Sex Pistols to re-release 'God Save The Queen'
No future for you! Sex Pistols to re-release 'God Save The Queen'

Sex Pistols to re-release 'God Save The Queen'
No future for you! Sex Pistols to re-release 'God Save The Queen'
The Sex Pistols ‘God Save The Queen’ is one of the greatest singles ever released.

The power and intensity of the guitars and Rotten’s near hysterical vocal make the song a fantastic experience even 35 years later. The lyrics are pure poetry and deliver the message of No Future that so often gets lost in the talk that goes on around the record.

What possible impact can it have now? 35 years ago the UK was a run down beat up nation with a weak government, no work, no hope and TV full of rubbish talent shows- nowadays the UK is…

When it came out it was the rallying call of the anti royalists who didn’t want the street party leftovers as well as being a brilliant comment on the no future of battered UK at the time- that makes its rerelease in these desperate times as poignent. It’s also a fantastic rock n roll record with its inbuilt power and the fury, the soaring melody and all the best Steve Jones guitar licks rolled into one. It destroys the myth of the Sex Pistols being a band that could not play and is buried deep in the creative DNA of anyone who was awake at the time.

The song has the best intro ever on a rock n roll song, the pure avalanche assault of of guitars still gives you that call to arms rush, Paul Cook’s drums are powerful and perfect and Jones’s chugging guitar is as fat and perfect as it gets. the song builds up its level of hysteria to it gets its chorus where Rotten sings the original No Future line and the Englands Dreaming kiss off is perfect.

Universal Records, who now own the Sex Pistols catalogue are rereleasing the single to tie in with the Queen’s golden jubilee- this throws ups whole raft of issues….

* A corporate label releasing the song to tie in with the queen’s jubilee- is this a political release or a cosy piece of marketing? there has been plenty of anti corporate talk on Twitter about this- off when you consider that Twitter itself is corporate and the computers used to complain about it are also corporate- we are all prostitutes!

* the debate still rages about protest songs- do we still make protest songs? for me, there are lots of protest songs but they are airbrushed from the narrative- ignored instead of banned. Their impact lessened in the rush of technology in a time when we are impervious to shock.

* The post Pistols carers cannot taint the record, for a brief flicker of time the Sex Pistols were as big and important as the Beatles in their own generation. They changed everything. History has rewritten their story so many times and watered won the sheer brilliance of the group but listen to God Save the Queen and you remember the genius of the band.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. i really don’t see the point to re-issuing this brilliant record, its sheer power, impact and relevance in 1977 cannot be replicated now despite the obvious similarities vis a vis the UK today. I would very much take issue regarding 1977 in comparison with now however. In many ways the country is a lot worse now, the devastation of british industry, the social breakdown, the relentless march of absurd ‘Political correctness’ and the general dumbing down of society since then is truly alarming. The Pistols were a cultural phenomenon, one of the greatest rock’n’roll bands ever but as with all great cultural rebellions they have, to an extent been watered down, i just don’t believe the record would have anywhere near the clout it had back then.It is best to leave it in the past and remember its awesome impact and not have it’s great cultural legacy tarnished. The world has changed massively since 77, certainly music is quite different, punk is viewed in a similar way to how the Teds were in the 70’s, a quaint piece of nostalgia and I dread to think how that buffoon John Lydon would behave if it were re-issued, some of the guff he spouts nowadays is unfathomable tosh.

  2. Woke up for work today, turned on the TV news and there’s the video for GSTQ blaring away. Perfect start to the day. And then Mr Robb looking bleary but cool. You should have torn that PR consultant a new one, John!

  3. I honestly can’t see the point of a re-issue of this. It’s not like anyone new is going to discover this and everyone is pretty much immune these days to most thing and an old shock rock punk classic is hardly going to make it’s mark on todays generation that’s pretty much seen everything at an early age! They play this on Radio 2 for FFS! You only have to look at the videos for the top 40 on music channels and sit there thinking, if this was the 70’s or 80’s this would have been banned but no one bats an eyelid these days.
    What format will be released on 7″ a CD single? Who gives a shit really apart for die hard vinyl collectors with some half baked notion that vinyl will make a comeback, so it’s sold a few thousand more copies than last year, big deal! It might sell a few copies but hardly enough to purchase a months worth of shopping at Tescos for a family of four! And besides if a young kid discovers it they’re only going to go on torrent website or strip the audio from a Youtube video!
    As Simon above said “punk is viewed in a similar way to how the Teds were in the 70′s, a quaint piece of nostalgia!”
    More people will take more notice of this debate over re-release than purchase it.
    If you’re a fan of the Sex Pistols or a punk then it’s more than likely you have ‘God Save The Queen’ Universal should get behind new artists instead of dragging up the past for a couple of quid!

  4. The Last Tango of Punk.

    JR was good on BBC.
    Doing a Grundy has gone and the PUBLIC IMAGE INC ltd woman did have a point on the Country Life AD!

    As JR said to her “you’ll have to butter up Johnny!

    ” A bad joke but its that kind of show!”

    The Wild One lives we wait for Brando.

  5. […] star, Lily Allen-style. She is effortlessly cool, beautiful and smart. With the most laid back Pistol as a dad, a mum who was in Amazulu (I\’m a Glaswegian) and Ari-Up as a guiding inspiration, she […]


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