The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (album)

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The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle
Swindle.jpg
Soundtrack album by Sex Pistols
Released 26 February 1979
Recorded 1978
Genre Punk rock, new wave, post-punk
Length 78:39
Language English, German, French
Label Virgin Records
Producer Dave Goodman
Sex Pistols chronology
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols
(1977)Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols1977
The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle
(1979)
Flogging a Dead Horse
(1980)Flogging a Dead Horse1980
Singles from The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle
  1. "No One Is Innocent/My Way"
    Released: 30 June 1978
  2. "Something Else" b/w "Friggin' in the Riggin'"
    Released: 23 February 1979
  3. "Silly Thing" b/w "Who Killed Bambi"
    Released: 30 March 1979
  4. "C'mon Everybody" b/w "The God Save the Queen (symphony)/Watcha Gonna Do About It"
    Released: 22 June 1979
  5. "The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle" b/w "Rock Around the Clock"
    Released: 5 October 1979
  6. "(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone/Pistols Propaganda (movie trailer voice-over)"
    Released: 6 June 1980
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau(B+) link
Rolling Stone(Not Rated) link

The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle is the soundtrack album of the film of the same name by the Sex Pistols. It also includes performances by other artists.

Production[edit]

By the time the soundtrack was being prepared, Johnny Rotten (Lydon) had left the band and refused to participate in the project, so the "proper" Sex Pistols tracks were done by taking Lydon's vocals from the October 1976 demo session recordings and rerecording their instrumental tracks (done by Paul Cook and Steve Jones).[1]

The double album features a significant number of tracks that omit Lydon entirely, most of them written and recorded after he had left the band. These include Sid Vicious singing cover songs, two new original songs ("Silly Thing", sung by Cook and "Lonely Boy", sung by Jones), tracks Cook and Jones recorded with Ronnie Biggs, the title track and "Who Killed Bambi?" sung by Edward Tudor-Pole, and numerous novelty tracks including French street musicians playing "Anarchy in the UK" and a medley of several Sex Pistols songs covered by a disco band.

Two further tracks were recorded along with "Lonely Boy" and "Silly Thing" between May and July 1978; "Black Leather" and "Here We Go Again". While the two songs did not end up on either the film or the soundtrack, both were later released as Sex Pistols singles.[1]

Along with Rotten, people who sang on The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle include:

Variations[edit]

The album has been released in different variations featuring different track listings. There have been two main versions, which were featured on double-album vinyl and CD. The biggest differences between the track lists is that the songs are re-arranged and version A features "I Wanna Be Me" and the Dave Goodman produced version of "Anarchy in the UK" while version B features "Watcha Gonna Do About It" and the Chris Thomas produced version of "Anarchy in the UK". Version A was the most common track list until 1992, afterwards version B is the most common. A 2012 reissue by Universal incorporates both track lists, as it features the Version A track list with "Watcha Gonna Do About It" added on to the end.

Additionally, a single-album version was released in May 1980 to tie in with the release of the film, and featured a different cover and a pared-down track list, which excluded all of Johnny Rotten's tracks. Early releases came with a copy of the original movie poster.

Track listing[edit]

