Originally a double album when it came out, the first album is generally interesting, the second album is a dogs dinner and shows McClaren, Jones and Cook desperately squeezing the last of the pips from the Sex Pistols fruit. The 1976 tracks are actually really good, especially when Mr Rotten actually remembers the words, the rest is fairly awful. Silly Thing sounds like the Glitter Band, Black Arabs, really Malcolm? and I hope the persons responsible for having Ronnie Biggs sing, still has sleepless nights over it. As a young boy this was a really confusing album, I remember asking my friends why there was a French version of Anarchy in the UK, complete with accordion? Nobody knew the answer back then, and they still don’t.
Hidden gem; Stepping Stone, they make the song their own.
Worst gem; Lonely Boy, Steve Jones still has some explaining to do
Micro review; It is nice to see that this album has been neatly and quietly airbrushed from Pistols history.
Where do you start with this bloody thing, if I write something flippant and trite I will have the light-middle weight wrath of serious punkologist Jon Savage to contend with. Talk about baggage, there is a whole airlines worth of baggage to unpick with this album. So, here is my trite and flippant view of this album.
I remember exactly where I was, and what I was doing when I first heard this album. I was standing in my friends back garden in the rain. The problem was I was wearing muddy wellington boots and David Goan’s mother wouldn’t allow me in the house as she had just had a new carpet fitted (rock and roll), so David had an idea. I stood in the back garden, he opened the window of his bedroom, balanced a speaker on the open window and I could listen to the album. This worked, although it was freezing and pouring with rain, until Bodies started. David panicked and jumped up to try and retrieve the speaker before the neighbours heard the offending lyrics, however rather than rescuing the speaker he sent it tumbling out of the window where it smashed on impact. Sid Vicious would have been so proud.
There are still some great songs on this album though and I would argue that the four singles are probably the four greatest consecutive single releases by any band, ever. I really hated the slower songs on this album when I was younger, but I have grown very fond of New York as I got older.
Hidden gem; Submission (is it about bondage or submarines?)