“Never Mind The Bollocks (Deluxe Edition)
To mark 35 years since its original release, a bumper “Bollocks” box-set has been released this month, along with, for the less fanatical, or more cash strapped punter, this ‘deluxe’ double-disc package. Disc One is “Bollocks” in all its glory. A dozen songs that have stood the test of time and all these years later still pack a mighty punch made up of raucous anthems. I hardly ever spin the original album, but I don’t need to, these songs are etched in to my consciousness. Not only is the music still absolutely rocking, and loaded with Jonesy’s beefy riffs, but Johnny’s vocals remain truly volatile, as he goads, threatens, and snarls at an unsuspecting populace. The rhyming of “Birmingham” and “Abortion” in “Bodies” is lyrical genius.
Let’s not forget too, the album was recorded whilst the band were in a state of flux, with original bassist Glen Matlock jettisoned in favour of the uber charismatic, but musically inept, Sid Vicious. So inept, that Steve Jones recorded most of the bass parts as well on these songs, showing he wasn’t exactly the “Lazy Sod” he professed to be.
Tagged on to Disc One are the B-Sides of their 7″s, all great songs in their own right, but there’s no “I Wanna Be Me”. Not sure why. The pisstaking “New York”, with Johnny sniping about those “poor little faggots” in the NY Dolls, who Malcolm McLaren had managed a few years earlier, is surely evidence the internal battle lines were already being drawn. And listening to “EMI”, the irony wasn’t lost on me that their current label (Universal) is in the process of acquiring said label that hastily cut their losses with the ‘Pistols back in the day. What comes around eh…
Disc Two is live recordings from ’77. A bootleg of the Sweden set will have long been housed in completest collections, and to close are 3 rough tracks from Penzance, Cornwall… “Problems/No Fun/Anarchy”… total primal energy… bosh!
So, that’s what you get on this double-deluxe-disc package. I know pretty much everyone who would want a copy of “Bollocks” already has at least one version, but its historic importance cannot be overstated. The music really does still sound that fuckin’ great. It’s an unlimited supply… and you know the reason why!
Words: Pete Craven