500 Greatest Songs of All Time

56

The Sex Pistols, 'Anarchy in the U.K.'

Writers: Paul Cook, Steve Jones, Glen Matlock, Johnny Rotten
Producers: Chris Thomas, Bill Price
Released: Nov. '77, Warner Bros.
Non-single

This is what the beginning of a revolution sounds like: an explosion of punk-rock guitar noise and Johnny Rotten's evil cackle. The Sex Pistols set out to become a national scandal in the U.K., and they succeeded with their debut single. Jones made his guitar sound like a pub brawl, while Rotten snarled, spat and snickered, declaring himself an antichrist and ending the song by urging his fans, "Get pissed/Destroy!" EMI, the Sex Pistols' record label, pulled "Anarchy in the U.K." and dropped them, which just made them more notorious. "I don't understand it," Rotten said in 1977. "All we're trying to do is destroy everything."

Appears on: Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols (Warner Bros.) 

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