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The God Save The Sex Pistols' counterfeit/bootleg guide

Technically, these releases should be classed as counterfeit (or pirate) records, not bootlegs.

ALL WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FAKE A&M SINGLE... the first counterfeit Sex Pistols single.

God Save The Queen A&M counterfeit Timeline

Before we get going, here is an acetate from 2002 - the 1st A&M counterfeit.
God Save The Queen 10" Counterfeit A&M Acetate

Version One.
February / March 2003.

Available only in black, some with number rubber stamped in red on the B-side with poor A&M colour reproduction (the black is reddish). The B-side is the wrong version of No Feeling(s) from NMTB.

Notes: The story began around February / March 2003 with, we believe, two short runs of 200 copies that surfaced in Europe & Japan. The original pressings were released in a clear plastic bag with a xerox b&w insert folded around the single. The B-side is rubber stamped in red with "Limited Re-Issue of 200" with a 3 digits number rubber stamped in black. The copy is very rough and has numerous mistakes. Some dealers claimed the record was pressed in Japan, however it is a European product.

The pictures explain the reasoning why it is likely there were two first 200 copies. Notice 73 has only a 2 digits number in place of 3 digits. Note also the difference between the 001 (above) with horizontal stamps & all the other copies with vertical stamping (i.e. 044 pictured left). No doubt that there were two different black stamps used: horizontal stamp - 3 serrated rollers; vertical stamp - up to 3 (maybe with year or month on the right - note dots on the right).

Number 73 (pictured right) is interesting because it shows 2 faint black dots on the right of the number but not at the same level as the 3 digits on 044, etc. The number is also displayed as two digits, not three. (i.e 73, rather than 073)

New copies then quickly appeared for sale on the internet. These had A&M company sleeves but the rubber stamped B-side was still there. Some weeks later better copies with company sleeves flooded the market. According to private sources the amount of copies pressed is around 500 for this first run.

Additional information added June 2013.
Ian Hartley reports "I have the 'version one' counterfeit (No. 142 of 200) and it definitely has the original B-side recording of No Feeling. It is the same as the 2012 repress in the 35th Anniversary Box Set.
I also have a copy with darker much better quality counterfeit labels which has the NMTB version of No Feeling(s)." (Note version 3 had darker labels but played the correct No Feelings!)

Version Two.
June 2003.

Available in black, white, light blue, clear red, pink, yellow, brown marbled, & blue white marbled colour. Also contains the wrong version of No Feeling.

Notes: In June 2003 the first coloured A&M copies surfaced with a pink and a yellow vinyl version, each pressed at 125 copies. Very quickly different versions surfaced every week:

- Set of 6 A&M 7' appeared for sale for £300 with black, yellow, pink, clear red, light solid blue & white vinyl.
- Set of 3 X 7' named 'Jubilee' with a clear red, light blue & white vinyl. All singles came with the same company sleeve & the number of sets was only 25.
- 6 brown white label test-pressings were auctionned on Ebay at the end of June 2003.

In July & August 2003, the rubber stamped version (see Version one) with xerox b&w artwork surfaced again for a few weeks. Note that all these copies have the NMTB version of No Feelings in place of the original Dave Goodman recording.

The God Save The Sex Pistols' counterfeit/bootleg guide.

Version Three.
December 2003.
Pressing with the correct B-side.

The only fake A&M 7' with the correct B-side (Spunk version) is the one available with darker A&M labels, initially pressed in clear red & clear blue vinyl with a company sleeve, which surfaced in December 2003.

Some weeks later a clear purple version appeared. The blue & red versions are rumoured to be pressed in around 200 copies each, but the purple is supposed to be around 100.

Notes: Even with these pressings, the sound on No Feeling is different to the genuine A&M pressing because the mastering is not the same as the original. The original version sounds more powerful than the fake one. Even the single released by Chaos Records in 1984, which claimed to have the correct No Feeling, is different because Dave Goodman yet again altered the mix.

The God Save The Sex Pistols' counterfeit/bootleg guide.

Version Four.
'Britannia edition' set. April 2005.

The first edition of the 'Britannia edition' set surfaced at the end of April 2005. It came packaged with a one sided picture cover in a plastic wallet closed with a safety pin sticker, and another another sticker on the back. Short run of 50 copies.

