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Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols

Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols

1 Jan 2012
4.6 out of 5 stars 251 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
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.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Audio CD
My guitar-mad 16-year old son Sean recently arrived into our home with his pal Kaylen (who plays a mean Bass) and announced they're forming a band. With the Net, iTunes and my extensive music collection as reference material - both are fairly clued up musically. But even though they knew the name - neither had actually heard the 'real deal' on 1977 vinyl. So I dragged out my very VG copy of "Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols" (with Jamie Reid's iconic artwork) and slapped it on the turntable. By the time we actually got to Track 5 on Side 1 ("God Save The Queen") with Johnny Rotten snarling "No Future" like a deranged truant officer - the look on their faces was priceless - their respective jaws dropped to the floor like the dangling arms of an orang-utan.

Even now in 2014 - from a white-gloved safe distance of 37 years - the sheer shock and awe of The Sex Pistols debut album is unbelievable. Playing this thing side-to-side is as visceral as music gets. Unique and seriously dangerous to conformists - NMTB exerts an influence that probably can't be quantified and retains an affection that I think will never die (if anything it will only grow as the decades pass).

I know there has been other CD reissues - especially the gorgeous £100+ box set of 2013 - but for me this simple and direct 21st Anniversary Edition from 1998 in a book digipak with just the 12-track album does the job very nicely indeed. Here are the Vicious Disgraces, Anarchic Vacancies and Magisterial Snots...
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