1977: “Nevermind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols”- The Sex Pistols

1977blog

 

Obviously.

What else was it gonna be really for 1977.

I like to think that I was born to celebrate the heyday of punk rock and the release of this album, entering the world with a flicked v-sign to the uterus I’d just left behind.It’s true that I was born a month after “Nevermind The Bollocks” actually came out, but in the spirit of punk, i was comfortable and could not be fucking arsed to get up.

In reality, the Sex Pistols didn’t really enter my radar until my early teens, when I first started to take notice of music other than that which I was exposed to at home or on the radio. My parents were not punks. At all. Let’s see what my Dad’s thoughts on the Sex Pistols are. Please bear in mind that he was 23 years old when this album was released. Hardly geriatric. In fact only 2 years older than John Lydon was when he sang on it.

Me:” You know when the Sex Pistols came out Dad?”

Dad:” Yeah?”

Me:”What did you think to ’em?”

Dad:” Well I was a bit past all that. That was for the younger ones.”

Me:” You were 23 when “Nevermind The Bollocks” came out!”

Dad:” Yeah exactly. It was for the kids. I don’t mind it now. And I liked John Lydon once he started Public Image Limited.”

Wow. I guess 30 really IS currently the new 20. By this rule of thumb, in my son/daughters generation, 40 will be the new 20! And 30 year olds will be going out in student union bars and thinking about having children in the next 20 years. Whilst listening to the equivalent of One Direction and LMFAO. Anyway I digress.

I had the Sex Pistols singles drip fed into me over time, usually accompanied by some media coverage summing up the late seventies zeitgeist or occasionally that Bill Grundy interview where Steve Jones calls him a “fucking rotter”. When I was about 14 I bought “Nevermind The Bollocks” on tape. Yeah that’s right cassette tape. I didn’t yet have a CD player because I’m THAT old. I was surprised by how well it stood up to all the grungey fuzzpunk that was pretty much all that filled my ears on a daily basis.Listening to it now it still sounds really fresh. It doesn’t seem really hackneyed and dated like a lot of the same era’s music which is regularly featured on “best punk anthems” and ” punk hits of the 70’s” compilations.Yes i’m looking at you Sham 69, The Damned and even The Buzzcocks. If I’d have been 18 or 19 at the time I would’ve definitely wanted to see them live. As it was I had to express my anti-establishment punk fury by simply doing numerous heinous poohs into a multitude of nappies.

This album’s detractors criticise it for being all style over substance, but it feels to me like they’re ignoring the actual music and just talking about the theatrics,publicity stunts and Malcolm McClaren spin. And the people who say it has no melody are just not listening. Johnny Rotten’s vocals totally make the record. Without them it wouldn’t have had half the impact. His delivery and phrasing add to the catchiness of the songs and the bile and fury although exaggerated sometimes to cartoony levels gives everything a sense of urgency and adds to the charisma of the whole band. Of course it’s not perfect. “Problems” sounds like filler to me. And yes The New York Dolls and The Ramones came first, but you can’t deny that as far as UK bands go, they definitely started something. It’s maybe for the best that they imploded the following year. Who knows, maybe a second album would have been overkill and diluted the effect of this one.

Martin5weeks (2)

This is me at Christmas 1977. You can tell I’m pondering which is the best song on “Nevermind The Bollocks”

 

It’s an easy album of the year for ’77 but it’s got good songs, it influenced a hell of a lot of bands who would become my favourite bands and it’s got this. Track 1 on my life soundtrack.

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One thought on “1977: “Nevermind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols”- The Sex Pistols

  1. This was the record that introduced me to punk as well. And I agree, it stands up. I wish I came in by way of CBGB – Television, Ramones & The NY Dolls – but I didn’t have a choice being too young to have been there, like you. This is the record that made the waves. I love that Malcolm McLaren is so forward in saying he stole the look and attitude for the Sex Pistols from Richard Hell, who just published a book (it’s only ok imho) called ‘I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp’

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