(Left: close-up of sticker on back)

There are three singles per set. Two come with A&M labels and one is a 'white label test pressing'. The B-side is, again, the NMTB's version of No Feeling(s).

The vinyl colours are pink and yellow for the singles with the A&M label. Different colours are available for the 'white label test pressing', some in white, some in yellow, some in light brown, and even "a mystery colour" (possibly blue / white marbled). It is believed to be pressed in Sweden.

(Right: white label test pressing: white vinyl)

In June 2005 Britannia appeared on the market with different colours in the set, e.g. orange in place of the pink copy.

For a detailed look at the Britannia Set click here...

The God Save The Sex Pistols' counterfeit/bootleg guide.

Version Five.
May 2005.

Two new colours available in very short runs:

- a blue marbled vinyl with A&M labels and company sleeve.
- a brown marbled vinyl with A&M labels and company sleeve.

The God Save The Sex Pistols' counterfeit/bootleg guide.

Version Six.
'British Bulldog' set. September 2005.

British Bulldog is a set containing one A&M GSTQ (with the incorrect No Feelings B-side) plus one custom DVD-R, titled Satellite - a Video Anthology.

The set comes packaged in a custom wraparound sleeve, with 3 promo stickers, and a 7 x 7 inch royal blue & white insert in a protective clear plastic bag. Five different vinyl colors available: solid yellow, solid pink, solid brown, solid white & clear red. The brown set is a white label test pressing.

Supposed to be only 50 sets, each numbered by hand. (pictured above)

British Bulldog is made in the UK.

Notes: Satellite - a Video Anthology DVD includes: Janet Street Porter interviews, Pistols live in Sweden, Phoenix Festival 1996, Top Of The Pops live 1996, promo videos, Anarchy in the UK 92, Anarchy '76.

The God Save The Sex Pistols' counterfeit/bootleg guide.

Additional colour vinyl pressings. April 2007.

Clear green vinyl
Clear lilac vinyl


Additional guide notes. Some of the fake A&M singles are not being sold with the fake A&M company sleeve, but with a solid black sleeve. The paper used is the same as the fake A&M company sleeves.

The total amount of fake copies is around several thousand. This record is therefore not what we call rare!

The A&M counterfeit Story Continues..... 

God Save The Queen A&M 12" T-shirt (Year ???)

God Save The Queen A&M Vinyl Box Set (Year ???)

God Save The Queen A&M 'poster' Sleeve Design 5 Colour Vinyls (2018)

God Save The Queen Japan A&M Coloured Vinyl 7" (2015)

God Save The Queen A&M Coloured Vinyl Box Set (2014)

God Save The Queen A&M 12" Version 2 (2013)

God Save The Queen Brazil / Japan Hybrid 7" (2013)

God Save The Queen A&M "Myra Hindley / Ronnie Biggs" card sleeve 7" (2013)

God Save The Queen A&M 7" Poster Sleeve (2012)

God Save The Queen A&M 12" (2012)

God Save The Queen A&M Picture Disc 7" (2011)

God Save The Queen A&M Acetate 7" (Year ???)

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Please note: This feature is NOT definitive, and has been compiled from information submitted to God Save The Sex Pistols by collectors. Errors and omissions that may have occurred will make it obvious if an attempt is made to copy the above piece of work, including publishing (or part publishing) elsewhere and claiming authorship. You have been warned.

Written by Géant-Vert

Compiled by Géant-Vert and Phil Singleton.
Images provided by Gus Nicholson & Géant-Vert.

Please e-mail any additions and/or corrections.  We do not trade in bootlegs or anything else for that matter.

God Save The Sex Pistols ©2006 - 2019 Phil Singleton / All rights reserved.
This feature is copyright to God Save The Sex Pistols and the author and may not be reproduced without written permission.

Please note:  It is illegal to manufacture, distribute or sell bootleg or counterfeit recordings. 
Bootleg vinyl pictured here is hereby merely documented. In no way are/were the administration team of this website involved in the manufacture, distribution or sale of these recordings.  Bootlegs are illegal.  Pressing and selling them is illegal.

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