We’re not too far from on the 2006 induction Ceremony for the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame. The ceremony will be 3/13/06, held in NYC (rather than Cleveland, where the Hall resides). The class of 2006 will be includes Black Sabbath, Blondie, Miles Davis, Sex Pistols, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Herb Alpert/Jerry Moss. I have an old, beat up record guide from Rolling Stone, circa 1979, and thought it would be interesting to review what these premier rock critics thought of these eventual hall-of-famers back then.
Sex Pistols: Their one “real” album made the Top 50 on Rolling Stones’ Top 500, at #41.
As reviewed by Dave Marsh: “The Sex Pistols were unquestionably the most radical new rock band of the Seventies. Their initial single “Anarchy in the UK” was widely banned in England, got them thrown off their first record label (EMI) and still made the Top Ten. The group’s nihilistic politics, coupled with their basic punk-rock musical approach, was startling, the best example of deliberate vulgarity rock has ever produced. Stretched over an album, the relentless power of Johnny Rotten’s scabrous vocals can become a bit wearing, but the best tracks, including “Anarchy”, “God Save The Queen” and “Pretty Vacant” are as challenging as anything recorded since the advent of Elvis Presley himself. Not for the faint of heart…”
Well, I gotta agree with old DM on this one. But nobody should be allowed to use words like “scabrous” and “nihilistic” when discussing the Sex Pistols. Even if they’re accurate descriptions, I suspect Sid Vicious would’ve bashed Mr. Marsh with his bass for talking so high-and-mighty. I’m pretty sure Johhny Rotten would’ve at least spit.
Full disclosure: I have The Sex Pistol’s only original album on vinyl, but nothing on CD/digital. Great stuff to put on when getting ready to head out on a Saturday night (back when I was young, single and stupid). They belong in the RRHOF both for their handful of hits, and for their attitude, and for changing rock. As Neil Young said “It’s better to burn out than to fade away”.