Part of an irregular series of bite-sized posts about 7″ singles I own – shameless nostalgia from the days of vinyl. (Search ‘Backtracking’ to collect the set!)

THE SEX PISTOLS – God Save The Queen b/w Did You No Wrong (Virgin Records, 1977)

While Anarchy In The UK may be the defining statement of Brit-Punk, God Save The Queen is the best Punk single ever. I still vividly  recall taking a sharp intake of breath as the needle hit the groove for the first time and the blast of rage-fuelled venom struck home.

Lyrically it is surprisingly sophisticated : “For when there’s no future, how can there be sin. we’re the flowers in the dustbin, we’re the poison in the human machine, we’re the future, your future”

With the iconic cut-up sleeve design by Jamie Reed this both looks and sounds like a statement of intent. The rejection of Royal Family in Jubilee year was symbolic of a trashing of the supposedly sacrosanct institutions that define the nation.

Johnny Rotten’s snarling “We mean it maaaaaaan” was and is also an unambiguous trashing of the Hippy dream – forget love and peace , screw Woodstock – the real New Age begins now.

The BBC engineered it so that it only got to number 2 in the hit psharade and blanked the title out of the chart-list in a vain attempt to deprive it of the oxygen of publicity. (Ironically, I Don’t Want To Talk About It was the title of the Rod Stewart single that was officially Top of the Pops).

Now, with social networking, such word of mouth success is no big deal but back then it really added to the record’s power.

And there was no mistaking the menacing tone behind those words – we are your future.  The message was that white-collared conservatives could point their plastic fingers as much as they wanted – their worst nightmares were about to become reality.

History tells a different story. The establishment closed ranks, questions were asked in the House, daughters were locked up .

Still, for a few heady, blissful months of 1977 it did feel this was the voice of change.

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