Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bollocks: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (USM/UMC)

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In the modern age it’s easy to dismiss the impact of the punk originals due to connections with butter and fast food restaurant commercials, but for me the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks remains in my Top 20-ish favourite albums of all time. There’s no need for a history lesson in this here review and I’m not gonna fight the punk rock wars over what constitutes this or that. Here’s the lowdown on what you’re getting with another reissue of a seminal album.

Disc 1 features the studio album proper. Still loud, still proud and still ‘orrible enough to make your Granny spit her false teeth into a good ol’ cup of tea. There’s been so many versions of this album over the years (280 according to Discogs) and I’m unsure if this one’s been remastered yet again. Everything does seem to be squeezed for maximum volume according to my failing bat ears. Call me a purist but I prefer classic albums to sound as they were intended and not pumped to compete with the modern day radio loudness wars. All audio snobbery aside, there’s no disputing the importance of this album and even on an umpteenth listen it still sounds urgent and vital. As always, I’ve got my knickers in a twist over Steve Jones’ guitar tone again. Phwoar!

On Disc 2 we get rarities, b-sides, outtakes and demos from sessions with Dave Goodman and Chris Thomas. The rarities aren’t so rare to an avid Pistols fan and I recall picking up versions on bootleg cassettes at record fayres in years gone by. Y’know, before Trading Standard intervened. The quality of these demos, complete with burps and farts during false starts, is obviously improved from those bootleg days and it’s a joy to get all nerdy and hear how the songs progressed into the final product that upset the BBC, the monarchy and more.

Disc 3 sees two concerts from Norway and Sweden, whilst Disc 4 (which I don’t have in the review pack) is a DVD featuring the infamous Riverboat Party on the Thames, shows at the Happy House in Stockholm and Winter Gardens in Cornwall, promo videos and a Radio 1 interview with Sid and John.

As a complete historical package this box set works and comes at a cheaper price point than the out-of-print version released in 2012, but then you don’t get the 7″ single, stickers, lyric sheets, etc. The Pistols flogging a dead horse? Never! Completists will lap up this edition of everything  Bollocks related and whilst it’s great to hear those demos once more, I’ll be sticking to a decent, singular vinyl pressing. Money may also be better spent by taking a punt on the new album by The Professionals which lands on the same day.

Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Yep, that’s the Sex Pistols and that’s why I love ’em. Ginge Knievil.

One comment to “Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bollocks: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (USM/UMC)”
  1. Pingback: Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (USM/UMC) – Ginge Knievil

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