<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> God Save The Sex Pistols - The Very Best Of Sex Pistols LP: Sounds Review
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 And We Don't Care

Sounds review January 1980

The perfect contradiction: The Japs offer such fine pressings, this album will cost you about £9 if you want it... and I'm reviewing it as usual on a pair of broken headphones connected to the speaker sockets of my ancient amp. So like the Pistols themselves; sold as untainted, priceless rebels, but turning out to be dirty product. Or was it the other way around?

Offered in revised 'Bollocks' packaging, this is a single LP slab of excerpts from same, snips of 'Swindle' singles, B-sides, high points, low dives and two unreleased tracks. 'Pretty Vacant', 'Anarchy', 'God Save The Queen' still hit, but quaintly; encrusted in the shrewd fustian of Malcolm's invention. 'No Fun' remains unconvincing when uprooted from Ann Arbor. 'I Wanna Be Me' is a drag, 'Did You No Wrong' a gem. Odd choices... 'Satellite', 'Silly Thing', 'C'mon Everybody', 'Rock 'N' Roll Swindle'. 'My Way', of course, done Viciously. Flyover Records awaits!

The unissued tracks are from the fag-end Cook-Jones era. 'Here We Go Again' is another of those football-chant singalongs artlessly tacked on to the standard Pistolero chords, and 'Black Leather' is guitar-hero junk about messy sex and all that guff. The latter has already been heard in a marginally less awful version by The Runaways, and that didn't make it to your local jukebox.

C'mon, don't be churlish, the Sex Pistols were surely one of the better jokes by/on the music business in the 70's. Blow-jobs against the empire! Scholars will debate for centuries: Could Ten Pole Tudor have been big in Japan? The most fun can be had here by reading the inept Jap transcription of the lyrics while you listen to 'Johnny Lotten's' fake anger in 'Anarchy In The U.K.': "I wanna destroy, possibly 'cause / I wanna be anarchy / No doubt funny..." No doubt at all.

Rating: (3 out of 5).

SANDY ROBERTSON 'Sounds' (weekly music paper)

Phil's thoughts: Why I love this album.

I admit, I have fond memories of this album. Firstly, walking into the Virgin Megastore, Market Street, Manchester, on 22nd December 1979 and coming face to face with a stand resplendent in bright green/pink LP covers with Sex Pistols emblazoned across them. It's still one of my favourite LP covers. I'd taken a trip into town to buy Pistols imports with advance Xmas money, but was not expecting this. The LP had a price tag of £7.99 but had to be purchased. I almost fell over when I flipped the LP to see two songs I'd never even heard of, listed on the back. And true to the high standard expected of a Japanese release, both tracks had been given eye-catching lettering on the sleeve. The same day I also picked up three 7" imports I'd had my eye on for a while, 'You Need Hands', 'Submission'/'New York', and 'Anarchie Pour L'U.K.'

The album itself perfectly embodied the Pistols in 1979. The name Sex Pistols had become associated not only with the 'Bollocks' output, but very much during the year with the 'Swindle'. The Very Best Of... compounded this chaos by its random choice of tracks. 'Satellite', but no 'Holidays'. The biggest selling of all Sex Pistols singles, 'Something Else' was also absent, as was 'No One Is Innocent'. Thrown into the mix were 'Here We Go Again' and 'Black Leather'. OK, they weren't brilliant, they didn't have Johnny Rotten on them, but they were new. 'Black Leather' would later sell shed loads care of Guns N' Roses.

The album encapsulated for me the last 'Pistols Christmas'. The band were no more, but they were still everywhere. Steve & Paul had just appeared on Top Of The Pops in The Greedies, Public Image Limited had released their best ever work, 'Metal Box', and even Sid Vicious was in the charts with his posthumous 'Sid Sings'. And, tenuous though it might be, Jimmy ' I tried to become a Pistol in '79' Pursey was on TV the night before my Manchester trip, debating whether the 60's were better than the 70's.

So this album was an important one for me. Not only that, but it was such a great package; nice inserts (who cares about the mistakes, it's part of the charm of a Jap pressing), and shiny high quality vinyl unique to Japan. It's crying out for a Japanese re-release as a CD miniature in card replica cover, with inserts of course.

What else happened on 22nd December 1979? Manchester City beat Everton 2 - 1, at Goodison Park. Believe me, a daily diary kept during your youth is such an incredible reference. And it was a dry day... in Manchester.

Phil Singleton 28th December 2006

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God Save The Sex Pistols ©Phil Singleton / www.sex-pistols.net