Sex Pistols, 45 years ago Never Mind the Bollocks was released: things to know about the album


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One album to enter the legend. On October 28, 1977 it was released in the UK Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, the first and only studio album recorded by the Sex Pistols, iconic protagonists of the first British punk wave (LA FOTOSTORIA). Provocative lyrics, the dirty energy in the sound, Johnny Rotten’s half sung with his drawl and mocking pronunciation: these are the distinctive elements of the album that blew up the punk phenomenon in the world. A revolutionary change in attitudes and customs that heavily influenced the music industry and society in general (THE LEGAL BATTLE AMONG THE FORMER MEMBERS OF THE GROUP).

The genesis

Around Let it Rock, a nonconformist shop in the Chelsea neighborhood, owned by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, what will become the London punk scene is formed. The Strand group, which already included guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook, was completed in 1975 with Glen Matlock on bass and John Lydon (renamed Johnny Rotten) as lead singer. The following year, the McLaren manager changed the group’s name to Sex Pistols, taking inspiration from a shirt sold in his shop. The band begins to do concerts by playing covers and the live shows are characterized by episodes of vulgarity and violence, which attracts the attention of record companies. They sign a contract with EMI and on November 26, 1976 they release their first single, Anarchy in the UK. In early 1977 Matlock left the group and was replaced by Sid Vicious, who despite being virtually unable to play bass, was perfect with his rebellious look and provocative attitudes. Meanwhile, the band, after various disputes, signs a new contract with Virgin and releases the second single, God Save the Queen, which arouses a wave of indignation in the UK, being seen as an attack on Queen Elizabeth (whose 25-year reign was the Silver Jubilee that year). These are months of scandals, incidents and controversial episodes, such as the arrest of all the members of the band for trying to play the song on a boat in front of Westminster. This leads to the release of the first and only album of the group.

Registration and publication

The disc Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols was recorded between March and June 1977 in London, at Wessex Studios. Sid Vicious’ bad bass performance in Bodies forces the band to recall at least as a session player the former member Matlock (who was also the co-author of almost all the lyrics) who asks to be paid in advance and leaves immediately because this does not happen. In the end it’s up to guitarist Steve Jones to play the bass lines on the recordings as well. In the meantime, the singles also come out Pretty Vacant And Holidays in the Sun. Virgin decides, against the band’s opinion, to include all four singles already released in the album lineup. Meanwhile, a series of legal disputes leads to the unexpected release of a bootleg, called Spunk, with demos recorded by the Sex Pistols. The wait for the publication of Never Mind the Bollocks it’s huge, with 125,000 copies already booked in the UK. Upon its release on October 28, 1977, the album rocketed straight to number 1 on the UK charts. On 11 November it also comes out in the US.

The success

After debuting first place in the Official Albums Chart, within a few weeks the record was certified gold in the UK. He spends almost a year in the top 75 of the best-selling album chart. Already on its release, the magazine Rolling Stone publishes a long reportage (complete with a cover) that gives great visibility to the band in the US. In 1981, the album reached one million copies sold in the American market alone. In 2013 it was certified double platinum. In recent years, Never Mind the Bollocks has been included in prestigious charts of the best albums of all time and is considered one of the most influential in the history of music.

The controversies and the accusations

The title chosen for the album was originally intended to be God Save Sex Pistols. But in the end the expression was chosen Never mind the bollocks (literally ‘Beat the ***’). According to Johnny Rotten this is also a typical expression of the English working class which meant: “Stop saying shit.” The title created problems in distribution because numerous dealers refused to display the record in the window, considering it vulgar. In London, the police ordered Virgin not to display the posters with the cover to avoid being sued for contempt, due to an 1899 law. There was also the case of a person arrested in Nottingham for exhibiting copies of the record in store.At the trial an English literature teacher explained that the word “bollocks” could not be considered obscene, as it was an archaic term in the English language to refer to a priest. And in the context of the title, it meant “nonsense”. The professor also explained that some older Bible translations used the term “bollocks” to refer to the testicles. title, showing only a blank space instead. In addition to the cover, also the lyrics of God Save the Queen And Anarchy in the Uk have caused a stir but all these controversies have done nothing but create further interest and free publicity to the disc, launching it towards a success that has made history and that has remained a lonely gem: in 1978 Rotten leaves the band and the year after the Sid Vicious’s death from overdose closes the Sex Pistols experience in the most tragic way.



Source-tg24.sky.it