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Sex Pistols - The Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle

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The Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle

Sex Pistols

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When first approaching The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle, it's best not to think of it as a Sex Pistols album; rather, keep in mind that it's the soundtrack to a movie that was mostly about Malcolm McLaren and only tangentially concerned the great band he managed. Only eight of the twenty-four songs on The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle feature the same band as on Never Mind the Bollocks, and most of those capture them stomping through covers in the studio, sometimes to impressive effect (Johnny Rotten sounds positively feral on the Who's "Substitute" and the whole band tears into "(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone" with malicious glee) and sometimes not (Rotten reveals he doesn't know the words to either Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" or Jonathan Richman's "Roadrunner," and the band's familiarity isn't much greater). A live take of the Pistols roaring through "Belsen Was a Gas" is exciting, but sounds as if Rotten and the rest of the band were traveling in very different directions, and it's not hard to imagine why he quit the group after the show. Steve Jones and Paul Cook offer up a few tunes of their own, which lack the danger of the cuts with Rotten but confirm they were the backbone of a solid, scrappy rock band, and if Tenpole Tudor isn't much of a singer, on his numbers he delivers an impressive degree of sheer eccentricity. But a large percentage of the album is devoted to jokey material tied into the movie -- orchestral versions of "EMI" and "God Save the Queen," a French busker performing "Anarchy in the UK" en Français, train robber Ronnie Biggs attempting to sing, and Malcolm McLaren ascending to show biz heaven with a cover of Max Bygraves' "You Need Hands." And while Sid Vicious sounds like a good if unexceptional rock & roll shouter on a pair of Eddie Cochran covers, his inarguably remarkable version of "My Way" shows the man was incapable of comprehending the irony of his situation, and sadly sounds like the work of a kid destined to die young. Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols was the sound of a hydrogen bomb being dropped on your head, and The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle collects some of the debris left after the explosion; parts are brilliant, but it's ultimately a padded and slightly depressing look at a great band in collapse.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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The Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle

Sex Pistols

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1
God Save The Queen (Symphony) (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:04:00

Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Lydon, ComposerLyricist - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Malcolm McLaren, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Dave Goodman, Producer - Stephen Philip Jones, ComposerLyricist - Glenn Matlock, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

2
Johnny B Goode (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:02:35

Chuck Berry, ComposerLyricist - Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Lydon, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Dave Goodman, Producer

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

3
Road Runner (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:03:39

Jonathan Richman, ComposerLyricist - Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Lydon, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Dave Goodman, Producer

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

4
Black Arabs (2012 Remastered Version)
Black Arabs
00:04:45

Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Lydon, ComposerLyricist - Glen Matlock, ComposerLyricist - Johnny Rotten, ComposerLyricist - Paul Cook, ComposerLyricist - Dave Goodman, Producer - Ronnie Biggs, ComposerLyricist - Black Arabs, MainArtist - Stephen Philip Jones, ComposerLyricist - Glenn Matlock, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

5
Anarchy In The UK (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:04:04

CHRIS THOMAS, Producer - Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Lydon, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Glen Matlock, ComposerLyricist - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Stephen Philip Jones, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

6
Substitute (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:03:03

Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Pete Townshend, ComposerLyricist - John Lydon, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Dave Goodman, Producer

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

7
Don't Give Me No Lip, Child (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:03:27

Barry Richards, ComposerLyricist - Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Lydon, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Donald Thomas, ComposerLyricist - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Dave Goodman, Producer - Jean Thomas, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

8
(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:03:06

Bobby Hart, ComposerLyricist - Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Lydon, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Thomas Sidney Boyce, ComposerLyricist - Dave Goodman, Producer

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

9
L'Anarchie Pour Le UK (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:03:24

Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Lydon, ComposerLyricist - Glen Matlock, ComposerLyricist - Paul Cook, ComposerLyricist - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Dave Goodman, Producer - Louis Brennon, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Stephen Philip Jones, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

10
Einmal War Belsen Bortrefflich (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:02:08

Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Lydon, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Dave Goodman, Producer - Sid Vicious, ComposerLyricist - Stephen Philip Jones, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

11
Einmal War Belsen Wirflich Bortrefflich (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:02:12

Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Lydon, ComposerLyricist - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Dave Goodman, Producer - Ronnie Biggs, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sid Vicious, ComposerLyricist - Stephen Philip Jones, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

12
Silly Thing (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:02:51

Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Cook, Drums, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Dave Goodman, Producer - Stephen Philip Jones, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