Version A
No.TitleWriter(s)VocalsLength
1."God Save the Queen" (orchestral rendition with spoken word over the music about how punk rock and the Sex Pistols were "invented" (alternate title: God Save The Queen (Symphony)")Johnny Rotten, Steve Jones, Glen Matlock, Paul CookMalcolm McLaren3:23
2."Johnny B Goode"Chuck BerryJohnny Rotten2:36
3."Roadrunner"Jonathan RichmanJohnny Rotten3:47
4."Black Arabs" (disco medley, includes "Anarchy in the UK", "God Save the Queen", "Pretty Vacant" and "No One is Innocent")Rotten, Jones, Matlock, Cook, Ronnie Biggsperformed by a group called Black Arabs4:51
5."Anarchy in the UK" (Mike Thorne remix (beef-ed up drums) of previously unreleased session from October 1976)Rotten, Jones, Matlock, CookJohnny Rotten4:00
6."Substitute"Pete TownshendJohnny Rotten3:10
7."Don't Give Me No Lip, Child" (cover of Dave Berry, 1964)Barry Richards, Jean Thomas, Don ThomasJohnny Rotten3:27
8."(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone"Tommy Boyce, Bobby HartJohnny Rotten3:06
9."L'Anarchie pour le UK" (performed by a trio of French street musicians with accordion and fiddle. (alternate title: "Anarchie pour le UK"))Rotten, Jones, Matlock, CookLouis Brennon3:28
10."Belsen Was a Gas" (alternate title: "Einmal war Belsen Vortrefflich")Rotten, Jones, Sid Vicious, CookJohnny Rotten2:12
11."Belsen Vos a Gassa" (alternate title: "Einmal war Belsen wirklich Vortrefflich")Rotten, Jones, Vicious, CookRonnie Biggs2:17
12."Silly Thing"Jones, CookPaul Cook2:51
13."My Way"Paul Anka, Claude François, Jacques RevauxSid Vicious4:06
14."I Wanna Be Me"Matlock, Cook, Jones, RottenJohnny Rotten3:03
15."Something Else"Eddie Cochran, Sharon SheeleySid Vicious2:14
16."Rock Around the Clock"Max C. Freedman, James E. MyersEdward Tudor-Pole2:04
17."Lonely Boy"Jones, CookSteve Jones3:07
18."No One Is Innocent"Jones, Cook, BiggsRonnie Biggs3:04
19."C'mon Everybody"Eddie Cochran, Jerry CapehartSid Vicious1:56
20."EMI" (orchestral rendition with Steve Jones speaking the lyrics (alternate title: "EMI (Orch)"))Rotten, Jones, Matlock, CookSteve Jones3:44
21."The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle"Jones, Cook, Julien TempleEdward Tudor-Pole, Steve Jones, Paul Cook & others4:21
22."Friggin' in the Riggin'"Traditional; arranged by JonesSteve Jones3:37
23."You Need Hands"Max BygravesMalcolm McLaren2:54
24."Who Killed Bambi?"Edward Tudor-Pole, Vivienne WestwoodEdward Tudor-Pole3:07
Version B
No.TitleWriter(s)VocalsLength
1."God Save the Queen (Symphony)" (orchestral rendition with spoken word over the music about punk rock and the Sex Pistols were "invented")Johnny Rotten, Steve Jones, Glen Matlock, Paul CookMalcolm McLaren3:23
2."Rock Around the Clock"Max C. Freedman, James E. MyersEdward Tudor-Pole2:04
3."Johnny B Goode"Chuck BerryJohnny Rotten2:36
4."Roadrunner"Jonathan RichmanJohnny Rotten3:47
5."Black Arabs" (disco medley, includes "Anarchy in the UK", "God Save the Queen", "Pretty Vacant" and "No One is Innocent")Rotten, Jones, Matlock, Cook, Ronnie Biggsperformed by a group called Black Arabs4:51
6."Anarchy in the UK"Rotten, Jones, Matlock, CookJohnny Rotten3:32
7."Watcha Gonna Do About It?"Ian Samwell, Steve Marriott, Ronnie LaneJohnny Rotten1:55
8."Who Killed Bambi?"Edward Tudor-Pole/Vivienne WestwoodEdward Tudor-Pole3:07
9."Silly Thing"Jones, CookPaul Cook2:51
10."Substitute"Pete TownshendJohnny Rotten3:10
11."Don't Give Me No Lip, Child"Barry Richards, Jean Thomas, Don ThomasJohnny Rotten3:27
12."(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone"Tommy Boyce, Bobby HartJohnny Rotten3:06
13."Lonely Boy"Jones, CookSteve Jones3:07
14."Something Else"Eddie Cochran, Sharon SheeleySid Vicious2:14
15."Anarchie pour le UK" (performed by a trio of French street musicians with accordion and fiddle)Rotten, Jones, Matlock, CookLouis Brennon3:28
16."Einmal war Belsen Vortrefflich"Rotten, Jones, Sid Vicious, CookJohnny Rotten2:12
17."Einmal war Belsen wirklich Vortrefflich"Rotten, Jones, Vicious, CookRonnie Biggs2:17
18."No One Is Innocent"Jones, Cook, BiggsRonnie Biggs3:04
19."My Way"Paul Anka, Claude François, Jacques RevauxSid Vicious4:06
20."C'mon Everybody"Eddie Cochran, Jerry CapehartSid Vicious1:56
21."EMI (Orch)" (orchestral rendition with Steve Jones speaking the lyrics)Rotten, Jones, Matlock, CookSteve Jones3:44
22."The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle"Jones, Cook, Julien TempleEdward Tudor-Pole, Steve Jones, Paul Cook & others4:21
23."You Need Hands"Max BygravesMalcolm McLaren2:54
24."Friggin' in the Riggin'"Traditional; arranged by JonesSteve Jones3:37
Single-album version
No.TitleLength
1."God Save the Queen (Symphony)"3:23
2."The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle"4:21
3."You Need Hands"2:54
4."Silly Thing"2:51
5."Lonely Boy"3:07
6."Something Else"2:14
7."Rock Around the Clock"2:04
8."C'mon Everybody"1:56
9."Who Killed Bambi?"3:07
10."No One Is Innocent"3:04
11."L'Anarchie pour le UK"3:28
12."My Way"4:06

Song notes[edit]

"Johnny B Goode", "Roadrunner", "Anarchy in the UK", "Substitute", "Don't Give Me No Lip, Child", "(I'm Not) Your Stepping Stone", "I Wanna Be Me" and "Watcha Gonna Do About It?" were originally recorded in October 1976. Instrumental tracks for some of these were re-recorded in 1978 by Jones and Cook.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b The Swindle Years "The Swindle Years" Check |url= value (help).