is definitely the highlight of this track.
    Although my least favorite track on the album, I love this f***ing song, which shows you what I think of this album.
     
  13. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Location:
    Atlanta
    HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN

    Aw, geez. I slept through the whole first side. I dunno if that's Not Punk or The Most Punk Thing Ever.

    Anyway, I have to take note of The Greatest Punk Rock Song Ever Recorded, which is "Holidays In The Sun" Maybe because it's the first punk song of the second wave that I ever heard. but to me it perfection. Beyond perfection, actually. It's the one Sex Pistols song that I can confidently say is a true Work Of Art. From the marching jackboots to the "Please don't be waiting for me!", this is a breathless, hallucinatory, desperate meditation on a divided Europe. In the Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, one of their august stable of critics wrote an essay on punk rock and the critic's take on Holidays was one of the better pieces of writing in that book. If I could locate my copy I'd quote from it, but it's buried somewhere, probably under a 2-inch wall.

    The lyric paints this strange picture of Johnny Rotten at the foot of the Berlin wall, being stared at by people on the other side. The whole song is desperate with his seeming confusion and panic: Why are they staring at me? What do they want? Do they really think it's better over here? Rotten cannot help himself - he's the one man in the West who desperately wants to breach the Wall to get to East Berlin, just to see what the hell is going on over there. He'll tunnel under it if he has to. The Berlin Wall represents a deeply divided political situation which threatens everything, and yet to Rotten it's a "third rate B movie show. Cheap dialogue. Cheap essential scenery." Having been chased out of Britain, the Pistols have been forced to holiday in Berlin, under the watchful gaze of the East Germans. A cheap holiday in other peoples' misery.

    The sound of this track is full-on Third World War. The opening drum roll will always sound like a machine gun to me. During other parts of the song, guitar feedback squeaks like the wheels on a rolling tank.
     
  14. BadJack

    BadJack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I think it was in Lydon's first book where he revealed one of Jones' early, hilariously awful lyrics to "Seventeen", so to this day I can't hear the song without singing, "I'm all alone, give a dog a bone."
     
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  15. PaperbackBroadstreet

    PaperbackBroadstreet Forum Resident

    Sorry, catching up after power loss today due to weather.

    God save the queen! She ain’t human being!

    God save the mad parade!

    They made you a *****!

    Potential h bomb!

    I really love this song. There is only one or two more songs that come after that could be the strongest song on the album. I feel like this speaks against blind obedience in general. The queen just happened to be one of the targets.

    Really an amazing track that should be in every collection.
     
  16. PaperbackBroadstreet

    PaperbackBroadstreet Forum Resident

    You’re only 29! Got a lot to learn!

    I absolutely love the screaming on song.

    Again it takes any feelings of pity and says things I cannot repeat here!

    Definitely a rocking song.

    One of the stronger ones on this album.
     
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  17. DirkM

    DirkM Forum Resident

    Location:
    MA, USA
    Seventeen is my least favourite track on the album (I still love it, though!), but paradoxically, I think it makes a perfect side 2 opener. You get the fastest (?) song on the album, and then it's into their mission statement.

    While we're at it, I think NMTB is a perfectly sequenced album. If you look at some of the early/alternate sequences, they just don't work very well. I've tried many times to create an alternate sequence that includes Satellite, which I love to death, but there's just no place for it.
     
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  18. nodeerforamonth

    nodeerforamonth Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego,CA USA
    Seventeen: one of my favorite tracks on the album. 9.5/10
     
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  19. GodShifter

    GodShifter Son of the Morning Star®

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Despite my passive disregard for this album, on a whole, there are few musicians in rock that I respect more than John Lydon. He’s intelligent, forward thinking, and says what he thinks. I’ve always admired him.
     
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  20. Musicman1998

    Musicman1998 That Wannabe Music Critic Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia
    One of my favorite people in music, and even cited him in such a thread recently.
     
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  21. blackdograilroad

    blackdograilroad Forum Resident

    Location:
    Devon, UK
    What I don’t get about this album is the flak it gets for being “not proper punk” because it’s well recorded and produced, like there’s some authenticity in things being badly done........yeah I get the punk ethic but there’s a difference between rawness and simplicity, and ineptitude........
     
  22. Blueshirt

    Blueshirt Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ireland
    Yeah. Not proper punk is an absurd criticism some people aim at NMTB. It was pure punk, and the carbon copy stuff the spikey haired sheep were turning out was by-the-numbers garbage. Punk was about being different and the Sex Pistols were certainly that. NMTB was reasonably well recorded, but why bother going in to a studio otherwise? So the flak that this album gets for that is nonsense.
     
  23. Musicman1998

    Musicman1998 That Wannabe Music Critic Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia
    Anarchy In the UK:

    Now we come to Anarchy, the band’s debut single, and the only track on the album to feature original bassist Glen Matlock. This ended up causing a massive uproar at the time, with many chain stores refusing to stock the single or album.
    The song kicks off with a killer guitar riff before Johnny comes in, cackling at the mayhem before calling for anarchy, and the band slashes through the track, and I love Steve’s guitar playing throughout this track, has such a primal, biting quality to it and feels such unhinged and yet it is so honed. Also, I like Glen’s bass underneath, does a good job supporting the track, and the attention to detail in the mix is fantastic, has just the right amount of shading but never feels contrived.
    This is such a ****ing awesome song, a highlight of the album and such a way to kick off your career.
     
  24. 4011021

    4011021 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brazil
    Seventeen works very well as the opener of Side B as said above. If Holidays didn't exist, it would be a great choice for the beginning of Side A. Actually, God Save Sex Pistols, the early project for the record, began with Seventeen. As in the RSD release from last year:

    Sex Pistols - God Save Sex Pistols
     
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  25. Alf.

    Alf. Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I bought the 7" Anarchy on the day of release (plain black sleeve; Chris Thomas b-side misprint). For me, it's the most incendiary track on NMTB (although GSTQ & Holidays come close), and one of the best 45s......ever! Storming out of the traps, like a maelstrom in a madhouse, it slashes and stomps, until the final squeal has wrung the listener dry. The lyrics are inspired.

    The single entered the UK Top 40, on the 12th December 1976. Amidst the swathes of milquetoast dreck, it lurked like a malevolent alien; outrider for the punk panzers over the musical horizon.
     

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