Never Mind the Bollocks

I couldn’t really recall the moment I decided to elevate John Lydon, Sid Vicious and the rest of the Sex Pistols to the ranks of my musical heroes. In my head, they and Joey Ramone are shaking hands and lollygagging to their satisfaction. It’s amusing to know that punk, for all its ideals, has come from a history tainted by the enterprise for money. Punk was product under the spell of DIY and lower classes. The Sex Pistols were a manufactured band. Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren have had the last laugh. So much for “rebellion,” one would be led to think.

It is said the Pistols’ gig in Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester (June 1976) influenced and inspired the future members of Joy Division and The Smiths to make music. Also, Never Mind the Bollocks inspired Nirvana’s Nevermind. I could make a diagram just to illustrate the connections between the bands I fancy. Intense, I know. In terms of production value, Bollocks took me by surprise. Being a punk record, I expected a rather raw sound. The sheen and polish enveloping the recordings was a pleasant eyebrow-raiser. My ears loved it. I don’t understand why people diss this album, calling it “crap by today’s standards.” Clearly, some are deaf to the substandard quality of a number of today’s releases (I shan’t name names). Personally, it’s a record I’m sure to find myself tripping on every so often. Thanks to this album, I’ve found the balls to listen to Public Image Ltd again.

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