Album: Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols
. . .
When it first came out, Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols was slagged in the English press for — heaven fofend! — containing the previously-released singles. This despite the fact that “Anarchy in the U.K.” was already out of print (luckily getting dropped by E.M.I. meant they still had the rights to the recording) and “Holidays in the Sun” had just been released.
And lets face it, the songwriting well kinda dried up after Glen Matlock left, and anyways, despite all of the bollocks, the Sex Pistols clearly had their eye on the future, where would be insane not to put their best 12 songs on a record for all posterity. (Though I would substitute the ace b-side “Satellite” for the goes-nowhere “Seventeen.”)
And so, after the one-two punch of “Holidays in the Sun” and “Bodies” — which I almost wrote about, but decided not to, because I’ve come to hate the lyrics (even though Rotten said he was pro-choice in 2007, his performance as an angry youth negates whatever mitigation after the fact he might try) — Steve Jones starts “No Feelings” with a sharp Pete Townshend riff, executed at 150MPH.
One of the bigger influences on the Sex Pistols was the early Who, and while that influence wasn’t as big as it was on The Clash or (especially) The Jam, you could definitely hear it in “No Feelings,” which was about, well, let’s let Rotten tell us, shall we?
I’ve seen you in the mirror when the story began
And I fell in love with you, I love your mortal sin
Your brains are locked away but I love your company
I only ever leave you when you got no money
I got no emotions for anybody else
You better understand I’m in love with myself, myself
My beautiful self
Like “Pretty Vacant,” there is definitely a dollop of irony involved with “No Feelings,” especially when Rotten engages with a bit of wordplay on the second chorus:
I got no feelings, ah no feelings
No feelings for anybody else
Except for myself, my beautiful selfish
And while Jonesy is always lit — check out his longer-than-usual guitar solo in the middle — it’s Paul Cook who pushes across “No Feelings,” especially on the later choruses, where he does cool quick builds everywhere.
And while the singles were definitely the backbone of the album — how could they not be? — it was great, angry songs like “No Feelings,” “Liar,” “Problems” and “Submission” that made Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols more than hit-plus-filler.
“No Feelings” live in Dallas, 1978
“No Feelings” live in Brixton, 2007
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