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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible. Buy it and embrace it.
Well, there's just so much to take in - it can't be done in one sitting, which is exactly what a Super Deluxe Box Set retailing at 100 should be.

First, the 100 page 12" x 12" 1977 diary. It seems strange to use the word "beauty" in relation to the Sex Pistols but 1977 The Bollocks Diaries is an item worthy of such an accolade. With its glossy presentation and...
Published 18 months ago by Phil S

versus
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Old Days
This album brought me back to when I was growing up. They are still good tracks and if you listen carefully then you can understand the words and how they relate to society. The cd sound quality is very good. If you are interested in the history of punk, then I would recommend you buy all the albums for your collection, and compare them with similar styles of today...
Published on 17 Mar 2009 by Mrs. S. A. Daly


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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible. Buy it and embrace it., 10 Oct 2012
Well, there's just so much to take in - it can't be done in one sitting, which is exactly what a Super Deluxe Box Set retailing at 100 should be.

First, the 100 page 12" x 12" 1977 diary. It seems strange to use the word "beauty" in relation to the Sex Pistols but 1977 The Bollocks Diaries is an item worthy of such an accolade. With its glossy presentation and many unseen pictures, posters etc, it is a joy to behold. In fact, I feel as though I need to wear cloth gloves when handling it, to avoid any finger prints. It belongs in the British Museum.

The fold out NMTB poster is lovely as well, as is the replica A&M God Save The Queen. Just think, Universal own A&M these days, so surely this is a GSTQ A&M original?!

The above, along with the reproduction NMTB stickers and copy of GSTQ hand written lyrics, makes it all highly desirable. But what of the music? This has to deliver if the box set really is as "Super" as it claims.

Firstly, Disc One: Never Mind The Bollocks. At last, a true re-mastering, and it shows. The album has always sounded like a Chieftain Tank, only now you can hear the mechanics in action as it roars into view. Try listening both with and without headphones - both are spectacular. The backing vocals benefit as well as the guitars and drum sound, with subtleties detectable like never before. Same goes for John's vocals. Submission and New York particularly caught my imagination.

It is important to remember that this is not a re-recording, nothing has been tampered with. What we have here is the best possible sound gleaned from the master tapes. It still sounds like NMTB should - and it is essential that it does. It's tempting to say it sounds "fresh, like it was recorded in 2012", but it has always sounded fresh. What is certain is that it will never sound better than it does here. This mastering will ensure it still sounds fresh in 3012.

Disc Two promised much, and proves the jewel in the crown. The 1977 B-sides start proceedings and have been given the same treatment as NMTB. No Feeling, the flip side of the junked A&M GSTQ does, at last, sounds like it should - it's never before been quite right on any outing - other than on the original A&M.

The Dave Goodman demos from January 1977 follow. Dave was known for tinkering with his demos. Lord knows why. They are punchy and direct, and feature some expert musicianship and inventiveness from Steve, Glen, and Paul, much of which was lost on previous "versions" of the demos. Once again, New York was a highlight for me. Proof positive that untouched original classics should not be messed with.

Disc Two cranks up yet another gear with the Chris Thomas demos and outtakes. Mind blowing stuff. Presented in chronological order of recording (EMI recorded In April now finishing with "Goodbye A&M"), this disc shows the band's use of the studio developing as they hone their sound to perfection. From the alternative vocal tracks of Did You No Wrong ("my wet head"), Seventeen ("tell me your secrets do") and Satellite, through the rough mixes on show, it's all terrific, and (with one exception) previously unreleased.

Did we ever think we would hear two new mixes of Holidays In The Sun, one a rough - but stunning - take, with the song clearly in an early stage of development? Same goes for Body. Oh my. The lyrics differ but are just as scary as the NMTB version; "it was killed for a minor fee". A band argument also follows the track!

The surprising thing is that the recordings are good enough to release as the Pistols debut LP. Most bands would have settled for this. Not the Pistols. Funny that. For a group not supposed to care - they did when it came to creating a musical legacy built to last. Forward thinking from the boys. Also nice to see the original song titles from the time of the demos retained: Unlimited Edition, No Future and Body - nice attention to detail.
Belsen Was A Gas has of course been made available online - so everyone has had an opinion. The main disappointment is the vocal track which is almost inaudible. Sid does a good job with his bass performance, following Steve note for note, almost. Anyway, there it is, make of it what you wish. It's certainly better to have it than not.

