Sex Pistols - The Great Rock N Roll Swindle
Original Release Date1979
UK 7" 1979 (Virgin - VS 290)
A The Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle 4:15
B Rock Around The Clock 2:05
Chart PlacingsUK Chart Hit: 21, 6 wks
'The Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle':
Produced by Cook/Jones
'Rock Around The Clock'
Vocals: Tenpole Tudor
A Matrixbest Production
Steve Jones - guitar
Paul Cook - drums
Dave Goodman - bass
Recorded June 1978 at Ramport Studios, London
Sleeve design by Jamie Reid and Trevor Key
Reviews & Opinions
DAVID HEPWORTH, SMASH HITS, OCTOBER 18 - 31, 1979: Who's swindling who? It seems that The Sex Pistols who once stood firmly on the side of realism fighting against idolatry, are quite happy to reap the benefits of unquestioning adulation and will put dreary records like this as long as there are people dim enough to buy them. It honestly sounds like Slaughter And The Dogs tuning up and you only know it's The Pistols by the profusion of dirty words, which I suppose will impress some people. About as revolutionary as The Dooleys and not as well made.
SOUNDS, OCTOBER 1979: Now at least this admits it’s blatant exploitation from the start instead of hiding it under words "art" and "experimentation". The whole Pistols vision has been turned on its head here in an openly mercenary exercise. 'Course you’d have to be a real div to buy this – about the fifth single from the apt 'Swindle' LP which you’ve got already, but you will anyway, won’t you? Cash from chaos. Meantime rock brains might not go a bundle on Jonesy’s silly swastika t-shirts or pulling techniques but you gotta admit he’s got a great guitar sound. This is the best newie on 'Swindle' and it thunders along like a good ‘un, blessed with Ten Pole Tudor’s pogoing vocals and an hilarious Rotten piss-take. "Ian Dury – Cockney Pride. Mick Jagger – white nigger. Elton John – hair transplant". Sex Pistols – C.O.D.PUNKY GIBBON: Another single, another great cover/concept, and no new material. Oh well. With both songs from The Great Rock N Roll Swindle, this is pure money-grubbing. Nonetheless, it's great: the last classic Pistols single. The cover roused the ire of American Express, who objected to the use of their name and imagery: an Amex lawyer called the Pistols to discuss withdrawing the sleeve, the Pistols recorded the conversation, and then tagged a sample of it at the end of Side 1 on the next batch of pressings (copies with yellow labels). Amex won in the end, as the single was withdrawn. The A-Side is over four minutes of rollockin' rock'n'roll featuring Jones' patented "Panzer Division guitars", which are a multi-tracked wall of unrelenting rock noise. Over this, a multitude of guest vocalists - including Edward Tudor-Pole and someone who calls himself "Nikki Special" - rip the piss out of the Pistols' myth and, more importantly, give Mick Jagger, Elton John and Rod Stewart a kicking too. Its a joy. 'Rock Around The Clock', a high octane assault on the golden oldie, is also a joy, with ear-splitting shrieks from an uncredited woman and a loopy lead vocal from Tudor-Pole.
Song lengths stated on label are wrong; I have stated correct ones.
UK 7" 1979 (Virgin - VS 290). Click here for more
UK 7" 1979 (Virgin - VS 290). Later pressing with same art but with "cease and desist" message from Amex. Click here for more