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Sex Pistols

The Sex Pistols may have only been together for two years in the late '70s, but they changed the face of popular music. Through their raw, nihilistic singles and violent performances, the band revolutionized the idea of what rock & roll could be. In England, the group was considered dangerous to the very fabric of society and was banned across the country; in America, they didn't have the same impact, but countless bands in both countries were inspired by the sheer sonic force of their music, while countless others were inspired by their independent, Do-It-Yourself ethics. Even if they didn't release any singles by themselves, there was an implicit independence in the way they played their music and handled their career. The band gave birth to the massive independent music underground in England and America that would soon include bands that didn't have a direct musical connection to the Sex Pistols' initial three-minute blasts of rage, but couldn't have existed without those singles. Guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook were regulars at a boutique owned by their manager, Malcolm McLaren; bassist Glen Matlock worked at the store. Vocalist John Lydon, who would later perform under the name Johnny Rotten, met the rest of the group at the shop and was asked to join the band. While the band played simple rock & roll loudly and abrasively, Rotten arrogantly sang of anarchy, abortion, violence, fascism, and apathy; without Rotten, the band wouldn't have been threatening to England's government -- he provided the band's conceptual direction, calculated to be as confrontational and threatening as possible. The publicity caused by their caustic first single "Anarchy in the U.K." caused the band to be dropped by their record label, EMI. Matlock was fired before their next single "God Save the Queen," which was released on Virgin; it was banned by the BBC. Matlock's replacement was Sid Vicious, a tough street kid who, unlike the rest of the band, couldn't play his instrument. After releasing one album, Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols, in 1977, the band headed over to the U.S. for a tour in January of 1978; it lasted 14 days. Rotten left the band after their show at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom on January 14, heading back to New York; he would form Public Image Limited later that year. McLaren tried to continue the band but Cook and Jones soon turned against him. In the two decades following the Sex Pistols' implosion, an endless stream of outtakes, demos, repackagings, and live shows were released on a variety of labels, which only helped their cult grow. In 1996, to celebrate their impending 20th anniversary, the Sex Pistols reunited, with original bassist Glen Matlock taking the place of the deceased Sid Vicious. The band embarked on an international tour in June of 1996, releasing the Filthy Lucre Live album the following month. Four years later, Julien Temple (who helmed the band's first movie, The Great Rock & Roll Swindle) directed the documentary film The Filth & the Fury. In 2016, the Sex Pistols' organization signed a deal with Universal Music to handle distribution of the group's catalog outside of North America. In what may have been a belated effort to ward off the extensive bootlegging of the band's live shows and demos, Universal's first Sex Pistols release was Live 1976, a four-disc box set documenting four shows the group played between June and September 1976, as recorded by their soundman Dave Goodman. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Stations Featuring
Sex Pistols

    Classic Punk

    Classic Punk
    21 songs

    Punk U

    Punk U
    3 songs

Albums by
Sex Pistols

Top Songs by
Sex Pistols

  1.   Song
  2.   God Save the Queen
  3.   Anarchy in the U.K.
  4.   Holidays in the Sun
  5.   Pretty Vacant
  6.   Bodies
  7.   Submission
  8.   EMI
  9.   No Feelings
  10.   (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone
  11.   Problems
  12.   Seventeen
  13.   New York
  14.   Friggin' in the Riggin'
  15.   Liar
  16.   Just Me (aka I Wanna Be Me)
  17.   Whatcha Gonna Do About It?
  18.   Satellite
  19.   No Fun
  20.   Substitute
  21.   No Lip
  22.   C'mon Everybody
  23.   My Way
  24.   Schools Are Prisons
  25.   I Wanna Be Me
  26.   No Future
  27.   Rock Around the Clock
  28.   GLC Counselor Comments on Punk - Bernard Brook Partridge
  29.   Silly Thing
  30.   Understanding
  31.   EMI Unlimited Edition
  32.   Einmal War Belson Bortrefflich
  33.   Tight Pants
  34.   Chatterbox
  35.   Search and Destroy
  36.   Looking for a Kiss
  37.   Who Was It (aka EMI)
  38.   Lots Of Fun (aka Pretty Vacant)
  39.   Nookie (aka Anarchy in the UK)
  40.   Lonely Boy
  41.   Did You No Wrong
  42.   Feedback
  43.   Sustituto
  44.   Dios Salve a la Reina
  45.   Satellite Kid
  46.   Chatterbox-Thunders
  47.   Flowers of Romance
  48.   Through My Eyes
  49.   I Wanna Be Your Dog
  50.   (Pa Trouble)
  51.   Belsen Was a Gas
  52.   Dolls (New York)
  53.   Bill Grundy Interview
  54.   A Brief Excerpt of "Woodstock Baby"
  55.   Lydon Chats
  56.   McLaren Gabs
  57.   McLaren Talks
  58.   Medley: Anarchy/Pretty Vacant/God Save the Queen
  59.   Lazy Sod
  60.   Lydon Speaks...
  61.   Feelings (aka No Feelings)
  62.   I'm a Lazy Sod
  63.   You Need Hands
  64.   Something Else
  65.   Einmal War Belson Wirflich Bortrefflich
  66.   L'Anarchie pour le U.K.
  67.   Black Arabs
  68.   Roadrunner
  69.   Johnny B. Goode
  70.   Who Killed Bambi?
  71.   New York / Anarchy Interview
  72.   Sumisión
  73.   Whatcha Que Va a Hacer Sobre Él (En Vivo)
  74.   Anarquía en el U.K.
  75.   What You Gonna Do About It
  76.   Satelite
  77.   Brief Through My Eyes
  78.   Somewhere Where There's Lots of Things to Do featuring Johnny Rotten
  79.   It's Just a Load of Old Rubbish featuring Johnny Rotten
  80.   Let's Go Round His House and Nick His Television featuring Johnny Rotten
  81.   They Say I Can't Play Nothing and I'm Stupid featuring Johnny Rotten
  82.   Four Members No Egos featuring Johnny Rotten
  83.   I Hate Malcolm featuring Johnny Rotten
  84.   They Stopped It on A&M featuring Johnny Rotten
  85.   I'm the Best Singer in the World, The Most Prolific Genius Poet of Our featuring Johnny Rotten