Basically Disc Two is a fan's dream. It's been in my CD player/iPod constantly and I love it. If you don't, I'm so sorry, nothing will be good enough. It's magical. Thank you Universal!

On Disc Three we have two soundboard recordings from summer `77, the ideal time to capture the band during such a turbulent year. Sid is at his peak in terms of performance, pounding away - it leads to a very compact sound. Although too rudimentary for the studio, it works in claustrophobic club surroundings; brutal, intense, and at times disconcerting. Wasn't that the Sex Pistols in 1977? The Trondheim show was previously available as part of the limited Kiss This box, back in 1992. A further 2 decades has passed since, so it makes a welcome return here.

One week later - 28th July - the band was captured in Stockholm. This recording brings back so many memories for old time bootleg collectors. Released incomplete many times over the years, here we have the full concert which includes No Feelings and No Fun, (both missing from the vinyl bootlegs). The gig serves as reminder that away from the mayhem back in the UK, the Sex Pistols could breathe and show what a tremendous live rock and roll band they were, notwithstanding Sid who doesn't let his band mates down.

Disc Four - the DVD. First up: the Riverboat Party footage in perfect condition. If it was an event taking place in recent times, the full show would have been recorded from multiple angles and so forth. But the filming we do have captures the spirit of the day, from the paranoia, the blistering performances in cramped confines, through to the Police bringing it all to an end. Doesn't it just show how loathed the band were at this time? Don't the Police overreact to a band playing music on a river? Perhaps that is what makes it all so encapsulating and poignant. Everything the Pistols stood for, and the threat they posed, is here in this film.

Also in perfect condition, is film of the Pistols in Stockholm. The six songs caught on film from 28th July have been around for decades in various Nth generation bootleg copies; New York & Seventeen have previously showed up as extras on the NMTB Classic albums DVD. Now we have it all together - it will forever remain the best filmed document of the Vicious line-up delivering the goods in 1977. Close-up - excitingly filmed - with great sound, it just had to be included in the box set.

A real treat are the three songs recorded at the Winter Gardens, Penzance, during the SPOTS tour. Again it's hard to fault the performance of the Pistols, it is epic stuff. By late '77 the audience were well and truly acting like Daily Mirror Punk Rockers, flicking endless V-signs at the camera. Much more importantly, the band is incredible. Again.

The newly compiled Holidays In The Sun video is expertly edited together from late '77 footage, making it an authentic addition to the established videos for GSTQ and Pretty Vacant. Watching this on TV with the sound turned up makes your hair stand on end. Another triumph.

Interestingly, the DVD disc also pulls together audio only interviews conducted during 1977. So why choose these particular interviews? The Heyday Interviews conducted by Judy Vermorel in August 1977 are important for many reasons. They were recorded to form the basis for Fred & Judy Vermorel's authorised book on the Sex Pistols, originally called simply Sex Pistols (Star Books 1978). It was the only biography put together during the band's short career, and consequently the questioning is not provocative, but seeks to delve beneath the surface for all the right reasons - to let us know the truth behind their story. The interviews with John, Steve, Paul and Sid, first saw the light of day back in 1980 as the unofficial Heyday cassette released on Factory records, and then in 2003 on CD via the Boutique Label, this time including the interview with Glen.

You may or may not have these, but either way, as part of the 1977 theme of the box set, it's nice to have them included. The famous BBC Radio 1, Rock On, December `77 John Tobler interview with John and Sid is here as well, and for the first time in a full, uncensored form. We can now consign the badly edited, butchered versions to the back of the cupboard, if not the bin. If you've never heard it, this review will remain spoiler free, just bear in mind that a month later the band was no more.

So, is it all worth it? When Universal took over the Pistols catalogue I feared a rehashing of everything the average fan, let alone the hardcore collector, would have in their possession, with a few novelty incentives thrown in.

Thank God, Universal have not taken the easy route, they've taken the hard one. The Pistols don't come cheap, and UMC have wisely invested a lot of resources into this project.

Mixing NMTB from the master tapes is what we've always wanted; now we have it. And it's bloody good. But it is the appearance of the genuinely unheard demos and mixes on Disc Two that lifts this collection into the stratosphere. The discovery of these tapes represents the Howard Carter / Valley of the Kings moment for Pistols fans. It won't happen again, just be glad it did. And enjoy it. Even the Dave Goodman '77 recordings sound fab now. The live audio and videos have been presented in the best possible condition; in as complete a form as is (now) known to exist. Let's not forget the new Holidays In The Sun video, another indication of Universal's commitment.

