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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.   Seventeen
  12.   Problems
  13.   New York
  14.   Liar
  15.   Friggin' in the Riggin'
  16.   Whatcha Gonna Do About It?
  17.   Substitute
  18.   No Lip
  19.   Just Me (aka I Wanna Be Me)
  20.   Satellite
  21.   No Fun
  22.   C'mon Everybody
  23.   Johnny B. Goode
  24.   Lonely Boy
  25.   Rock Around the Clock
  26.   Something Else
  27.   Silly Thing
  28.   Black Arabs
  29.   Roadrunner
  30.   My Way
  31.   I Wanna Be Me
  32.   Anarquía en el U.K.
  33.   Sustituto
  34.   Search and Destroy
  35.   (Pa Trouble)
  36.   Looking for a Kiss
  37.   A Brief Excerpt of "Woodstock Baby"
  38.   Nookie (aka Anarchy in the UK)
  39.   Einmal War Belson Wirflich Bortrefflich
  40.   New York / Anarchy Interview
  41.   Sumisión
  42.   Whatcha Que Va a Hacer Sobre Él (En Vivo)
  43.   Dios Salve a la Reina
  44.   Tight Pants
  45.   Belsen Was a Gas
  46.   No Future
  47.   Did You No Wrong
  48.   Feedback
  49.   Satellite Kid
  50.   What You Gonna Do About It
  51.   Satelite
  52.   Chatterbox-Thunders
  53.   Flowers of Romance
  54.   Understanding
  55.   EMI Unlimited Edition
  56.   Einmal War Belson Bortrefflich
  57.   I Wanna Be Your Dog
  58.   Dolls (New York)
  59.   Bill Grundy Interview
  60.   Brief Through My Eyes
  61.   McLaren Gabs
  62.   McLaren Talks
  63.   Medley: Anarchy/Pretty Vacant/God Save the Queen
  64.   GLC Counselor Comments on Punk - Bernard Brook Partridge
  65.   Lazy Sod
  66.   Lots Of Fun (aka Pretty Vacant)
  67.   Feelings (aka No Feelings)
  68.   I'm a Lazy Sod
  69.   Who Killed Bambi?
  70.   You Need Hands
  71.   L'Anarchie pour le U.K.
  72.   Through My Eyes
  73.   Chatterbox
  74.   Lydon Chats
  75.   Schools Are Prisons
  76.   Who Was It (aka EMI)
  77.   Lydon Speaks...
  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