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Sex Pistols


Sex Pistols
Courtesy Rialto Records


1972 in London, England


1978, with reunion tours in 1996, 2002 and 2003

Original Sex Pistols Members:

Johnny Rotten - vocals
Steve Jones - guitar
Glen Matlock - bass
Paul Cook - drums

Significant Facts About Sex Pistols:

  • The group released just one studio album in their career. The remaining seven were live albums, compilations and a movie soundtrack.
  • Although it existed for just three years, the band left an indelible mark on punk rock and on British pop culture.
  • The group was so controversial that band members and fans were victims of physical attacks.
  • Their songs attacked everything from the British royal family to capitalism to politics.

Anarchy In the UK:

Known first as The Strand, then The Swankers, Sex Pistols were controversial even before their first album was released. Their debut single, which glorified groups that advocated violence against the government, caused workers to refuse to pack the single for shipping, resulted in cancelled concert dates, and prompted drummer Paul Cook's mother to tell a London newspaper that her son was no longer welcome at home. A record store owner was arrested for displaying a poster promoting the album.

Sex Pistols' Bad Breakup:

The band's debut album -- which turned out ot be their only official studio album -- quickly went to #1 in spite of the ongoing controversy about the group's sensational lyrics and outrageous public behavior. It got to the point that they felt it was too dangerous to continue performing in Britain, and booked a U.S. tour in January 1978. The tour was poorly planned, audiences were openly hostile, and after a few concerts, the group disbanded.

Sex Pistols' Afterlife:

In 1996, the suriving members of the group -- Rotten, Jones, Matlock and Cook -- reunited for six month world tour. This was followed by a two-show reunion in 2002 and a three-week North American tour in 2003. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, but refused (in a handwritten, profanity-laden note) to attend the induction ceremony.

Essential Sex Pistols CD:

Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols
Although several live albums and compilations have been released, the band's only studio album is the definitive record of what gave a group with such a short life such influence on fans, critics, and other artists.

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