I've hardly touched on the lavish 100 page Bollocks Dairies, or the A&M single. These alone would make the package worthwhile.

What do you mean you are still undecided? For crying out loud, buy it and embrace it. Now.

Review by Phil Singleton [...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music how it should be, 4 May 2013
By 
Miss J. Grant (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Raw, brilliant lyrics, solid guitar. Never Mind The Bollocks certainly lives up to the hype. There is not one bad track on this album and in today's world of X factor manufactured tripe, you can see why The Sex Pistols were probably the most important band in the history of british pop/rock music. No frills. Tell it how it is.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dog's Bollocks, 2 Feb 2013
To say that the original quartet only released one studio album, there are a bewildering array of versions on the market - with Amazon lumping all reviews together no matter which version is being reviewed! This review is for the 2012 DOUBLE CD DELUXE version, which is undoubtedly the best buy.

Why? Well, for starters it's remastered from the original master tapes. The sound is excellent with Rotten and the band blasting out of the speakers, unlike earlier so-called remastered, single CD, versions where everything sounds woolly and tinny. There's also a few studio recorded bonus B-sides that didn't make the original vinyl - 'No Feeling', 'Did You No Wrong', a cover of The Stooges' 'No Fun' and 'Satellite'. They are all brilliant, although 'No Fun' suddenly stops dead right at the end - er, a slight mastering fault?

There's a second CD with a full live concert from Stockholm and a few tracks from Penzance Winter Gardens as well!
Sound quality is of superior bootleg quality for Stockholm whilst it's less good for the three Cornwall tracks. The band are on blistering form for the Swedish concert with Rotten treating the very enthusiastic audience with his usual mock-withering contempt. It's an essential disc, thus making sense of buying this deluxe version even if you've got the original vinyl studio album - which I have!

As for the main studio album, well when it was originally released I was disappointed. I'd already bought all four singles and, like others, had become cynical about McLaren and Virgin's milking of the situation. Additionally, compared to the more left-field contemporaries - Suicide, Wayne County, Pere Ubu etc. - the Pistols seemed a bit 'old hat'; without Rotten's sneering lyrics the sound was essentially one of a beefy rock band. Over the years I've preferred the studio outtakes album, 'Spunk', BUT this deluxe version has made me change my mind - it all sounds so great now, so fresh and new. Yes, I've fallen back in love with it and can now understand what all the original fuss was about!!

