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Never Mind The Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols

Never Mind The Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols
March 16, 2005 01:01PM
Based on the music itself, historic context as a defining punk album and longevity as a musical influence on bands that follwed them, should that album be considered in every top five greatest list of rock albums, period?

Post Edited (03-16-05 09:08)
Re: Never Mind The Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols
March 16, 2005 06:42PM
Not necessarily. Historically and culturally the significance of the band cannot be overstated (especially if your'e talking England), but in my opinion that album has not aged well. The strongest cuts are singles that can be whittled down to less than half of the album. I have no desire to ever hear "Seventeen" again. I'm sure I'll get bloodied for this but........ In the end, I like the Pistols more in terms of how they galvanized a hundred interesting bands in different directions than I do for their their actual music. Now on the other hand, "Pretty Vacant" should be in everybody's top ten song list.....
Re: Never Mind The Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols
March 16, 2005 07:06PM
I have vascillated back and forth. It still has the capacity to amaze. Like when it first came out on CD or every few years. There's some related burnout, but most of the US hasn't heard it much to this day. Even when it came out it sounded muddy and slapdash and it's effect on music I can trace to this day. It actually IS based on previously released singles (infamous in the UK before reaching these shores) but with none of the B-sides. It kind of drones on into one long sound but doesn't all great punk rock? I can't listen to 'Submarine Mission' (a bass player-friend's favorite song of all time) and think "Satellite" should have been on the LP. It's hard to seperate it from late-night teenage smoke-ins, boombox afternoons in the halfpipe, silly political rallies in college...
If someone were to walk up to me and say "Your future dream is a shopping scheme" I might scream, run a few circles and throw paint on the walls in acknowledgement.

Re: Never Mind The Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols
March 16, 2005 07:49PM
Any truth to the story that "Sub-misson" resulted from the band pissing all over a request by McLaren to write a song about S&M? If so, it makes that song wittier than it first appears.
Re: Never Mind The Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols
March 16, 2005 11:09PM

according to Mr Brown's criterion (i lived in west akron a mile from John Brown's homestead, now museum), there are resounding yesses to parts 2 and 3 of his triadic question. i also think there's no song like Bodies. i see it the LP as essentially a great series of superb "singles" but also as a document of great importance, like the magna carta or donald trump's pre nups.

top 50 album.

as for sub-miision. that story is correct according to paul cook and then repeated in jon savage's remarkable England's Dreaming.
and when did a rock star or rock critic ever lie?(??!!!)

Post Edited (03-16-05 19:40)
Re: Never Mind The Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols
March 17, 2005 12:29AM
It's a strange album, sometimes i think it's quite boring, depends on my mood really.Parts of it are absolutely fantastic whichever way you view it, particularly Bodies, Pretty Vacant & Holidays In The Sun.
But at the time of it's release it was radical, it was rare to experience art that reflected the real feelings of people on the streets.
Re: Never Mind The Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols
March 17, 2005 12:01PM
actually, at the time of its release, it was a total anti-climax, since at least three of the tracks had already been issued on 45 and the rest had been widely circulated on Spunk and other bootlegs.

Speaking of Spunk, RIP Dave Goodman.
Re: Never Mind The Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols
March 17, 2005 04:11PM
The singles were slow to come out west and essentially banned on radio. I first heard it in an indie record store in '77.
Me: "What's this playing?"
Older hippie clerk, smirking: "Some crap we got in"
"Who is it?"
"Sex Pistols"
Me, excited "Really?" (I thought it was going to have a faster tempo).
"Yeah. They're just a joke band. Not for real".
That's what a lot of people thought. It sounded that unique. Of course we bought a copy. It offended some people, annoyed others, we slipped 'Bodies' in at a high school dance and they considered expelling us. Then there were the news reports of the crazy instigating tour. Now, it doesn't even raise eyebrows. Possibly because it has since permeated rock. Or is our cultural ears that have adjusted?

Re: Never Mind The Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols
March 17, 2005 05:37PM
Also - Bollocks is hardly "DIY." Chris Thomas is not what you'd call a low-rent producer. Those boys cleaned up nice in the studio - I'd like to see the engineer's notes as to who REALLY played during the recording of the instrument tracks. Not Sid, that's fer damn sure.

