Sex Pistols release mammoth 35th anniversary box set
The Sex Pistols were one of the most influential bands in UK music history, they capsized the notions of music during the 70s and were the truth of a generation. Decades later, the band is still widely respected and treasured and this September sees the release of a mammoth box set to mark the 35-year anniversary of the album Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols.
In a time where the social norm was to conform and follow orders, The Sex Pistols lashed out at a society they deemed unacceptable and at leadership they felt was immoral. One of the first bands to harness the power of anger and political sentiment, they exploded onto the scene leaving trails of devastation in the name of social incompetence. Dubbed the creators of the punk genre, music has certainly never been the same since and it is safe to say we would be without many an iconic band had The Sex Pistols never existed.
To coincide with the launch of the anniversary super deluxe box set, a panel of influential people got together to discuss the history and influence of the band, as well as the importance of the album in today’s context. Held at the 100 Club on Oxford Street, the unofficial home of punk, the panel was formed of host Pat Gilbert; notorious “punk-poet” John Cooper Clarke; the self-proclaimed “inventor of punk” Bernard Rhodes, manager of The Clash and the man who discovered John Lydon “Johnny Rotten” (lead vocalist of The Sex Pistols); Brit Award-winner Kate Nash; writer Zoë Howe; documentary film-maker Julien Temple who made The Great Rock and Roll Swindle documentary about The Sex Pistols through the eyes of manger Malcom McLaren as well as filming numerous gigs and interviews for the band; and finally writer Fred Vermorel.
Far from something the pistols would have organised themselves, the discussion began as a very formal talk discussing niceties and reminiscing about times gone by. However, as heckling built up in the crowd and questions from the audience hit sore points, such as profit margins being more of an issue than the music in the current climate, the panel and audience became rowdy and argumentative with Kate Nash telling audience members to “fuck off” and Bernard Rhodes proposing a fight on stage (which he looked certain to follow through with had security not intervened). Much more the reputation the pistols are renowned for, the event transformed into a slurry of technical imperfections, arguments and political statements, many of which are not fit for repeating.
One thing that all could agree on is that there will always be a place and a need for punk; people will always need to stand up for what they believe. Also, while the current music scene may be lacking the hard-hitting political rejectionists that The Sex Pistols now historically stand for, as Bernard Rhodes said at the discussion, “Punk happened in the UK because it needed to” and that time will rise again. Until then, we will be more than happy to sample the wonder of The Sex Pistols box set and reminisce about the brave people that took a stand in the 70s. The box set consists of: the album remastered, studio rarities and B-sides, live recordings, a live recordings DVD, hardback diary featuring quotes and unseen photos, a 7″ single, 3ft x 4.5ft promo poster, stickers and handwritten lyrics.
The set is a wealth of musical delight for both fans and first-timers looking for something to believe in and leaders of opinion. Whether you purchase the set for your enjoyment or for future generations, you will undoubtedly be purchasing a piece of history that won’t be repeated. Punk is a reaction to a moment, The Sex Pistols made their moment brutally honest, pungent and exciting.
The Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols box set will be released in the UK on September 24th 2012.
Watch The Sex Pistols, God Save the Queen here: