Sex Pistols - Anarchy in The U.K.

Sex Pistols - Anarchy in The U.K.

Original Release Date


Release Information

UK 7" 1976 (EMI - EMI 2566)

1 Anarchy In The UK 3:32
2 I Wanna Be Me 3:03

Chart Placings

UK Chart Hit: 38, 5 wks


1st Pressing:

1-2: Produced by Chris Thomas


2nd Pressing:

1: Produced by Chris Thomas
2: Produced by Dave Goodman

Additional Credits

Johnny Rotten - vocals
Steve Jones - guitar
Glen Matlock - bass
Paul Cook - drums

'Anarchy In The UK' recorded October 17th, 1976, at Wessex Studios
''I Wanna Be Me'' recorded July 1976, at Denmark Street

Reviews & Opinions

MARK P, SNIFFIN' GLUE #5, NOVEMBER 1976: "DESTROY!", Johnny Rotten screams at the end of this record. That's what it's all about. This single destroys all the rock'n'roll laws. Just by getting this thing released the Pistols have kicked the establishment right in the balls! I'm not fuckin' joking when I say that this is the most important record that's ever been released. No question about it this is the real thing. It's what all this new wave scene is about. Go out and buy this and play it everywhere. Gatecrash discos and shove 'Anarchy' on the turntable. That'll give the apathetic bastards something to dance about. Fuckin' 'ANARCHY!' Don't anybody understand that anarchy's the only thing left to happen? You see, the Pistols have smashed 'em all. The B-Side is 'I Wanna Be Me'. This is the best record I've ever heard. Go out and buy it 'cause if you don't you're an idiot! "Many ways to get what I want, I use the best, I use the rest, I use the NME, I use...ANARCHY!" So, all you kids. Go and get what you want with the sound of 'Anarchy' ringing in yer years. Oh, fuckin' can anything follow that?

CAROLINE COON, MELODY MAKER, NOVEMBER 1976: The first time the Pistols performed this number the audience surged in front of the stage, ripping at each other’s jackets and T-shirts, throwing themselves at each other and bouncing off again – a seething, gleeful mass of bodies forming a trampoline of human flesh. It was obvious that if ever there was to be a single, then this should be it. But it was difficult to imagine how the band could capture all that excitement on vinyl. They HAVE done it though. The single is an epitome of their sound, at the band’s most furious, venomous best. The song is a threat, a malediction. In the last bar Johnny Rotten (19), with the feel of an urban desperado, yells "D-E-S-T-R-O-Y!" It’s great. It’s startlingly harsh, loaded with cynical irony and too concerned with urban reality to appeal to those settled into the thrill of romance. But for restless young renegades bored with sugar and spice images, which are about as far removed from the life they know as Venus and Mars, it will be an instant hit.

ALAN LEWIS, SOUNDS NOVEMBER 1976: Thrashing guitars, a maniacal chuckle from Johnny Rotten, and were into the most eagerly-awaited single in ages. Single Of The Week? Has to be, and not just because Sounds was the first to feature the Sex Pistols/Punk phenomenon. It explodes out of the pre-Christmas product pile, and by any standard it's a great rock record. In fact it has so many of the individual ingredients of high-energy roock'n'roll that it makes nonsense of all those hysterical letter-writers who see the Pistols as a threat to Music As We Know It. Conversely, it also makes nonsense of any claims that the Pistols are revolutionaries: they may want to push the old farts aside, but they've borrowed a lot from 'em. Far from being bizarre, it's really a simple, basic record, so basic in fact that even fans of Hawkwind would feel at home with the relentlessly hammering rhythm section (shades of 'Silver Machine'). Pistols fans, I suspect, will be surprised (disappointed?) that the record isn't faster and nastier. It's just a little too smoothly produced by Chris Thomas of Roxy Music fame. will the Beeb ban it? Hard to see why: the opening line "I am an Anti-Christ" is intended to shock, but in thee irreligious times, who can it offend? No, this ain't revolution, it's the same old rock and roll - but YOUNGER and more intense than we've heard for a long while. And as an old fart who loved the early Who, I welcome the Pistols.

Punk 77: All hail the Pistols. A kind of lumbering beast of malicious intent. I prefer the version off the Swindle where Rotten's vocals are malevolently raw. Described By Captain Sensible as "third rate Bad Company riff" and it perhaps sounds a trite sluggish against 'New Rose'.

Additional Notes

None yet


Sex Pistols - Anarchy in The U.K. - UK 7" 1976 (EMI - EMI 2566) 1st PressingSex Pistols - Anarchy in The U.K. - UK 7" 1976 (EMI - EMI 2566)

Plain black sleeve, mispressed B-Side label. Click here for more

Sex Pistols - Anarchy in The U.K. - UK 7" 1976 (EMI - EMI 2566)Sex Pistols - Anarchy in The U.K. - UK 7" 1976 (EMI - EMI 2566)

Generic company sleeve, corrected B-Side label with Dave Goodman credit. Click here for more


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