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Monday, July 3, 2017

Sex Pistols - "Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols" Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, 2008/1977 (Warner Brothers Records)


My first impression of when I first heard of the Sex Pistols is ho-hum.   At the time I was totally in love with the New York City Punk/No Wave scene.  The British side of the Punk world seemed to be more fashion orientated (which is laughable on my part, because clearly, NYC had that as well) and more bullshit media attention than anything else.   It wasn't till I bought the original single of "Anarchy in the U.K." that I went "oh my god."   For the reasons above I suspected that this song or recording would be so-so.  I didn't expect it to be a sonic masterpiece on a higher level.  Lyrically, theme wise, melody and just the production of this song became a huge wow for me.  Clearly up there with "My Generation,"  "Psychotic Breakdown" and "Talk Talk" of the 1960s.  Yet though the roots of the song were in those recordings, "Anarchy" is very much the sound of that moment or time.  There are a few records for me that yell out a moment and becomes a snapshot of life then.  

It's fun to know the story behind this album, and the relationship between band members and their manager. As well as the entire British music scene of the time - but I will also like to distance this album from that world, and listen to it as music.  Is that possible?  In my opinion, no.  It's very much of a product/artwork from 1977. 

Johnny Rotten's lyrics are like journalism.  He's reporting the world through his eyes, and his work is very unpoetic and straight forward.   In that sense, it is very much part of the social world of Punk, but not only is he making art here, but also reporting it at the same time.   Sex Pistols could have wrapped this album around a British newsprint, which would have made great sense.  It is also a work where you don't need a second album or further thought.  The band did all their work on that one disc, and there is no reason why there should be another album.   Them breaking up makes perfect sense in the Pistols world.  In my opinion Rotten's next adventure, Public Image Ltd. is a much better band (with Wobble and Levene) and vision.   Still, "Never Mind The Bollocks" is a great rock album.  A classic like the first Doors album.  And like that album, it fits perfectly in that year or decade, but the power doesn't last.  The music still sounds good, but it's not an essential sound in my life anymore.  Like a flower that blossoms, we love the instant second that happens.  A lovely memory of that flower, but once gone, it's gone.