#RMF2020: Anarchy In The UK


  Day 15 of #RocktoberMusicFest2020

The Song choice for today: Anarchy In The UK
Artist: Sex Pistols
Year Representing: 1977

Wikipedia tells us this about the song:

"Anarchy in the U.K." is a song by the English punk rock band the Sex Pistols. It was released as the band's debut single on 26 November 1976 and was later featured on their album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols. "Anarchy in the U.K." is number 56 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and is included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
Originally issued in a plain black sleeve, the single was the only Sex Pistols recording released by EMI, and reached number 38 on the UK Singles Chart before EMI dropped the group on 6 January 1977, a month after members of the band used profanity during a live television broadcast. (Although the EMI version was recorded on 17 October 1976, an earlier demo version was recorded between 10 and 12 October at Lansdowne/Wessex Studios, London. This version later surfaced on the Sex Pistols bootleg album Spunk.)
In the documentary The Filth and the Fury, John Lydon described the composition of the song's opening lyrics, explaining that the best rhyme he could devise for the first line, "I am an Antichrist", was the second line, "I am an anarchiste". (Lydon confirmed that he is not an anarchist in a 2012 interview.)
The abbreviations used in the lyrics are a selection of civil war references from 1970s headlines, a suggestion of what could happen in the United Kingdom. The IRA and the UDA were the largest paramilitary armies in the conflict in Northern Ireland: the heavily armed IRA (Irish Republican Army) were on the Republican (anti-British, pro-unification) side, while the thousands-strong UDA (Ulster Defence Association) were on the Loyalist (pro-British, anti-unification) side. The MPLA (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola, or the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola) were the political party that took control of Angola, formerly one of Portugal's African colonies, in a 1975–76 civil war, and still run the country today. When Rotten sings, "I use the enemy", it's a deliberate homonym for "I use the NME", or New Musical Express, the British weekly music newspaper.

I’d love for you to join me in celebrating Rock Music this month. All you need to do is drop the link to your current Rock Music post in the comments. Be sure to code with html so the link is clickable.  And then visit everyone that has left their links.

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for more #RMF2020 fun!


  1. Mary,

    I ain't gonna lie to you this song (maybe band, too) isn't my cup of tea. I've heard of the Sex Pistols but I can't say that I know much about them. I appreciate the introduction. If time allows later I may lookup other songs by the group to educate my little brain. :) Thanks for hosting the daily mewsic challenge, my dear. Rock on!!

    Curious as a Cathy

  2. Not really my thing, either, but I know they were an important band back in the day.

    Martha & The Vandellas, “Dancing In The Street” #rmf

  3. I can't say they're my favorites either, but John is correct. They played an important role in the history of Rock and Roll.

  4. I'm going to join the crowd in my opinion about the Pistols. Just never got into them. However I did have an album on cassette by John Lydon's group Public Image Ltd that I liked a lot back in the eighties.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  5. MMQE ~

    For about three years (ages 17-19), I was in a Punk Rock phase. Before long - getting older'n smarter - I realized that Punkers were a bunch of talentless hacks - all "bad style" and no real musical substance - and I dropped out of the scene.

    But back then, I DID own a couple Sex Pistols albums, so I know this song well.

    Now, at the ripe ol' age of 61, I would say that the ONLY Sex Pistols song I still kind of like is 'SUBMISSION'. That one still sounds pretty cool to me.

    ~ Stephen
    (aka D-FensDogG)


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