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.