THE SEX PISTOLS – “My Way” / “The Biggest Blow (A Punk Prayer By Ronnie Biggs)” (Virgin VS 220) June 1978
The Sex Pistols ‘ My Way’ – achieved success on their own terms and by the same token publicly lay the ghost to an uneasy rest. The story behind this controversial release was reported in last week’s NME.
All that needs to be added is that, despite becoming everything they campaigned against, as far as the actual backing track is concerned, what remains of Los Pistoleros swaggers out in fine style.
No two ways ’bout it, young Jones ‘n’ Cook really do make a most exciting and instantly recognisable rock ‘n’ roll noise.
And, as far as the actual melody goes – a wry pastiche of ‘Anarchy’ and ‘Queen’ plus a strong hook – it maintains their previous single status. “Waddabout Ron?” I hear you holler.
I’ve heard worse and not too many that are any better. however, the real attraction is the bona bizarro B-side – the autobiographical supper-club anthem ‘My Way’ as performed by Sid Vicious.
Backed by staggering strings, the suave sophisticated crooner saunters up to the microphone and commences with a straight lock-in-the-lav spoof, before Jones ‘n’ Cook suddenly appear and rev up to allow Sidney to deliver a near-as-damn-it parody of the all-too-familiar Lydon Larynx.
The lascivious liberties that Sid takes with the original lyrics will ensure a prompt airplay clamp-down and quite probably motivate the publicity-hungry Dorothy “I’ve suffered for my art” Squires to scream “sacrilege” and be quoted in every rag. I bet Claude Francois and Paul Anka never saw it this way.
Just a passing thought, but the last person to record ‘My Way’ died soon after. (NME)
Malcolm McLaren’s reaction to Lydon’s departure from the group in 1978 was to turn the Pistols into a cartoon punk ensemble. Fronted by Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs (on this single’s double A-side, No One Is Innocent), then Sid Vicious and Tenpole Tudor, they had hit singles well into the Summer of 1979, to McLaren’s delight and Lydon’s chagrin.
Sid’s reading of Frank Sinatra’s signature was recorded in Paris in April 1978, with French session musicians plus Steve Jones on thug-rock guitar: strings were added by Simon Jeffes of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra.
Sid’s ‘My Way’ encapsulated everything wonderful and silly about the post-Rotten Pistols. (Mojo)
By the time this record was released The Sex Pistols had become something of a cartoon punk ensemble. Johnny Rotten was gone, he had formed PIL which probably meant that Malcolm McLaren had even more control of what remained of the Pistols.
He had a punk film to make called ”The Great Rock’ N’ Roll Swindle” and was roping in anybody including infamous train robber Ronnie Biggs. To this day I’ve still not seen this movie apart from a couple of short clips here and there on TV. Perhaps I’ll watch it in full one day but at the moment I’m too busy buying records.
“My Way” is Sid Vicious with some French session players. I believe Steve Jones played his guitar on this cut. Strings and things were added to the mix and you’re left with a very satisfying remake of the popular Frank Sinatra number. (EXPO67)