THE SEX PISTOLS – “God Save The Queen” / “Did You No Wrong” (Virgin VS 181) May 1977
The Sex Pistols ‘God Save The Queen’ If you had to reduce punk rock to one single, this would be it. Every second of “God Save The Queen” is graven in stone: it’s impossible to imagine it sounding any other way. Infuriated by the Bill Grundy scandal and the World War II retro of the Queen’s Jubilee, everyone involved with the Sex Pistols concentrated on making this single count: from the video to the graphics to the timing of it’s release, everything was perfect.
None of this would have mattered if the record hadn’t showcased a great rock group at the height of its powers. From the opening, patented Sex Pistols fanfare – an accelerating guitar / drum figure – through the ringing verses, right down to the closing terrace chant of “no future”, “God Save The Queen” is a masterpiece of wildness and discipline, tension and release. (Mojo)
Ramalamafa fa fa! Just in case there was any danger of forgetting that the Pistols are a rock band instead of just a media hoax / guaranteed talk-show laff-getter, all purpose scapegoat or whatever, here’s a record which actually managed to squeak its way past the official guardians of our morality and may well be in your shops any minute now. It comes out on Saturday and it’ll probably be banned by Monday, so move f-a-s-t.
The ‘real’ title of this song is “No Future”, but it’s received so much notoriety as “God Save The Queen” that it’s now called “God Save The Queen” so that you can get what you ask for when you ask for it, and what you will get when you ask for it (and you will ask for it) is a remorseless, streamlined crusher of a single that establishes the Pistols’ credentials as a real live rock and roll band.
Up front, star-of-the-stage-and-screen Johnny Rotten (the singer) gets to grips with the already often quoted lyric in the inimitably charming manner which has made him the darling of international cafe society. “We’re the future, you’re the future, NO FUTURE”, he leers, except that there is a future, you’re it and if you don’t take it then you’ve only yerownass to blame . . .
Anyway, buy it. Buy it whether you like it or not. If people try that hard to stop you from hearing something then you owe it to yourself to find out why. Besides, since 1977 marks the Queen’s ascent to cult figure status, maybe the reason that punx dig her so much is that she’s a shining example to all of us. How many of you dole queue cowboys can get that much bread for posing all year? (NME)
Johnny leads the boys through another rip roaring social statement of uncouth youth, set to an angry arrangement of what were once referred to as musical instruments. Having established that it is a pretty wholesome record and unlikely to undermine civilisation as we know it today, the big question is who is going to play it? As most DJs heads are still in the late sixties and the men behind the radio stations go back even further, there has been a noticeable lack for playing records such as this.
A lot of people have been talking about ‘punk’ and ‘new wave’, many have seen if fit to frequent gigs by such groups and buy their records, now when are the radio stations going to realise that this is not just a passing fad, but a genuine pop trend.
A lot of people would like this if they got a chance to hear it. C’mon radio stations give ’em the opportunity. A word of congratulations to Virgin for signing the Pistols, at a time when the label looked like becoming a ‘muzak for minds’ label. How can Mike Oldfield follow this? (Record Mirror)