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A Limited Supply: The Sex Pistols Shuffle by Iman Lababedi

Of all the bands that have really mattered to me, the Sex Pistols, if just because I was only a kid at the time, mattered the most. The Sex Pistols changed my life and I am who I am because of them.

But I never listen to them.

In the end, there just isn’t all that much recorded material, from November 26th 1976 through October 27th, 1977 the Sex Pistols recorded seventeen songs And they were all (every single one) such an incendiary moment in time they get lost in the present. I got hear it any more, it belongs to a younger version of me.

This isn’t true of Lydon’s next band, Public Image Ltd. The first two PiL albums, First Edition and The Metal Box, were death disco dub produced masterworks, the next two The Flowers Of Romance and Paris In The Spring were very, very good. And the rest a mix and match good enough for a real good gretest hits compiliation.

With Malcolm Mclaren’s death on Wednesday I went back to the Pistols again. I have Bollocks, the singles, a live album and the Mclaren rip off The Great Rock N Roll Swingle and I’m gonna shuffle em and see what I get and review em till I’m bored or I’m finished.

Friggin’ In The Riggin’ – Maybe including Swindle wasn’t such a smart idea. An unlistenable rip of “Yankee Dooble Dandy”.

Problems – The Pistols, Rotten, was never scared to point the finger wherever it might land, and here right back at the punks: “the problem is you, now watcha gonna do”.

God Save the Queen – No, she “made you a moron”, she wasn’t a moron herself. And as the UK celebrated her Silver Jubilee nobody had a future and kids coming out of grammer schold WOULD NEVER HAVE A JOB IN THEIR LIVES. “We’re the future, no future”. The official death of the sixties, rock and roll and everything in between. It was us against them.

The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle – Old time rock and -is that Tenpole Tudor singing? Pretty drastic.

Substitute – Off the live album, this and Small Faces covers was what the band cut its teeth on.

Don’t Give No Lip, Child – Same album: I know it was this big a mess but I don’t remember it being quite such a hideous shamble… Still, Rotten is getting his sneer on.

Belsen Was A Gas – The difference between this and “Holiday In The Sun” is the difference between a terrible song and a song about something terrible. Rotten singing so it doesn’t sound like a joke -he sounds like hell.

Who Killed Bambi – You’ve got to love this terrible, terrible piece of crap. The chorus will make you laugh out loud and these words of wisdom are the icing on the cake: “Never trust a hippie cause I love punky Bambi…”

Rock Around The Clock – I’m throwing up in my mouth.

Bodies – A roar of disgust sticks in your craw and an anti abortion screed so out of keeping with the time it was shocking then and shocking now.

Something Else – Sid Vicious – I saw Vicious perform this at Max’s back in the day. Crap then, crap now, great song but, the gone but not forgotten Eddie Cochran.

EMI – Who?

C’Mon Everybody – More Cochran… Does anybody remember Sid Sings?

(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone – Sure, Rotten sings it better than Dolenz ever did, but look at it this way: in real time Lydon was writing “Poptones”.

Pretty Vacant – people called it a sell out at the time. Pretty funny now, and so is the song “you’ll always find us out to lunch.”

My Way – The best moment in the movie (which was also crap) by a long -har,har, har- shot… and then it rocks out and it is really fun…

No One Is Innocent – This has all of the crunch and none of the heart or brains or, I dunno, soul, feeling, importance. This song is the death of the punk rock dream.

EMI (Orch) – Oh, no, please no, make it stop.

L’Anarchi Pour Le U.K. – OK, I’m officially bored.

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