Aw hell, I'm just being a gadfly. Bollocks changed my life. After somebody gave it to me in 1985 I never listened to Rush again. May this story inspire you all.
Re: Never Mind The Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols
March 18, 2005 08:54AM
Not DIY at all: EMI> A & M, Virgin (WB in the US). Half of the first trax were done with Goodman producing. The 'mud' came from an overwhelming layering of dubbed guitars. That's one thing that makes the Thomas trax distinct from the Goodman trax. Check out Satellite (B-side of 4th/final single "Holidays"), a Goodman track. I Wanna Be Me (1st B-side "You wanna ruin me in your magazine you wanna cover us in margarine") is good too.
No mystery on bass - Glen Matlock, original bassist/reunion bassist/the band's real musician. Sid was a short-term replacement, mainly for the US tour.

With singing that cops Bowie and song structures referencing early Roxy Music ('Virginia Plain' is an example) it worked out fine that their mythos/relevancy was based on just 4 singles (all top hits in Britain) - their statement had been made. When was the last time a band was famous in the US for a full year before they had a release here? The Damned and the Clash both had an album out before the Pistols second single and the Damned had long since issued the 'New Rose' single. Yet the Pistols were a band/event of firsts.

"When there's no future how can there be sin?
We are the flowers in the dustbin.
We're the poison in the human machine.
We're the future - YOU'RE future."

Pretty Vacant became America's quintessential Pistols track and the only single released here.
"I don't pretend 'cause I don't care".

Post Edited (03-18-05 05:10)
Re: Never Mind The Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols
March 19, 2005 05:34PM
Fine record, dated yes but then again, almost all great Rock music dates in some way. It sounds better than the Clash to me, even now, mainly because it at least has a sense of humor. What hasn't dated from 70s UK punk - new wave? I'd say maybe the Only Ones who never fit in anyway, and .....?

Re: Never Mind The Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols
March 19, 2005 10:02PM
Neither Pistols nor Clash sound particularly dated to me. GEER sounds better to me now than in '79 (when I first heard it). My nephews ceratainly don't find the LPs dated - leaving me to think that some stuff is dated ipso facto and other's are simply self-jading. But then, I'm a Clash/Damned junkie.
Maybe we should examine what makes something dated. I come up with:
a) A musical style which is now seen as a one-shot trend
b) Use of a particluar instrument or synth effect
c) Lyrical cliche/topical item
d) Outmoded recording techniques

Re: Never Mind The Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols
March 20, 2005 12:02AM
i think the buzzcocks singles, some fall, and joy division are not dated...

Post Edited (03-20-05 06:55)
Re: Never Mind The Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols
March 20, 2005 01:13PM
Sometimes what makes a record dated is what followed in its wake. For example Nirvana seems terribly dated now because I tired of the sound. Not specifically them but the watered down imitations that followed.So, they, in effect get punished by me for the sins of Bush (the band, not the President).A good example are the Dolls, who depending on how you look at it are either dated by their burlesque campiness or timeless because of the uniqueness of their approach. I'd argue the Heartbreakers are less dated in sound (and I prefer them), but the Heartbreakers are also less daring, less original and, by extension, less "important".

Re: Never Mind The Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols
March 21, 2005 08:17PM
For me, it's hard to separate Bollocks from its context. In my case, a 12-year-old boy who was listening to punk for the first time. I had been into, um, Hall & Oates and the like, so Bollocks was revolutionary. I was impressed by things like the use of the f-word five times in one line, and I remember how influential and exciting it was. I really wanted Rotten & Co. to come to my town, burn down my school and puke all over the bullies and authority figures I despised. But that never happened, so ...

I never liked "Sub-mission," but to me, the rest of the album still sounds great. Nothing can touch the singles, of course (and yes, "I Wanna Be Me" and "Satellite" would have been better choices for the album), but it's dang good. The layered guitars sound powerful (I always wondered how they did that as a child, before I learned about multi-tracking).

The Pistols' importance outweighs their actual musical contribution by a fair amount, but Bollocks rocks. Top 50, if only for the inclusion of the great singles. Of course, I wasn't subject to the late-'70s hype, and I hadn't heard *any* of it before I took it out of the shrink wrap. (Side note: Before buying Bollocks, I misguidedly bought a bad live bootleg called Never Trust A Hippy, thinking it was the real deal. I was mightily disappointed at first but quickly realized my mistake.)

I have to admit, though, I still kind of like a few Hall & Oates songs.
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