Every single original track sounds awesome AND with this version you get a brilliant 24-page booklet. So, don't bother with the single CD, or the outrageous rip-off 4 CD package, get this the 2 CD deluxe version.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 minutes of attitude!, 31 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Never Mind the Bollocks (Audio CD)
Britain in the 1970s was in the doldrums - for those enough old enough to remember there was mass unemployment, strikes, power cuts and high taxes - and the young people of Britain really didn't have much to look forward to. The rebellion of the 1950s and 70s had disappeared - rock n roll rebels replaced by "corporate" rock like Yes and Pink Floyd. The punk rock backlash of 1976-77 was just what was needed, not only for millions of disillusioned youngsters but for popular music in general. At the forefront uprising were the Sex Pistols - four angry young playing angry, loud and (for it's time) shocking rock music, their frustration and anger vented by snarling frontman Johnny Rotten. The Sex Pistols were the original and best punk rock group, swearing on early evening television (what did happen to Bill Grundy?) and getting themselves fired from a succession of record companies. This album, released in 1977, was their first and only real offering on vinyl and at the time was considered to be a real shocker. 23 years after it's original release this all-time classic punk record still delivers with plenty of aplomb although I can't help but feel that now, in the days of post-grunge, that this great album sounds more like a mainstream rock album than what it would have sounded like in 1977. But let's put things into context here: when you think that it had been a mere seven years since the Beatles had broken up, and at a time when the charts were dominated by the likes of Abba, Cliff Richard, ELO, 10cc and the Bee Gees, this album must have seemed incredibly outrageous and offensive. With the passing of time, it is still a great record but perhaps not as shocking as it was back then. This is without doubt THE definitive album of the punk genre and as a musical snapshot of the punk era, this album cannot be equalled or bettered.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Loud pop music" ...even my dad likes it., 21 Feb 2009
By 
russell clarke "stipesdoppleganger" (halifax, west yorks) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Never Mind the Bollocks (Audio CD)
There are very , very few albums that excite the listener over thirty years down the line as much as the first time you clapped ears on them. The album that does it for me is Big Fun by Big Fun.......no only kidding it's Never Mind The Bollocks by The Sex Pistols. A ferocious blast through the musty halls of the establishment and middle England it still sounds vital to me.
Released on the 28th October 1977 i can still remember buying the vinyl version of the album ( i was 14 years old and paid for it with my paper round money - i still have the vinyl copy i first bought) getting it home , playing it ( as opposed to making a table lamp out of it) and almost bursting with excitement as the sheer vitriolic verve and lung shredding energy of the music blasted out of the speakers. Curiously my dad poked his head round my bedroom door and enquired what it was i was playing .When i told him he remarked " It's good .....can i borrow it?".This came from a man who listened to Jim Reeves. Truly here was a band to reckon with.
Never Mind The Bollocks is still the only official album released by The Sex Pistols- the group had to all intents and purposes disbanded just a few months after it's release- and the storm created by it's release and some of the songs therein would seem astonishing now( although the Ross/Brand thing shows you can never be sure what will set the controversy meter whirling )
Having said that there is still something compulsively illicit in listening to a song like "Bodies" - gurgling bloody mess....another discharge" - one of only two songs on the album written by the poster classic Pistols line up of Cook/Jones/Rotten and Vicious , along with "Holidays In The Sun". Has there ever been a better album opener than that song? - the crunching jackboots then the static bolts of guitars ushering in Rottens gnarly vocals.
But then Never Mind The Bollocks is chock full of iconoclastic classics. "God Save The Queen" ( especially in the silver jubilee year) "Anarchy In The U.K.", "Pretty Vacant" as well as the acerbic record company riposte "E.M.I." . It is also a mire varied album than given credit for with the more studied chugging rhythmic "Submission " ( not included on the first batch release V2086) and the knotty arrangement of "New York" sitting next to flaying tempestuous tracks like "No Feelings" ( which predicted Thatcherism with it's me me me attitude) and "Liar".
The impact of this album cannot be underestimated . Rottens vocal delivery a snarling form of anti-singing , dripping with sarcasm and over enunciating particular words -"They made you a MORON" - still sounds audacious today and the way producer Chris Thomas eschewed the usual punk method a capturing a live raw sound for denser gradated layers of sound made the songs vivid impeccably musical orchestrations. How anyone can find this album tuneless or just a lot of noise is beyond me. It crackles with sardonic intensity sure ...but it also resonates with fizzing tunes. Chris Bailey of The Saints called it "loud pop music" which is fair enough really as far as I,m concerned .
It's constant high position in albums of all time polls while not an irreducible signifier of the albums quality and importance is a pretty broad hint and one i certainly wouldn't argue with .It makes my top ten no problem. A brilliant coruscating seething statement Never Mind The Bollocks still makes me want to jump up and down my bedroom like i did when i was 14 . You can argue about the relevance and motivations of the band , especially given their recent shenanigans , but you cannot doubt this albums importance in musical history or it's continuing relevance.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars changing the world of rock in less than 40 minutes, 7 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Never Mind the Bollocks (Audio CD)
Without a shadow of a doubt this record changed everything! Listening to it now, you realise how good a record it actually is . There are pure classic tracks, which summed up the time perfectly & just straight forward kicking fun. Listen to 'GSTQ' or 'ANARCHY' & you feel 1977. Play 'HOLIDAYS' or 'PRETTY VACANT' and you are listening to great music that relevant is for any era. Personal fave tracks 'EMI' & 'NEW YORK'. If you've never heard this album ( & WHY NOT ! ) give it a go. Don't be narrow minded about the gobbing & safety pins - this is one of the reasons British music rules
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PUNK AT IT'S BEST, 11 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Never Mind the Bollocks (Audio CD)
This is punk at it's best, when it was still a strong force of change, before it became acceptable. This album is less than forty minutes long but yet contains enough energy to have you pogoing around your room. Johnny Rottens snarl defined the disgust the youth generation of the seventies felt with their surroundings and the buzzsaw guitars (sorry for that cliché) let loose the anger that was brimming underneath. This is punk before it became fashionable. Songs like Anarchy In The Uk, the controversial God Save The Queen and Pretty Vacant are only the tip of the filthy rotten iceberg. If you are a punk fan then simply ignore all the pale imitations. The only other album I've heard that comes close to the fury of the Sex Pistols only release (while still together) is the self titled album from the Clash. Nevermind the bollocks and just buy this album (sorry, couldn't resist that one).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent remastering, 19 Mar 2014
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This is a review of the re-mastered version. This is truly a treat for Pistols fans. The instruments finally show some clarity and separation. Jonesy's guitar sounds even more mind-blastingly powerful. This is the best version of the album I have heard. This is how it should be. Listen with headphones and you can really feel the clarity. Finally one can really experience this hard powerful music as it should be experienced. I recommend this re-mastering wholeheartedly. Hello to all the Pistols enthusiasts out there. I hope you are all well. And if not, I hope things get better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic stuff, but forget the Punk 'revolution' myth, 1 July 2013
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Practically since the day Punk broke into the general public's collective (un)conscience in this country, idiot music journos have been wittering on about how Punk was "a return to 1950's Rock n' Roll sensibilities (man)", describing it as some kind of a rock "year zero". Total pish! As much as the Clash protested it in `1977', the intervening two decades could NOT be denied!