13
My Way (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:04:05

Paul Anka, Adapter - Claude François, Composer - Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jacques Revaux, Composer - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - GILLES THIBAULT, Author - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Dave Goodman, Producer - Sid Vicious, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

14
I Wanna Be Me (Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:03:03

Bill Price, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - CHRIS THOMAS, Producer - Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Lydon, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Glen Matlock, ComposerLyricist - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Stephen Philip Jones, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

15
Something Else (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:02:09

Bob Cochran, ComposerLyricist - Sharon Sheeley, ComposerLyricist - Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Dave Goodman, Producer - Sid Vicious, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

16
Rock Around The Clock (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:02:03

Max C. Freedman, ComposerLyricist - Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Jimmy De Knight, ComposerLyricist - Dave Goodman, Producer - Edward Tenpole, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

17
Lonely Boy (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:03:01

Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Dave Goodman, Producer - Stephen Philip Jones, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

18
No One Is Innocent (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:02:57

Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Dave Goodman, Producer - Ronnie Biggs, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Stephen Philip Jones, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

19
C'Mon Everybody (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:01:54

Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Eddie Cochran, ComposerLyricist - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Jerry Capehart, ComposerLyricist - Dave Goodman, Producer - Sid Vicious, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

20
EMI (Orchestral) (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:03:44

Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Lydon, ComposerLyricist - Glen Matlock, ComposerLyricist - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Dave Goodman, Producer - Stephen Philip Jones, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

21
The Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:04:14

Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Cook, Drums, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Dave Goodman, Producer - Sid Vicious, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Edward Tenpole, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Julien Temple, ComposerLyricist - Stephen Philip Jones, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

22
Friggin' In The Riggin' (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:03:32

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Lydon, ComposerLyricist - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Dave Goodman, Producer - Sid Vicious, ComposerLyricist - Stephen Philip Jones, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

23
You Need Hands (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:02:49

Roy Irwin, ComposerLyricist - Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Malcolm McLaren, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Dave Goodman, Producer

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

24
Who Killed Bambi? (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:03:01

Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Dave Goodman, Producer - Vivienne Westwood, ComposerLyricist - Edward Tenpole, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

25
Watcha Gonna Do About It? (2012 Remastered Version)
Sex Pistols
00:02:00

Brian Potter, ComposerLyricist - Steve Jones, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Young, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - John Lydon, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Cook, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Ian Samwell, ComposerLyricist - Sex Pistols, MainArtist - Dave Goodman, Producer

℗ 2012 Universal Music Operations Ltd.

Album Description

When first approaching The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle, it's best not to think of it as a Sex Pistols album; rather, keep in mind that it's the soundtrack to a movie that was mostly about Malcolm McLaren and only tangentially concerned the great band he managed. Only eight of the twenty-four songs on The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle feature the same band as on Never Mind the Bollocks, and most of those capture them stomping through covers in the studio, sometimes to impressive effect (Johnny Rotten sounds positively feral on the Who's "Substitute" and the whole band tears into "(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone" with malicious glee) and sometimes not (Rotten reveals he doesn't know the words to either Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" or Jonathan Richman's "Roadrunner," and the band's familiarity isn't much greater). A live take of the Pistols roaring through "Belsen Was a Gas" is exciting, but sounds as if Rotten and the rest of the band were traveling in very different directions, and it's not hard to imagine why he quit the group after the show. Steve Jones and Paul Cook offer up a few tunes of their own, which lack the danger of the cuts with Rotten but confirm they were the backbone of a solid, scrappy rock band, and if Tenpole Tudor isn't much of a singer, on his numbers he delivers an impressive degree of sheer eccentricity. But a large percentage of the album is devoted to jokey material tied into the movie -- orchestral versions of "EMI" and "God Save the Queen," a French busker performing "Anarchy in the UK" en Français, train robber Ronnie Biggs attempting to sing, and Malcolm McLaren ascending to show biz heaven with a cover of Max Bygraves' "You Need Hands." And while Sid Vicious sounds like a good if unexceptional rock & roll shouter on a pair of Eddie Cochran covers, his inarguably remarkable version of "My Way" shows the man was incapable of comprehending the irony of his situation, and sadly sounds like the work of a kid destined to die young. Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols was the sound of a hydrogen bomb being dropped on your head, and The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle collects some of the debris left after the explosion; parts are brilliant, but it's ultimately a padded and slightly depressing look at a great band in collapse.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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