“If people bought the records for the music, this thing would have died a death long ago” Malcolm McClaren 1977.
God Save The Queen was released in late May 1977 and coincided with the Queens Silver Jubilee. It was the second single release by Punk forerunners the Sex Pistols. The lengthy gap from the groups first single (Anarchy In The U.K – Nov 1976) practically confirms the singles intent time-wise.
There are many unconfirmed reports that God Save The Queen was the biggest selling single at the time of the Jubilee (1977). The single officially peaked at Number 2.
Whilst the Sex Pistols were about attitude, rejection, rebellion and arguably fashion there’s little doubt that the music was exciting too. Serving to swipe away rock monsters that had outstayed their welcome Punk was the most needed musical shot-in-the-arm that I can recall. True that the band were to an extent manufactured – this was nothing like The X factor et al that we have to put up with nowadays. This was the Sex Pistols factor (maybe I’m onto something here).
The band looked exciting. The physical records had some of the best artwork ever. As a kid when you flicked through someones record collection if you found records by this band your opinion of the person instantly went up.
I have always preferred the cartoon Punk offered by The Damned and bubblegum Punk of The Ramones. The Sex Pistols to me have always sounded like The Who on amphetamines. That’s not to knock them. They are, ironically, a national treasure. Few bands had so much influence and pure charge about them. Happy Jubilee…