For starters, if anything was a return to 1950's rock stylings it was PUB rock, not Punk! While the likes of Dr Feelgood and Ducks Deluxe were churning out their (admittedly high energy) take on early rock n' roll and R & B, the Sex Pistols were gestating a far more potent brew altogether and it wasn't being fuelled by Chuck Berry records!

A lot has been written about `proto' Punk and the influence it had on the Pistols and the music of the 1976 generation as a whole. Too true. The Velvets, The Stooges, MC5, Bowie, New York Dolls, Deviants and even Hawkwind all played their part in fuelling the aggression and attitude inherent in this explosive new style. Less is written about the role the likes of the Faces and Mott the Hoople played, but that too cannot be ignored. Then there's Mr Rotten's apparent Peter Hammill fixation. Oh yes indeedy.

All well and good. However, for me, if Punk was truly a return to anything, it was to a mid-60's Beat and Garage vibe. That's where the real fuel for the fire came from. The stripped-down aggression of the Pretty Things, Kinks, Who, Yardbirds, Small Faces, Creation and early Stones (or even the early Beatles to some degree) is far more comparable to Punk than anything from the 50's ever will be. Throw in a handy copy of Lenny Kaye's seminal `Nuggets' compilation of mid-60's American garage classics and the picture is pretty much complete.

I'm not knocking the 50's rockers. I just think that the very `showbiz' inclinations of key Rock n' rollers like Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry were surely anathema during the nihilistic days of Punk, whereas there was no denying the potency of Pete Townshend ramming his guitar through his speakers! Sure, The Clash later took Bo Diddley on the road with them and got Ray Lowry to do the cover of 'London Calling' up like the first Presley album, but Punk 'proper' was over by then.

Fact is, most of the Punk generation weren't even born in 1956, let alone listening to Elvis! But they *did* grow up listening to 1960's beat on the radio, that's for sure. Witness the rehearsal tapes of the Pistols attempting `Through My Eyes' by the Creation, `Watcha Gonna Do About It' by the Small Faces and `Don't Give Me No Lip Child' by none other than Dave Berry!

I actually find it's very easy to draw parallels between the `main' Punk bands and their mid-60's forebears. Buzzcocks for instance, were clearly Kinks-like. The Clash echo the Stones. The Damned channel the Who's sheer anarchy. The Undertones echo the Small Faces tight sound. The Stranglers have more than a hint of the Zombies. The Jam are clearly Beatles-inspired. The Pistols meanwhile, remind me of the Pretty Things filtered through the Stooges!

Which brings me - finally - to `Never Mind the Wotsits'. Guess what? It's a great album. You don't need me to tell you that. Only two criticisms spring to mind. One - it would've been better with Matlock on bass throughout. Two - the layering of guitars is perhaps a little overdone, pushing the album away from the garage towards chunkier hard rock territory. Of course, Johnny's vocals save the day - as usual.

Buy it, play it to death, then listen to something REALLY worthwhile like `Metal Box' or `The Scream'.

Goodnight kiddies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic brilliance, 28 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Never Mind the Bollocks (Audio CD)
Tracks vary from fantastic to very very good.An album that changed music.Still gets the hairs on the back of the neck standing up.They only did one album whilst together but what a legacy.
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