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Shriek of the Week: Sex Pistols, “Pretty Vacant”

March 19, 2014

SP-NMTB (5)You don’t really need me to tell you why this album is one of the greatest of all time, do you?

SP-NMTB (1)I chose Pretty Vacant as my Shriek of the Week because I happen to have Never Mind the Bollocks in heavy rotation on my turntable right now. There’s nothing unusual about that. Like Greil Marcus, I have this on my list of “desert island records.” Pretty Vacant happens to be the song that sticks in my mind the most after listening to the record, and I’d probably say it’s my favorite, but if you prefer “God Save the Queen”, “Anarchy in the UK”, or, well, anything else, I wouldn’t argue with you. This is damn near the perfect punk record.

Here is all I’ll say about one of the classic albums of all time: There was a time before I reallySP-NMTB (2) knew this album. I thought I liked punk music – I listened to the Clash, a little bit of the Ramones, and lots of newer punk-pop – but I didn’t know the basics. For some people the Sex Pistols can be intimidating. If you’re one of those people, if you like the kind of music I’ve discussed on this blog in the past, but for whatever reason you never got around to listening to Never Mind the Bollocks, don’t wait. Spend the $10 and pick up a copy of this record. Listen to it over and over again. Listen to nothing else until you’ve done that. Then you can go back to your regularly scheduled programming.

My copy of the record is from the late Bleecker Bob’s. It’s the first US pressing which I purchased in the final weeks before the store closed for good. I wonder if there is any album that Bob’s sold more often than this one. It’s kind of cool that I was the last.

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Album Insert Front and Back

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