An­ar­chy In The UK Sex Pis­tols (1976)

Q (UK) - - 50 Greatest Revolutionary Songs -

Frus­trated that his first band of iras­ci­ble rogues were al­ready on the brink of dis­band­ing be­fore they’d even started, 20- year-old John Ly­don soulsearched his in­ner Rot­ten to write a lyric that would unify the Pis­tols in a com­mon cause. The so­lu­tion? “Get pi­i­i­i­issed! Deeee-stroy!” If punk was only ever go­ing to ig­nite by blow­ing a mu­si­cal rasp­berry in the face of the es­tab­lish­ment, An­ar­chy In The UK was as joy­ously rude a whop­per as any­one dared fear in a coun­try whose 1976 Satur­day prime­time view­ing still con­sisted of The Black & White Min­strel Show. Steve Jones’s three-chord su­per yob­bery fit­ted hand in glove with Ly­don’s cal­cu­lated pan­tomime vil­lainy as an­tichrist, “anar- kyste” and gen­eral passerby-ex­tin­guisher. A rev­o­lu­tion of ni­hilism, per­haps, its more prophetic ob­ser­va­tions are still sober­ing: has Ly­don’s “fu­ture dream is a shop­ping scheme” ever sounded more poignant than in the High Street grave­yard mega-mall Bri­tain of 2018?

Sex Pis­tols: “blow­ing a mu­si­cal rasp­berry in the face of the es­tab­lish­ment.”

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