Why People Are Still Celebrating the Sex Pistols, 40 Years After the Release of Never Mind the Bollocks…

sex pistols album

Four decades ago, in late October of 1977, a little-known British punk band from London released what would be their first – and only – ground-breaking record, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols. Marking the anniversary next week will be the reissue of 2012’s super deluxe edition of the seminal punk record, not to mention an inevitable spike in Spotify plays. We’re not in the ’70s anymore, after all.

But it’s been a whopping 40 years, and countless outstanding albums have been released since. So why are we still banging on about this one?

Well, we’ve got plenty to thank this one for, that’s why. The Sex Pistols really brought punk to life in the UK; we’re not saying they were the only great punk band of the era, obviously, but they were real frontrunners. They put expletives on their album covers. They cursed the Queen in their singles. They swore on live teatime TV. You just didn’t do things like that in the ’70s. Thanks to their outrageous antics, punk started to become a household name – one that teenagers loved and parents loathed.

The Sex Pistols parted the red sea of music, shifting barriers and creating a free pass for a mass of genres to flow through, leading to some of the most-loved musical waves of the past few generations. Your dad’s love of industrial post-punk? Your cousin who won’t stop playing Oasis records? Your sister’s latest pop-punk poster band? They all came from the ’70s punk movement and, in Britain, that just wouldn’t have been possible without Never Mind the Bollocks

Of course, it’s not all about legacy and influence. Let’s go back to basics for a minute; that album has got some stellar punk tunes! ‘Anarchy in the UK‘, ‘No Feelings‘, ‘Pretty Vacant‘, they’re great punk rock numbers and make for a great punk rock album. It’s raw, it’s rough and it captures a moment in time, in history, for both music and the UK. It speaks for the disgruntled, the underdog, the angry, the mistreated and misunderstood, and working class kids who didn’t quite fit in with their peers were embodied by this album – and still are today.

Sure, it might be selfish nostalgia to continue revisiting the same album, but we can’t resist giving a nod backwards every now and then, especially when a record has left such a mark on our beloved alternative society.

So congrats on 40 years of bollocks, Sex Pistols, and here’s to 40 more.

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