The acts that paid tribute to punk and the power of music
Flynn Massey

11:38 18th December 2015

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26 November: On this day in 1976, Sex Pistols awake a nation with their debut 7” single 'Anarchy In The UK' - which is released and printed by EMI. The media decide to deride it to death with negative reviews across the papers, and radio stations ban it from their playlists. It still reaches No.38 in the UK Top 40 charts before the label are forced to withdraw it.

With just one song, Sex Pistols make music history. 39 years have now passed since the first of many ground-breaking messages of the Pistols. A song that simply said fuck you to the authority, ‘Anarchy in the UK’ instilled not only anarchy across the country, but inspired so many bands across the world to pick up their instruments for the first time, and introduced a generation to the voice of punk.

Today, it might sound quite normal, but back in 1976, it caused heads to explode, conservatives to cry havoc, and the nation’s media to scream out with disgust and fear. Luckily, clearer heads prevailed, as it caused a movement of youth to rise. Here’s a list of some of the best bands to emerge from the wake of the Seventies due to the Pistols and 'Anarchy'.

  • Motorhead - Former Jack Daniels chugging frontman Lemmy, whose band have covered 'Anarchy', once stated that the importance of punk and the Sex Pistols' involvement in it. "Punk was great. It was what rock n roll needed at that point in time. I never had time for the Clash and their pretend politics but the Damned and the Ramones were great rock n roll bands. Motorhead fitted right in. We may have had long hair but the punks understood us."

  • The Stone Roses - Back in 1985, lead singer Ian Brown stated in an interview to a journalist that "If I could write one song as good as %u2018Anarchy%u2019, I%u2019d be happy."

  • Nirvana - Kurt Cobain expressed his admiration and importance of the Sex Pistols to music within the book 'Dead Gods', saying: "The Pistols' album has the best production of any rock record I've ever heard. It's totally in-your-face and compressed. All the hype The Sex Pistols had was totally deserved - they deserved everything they got. Johnny Rotten was the one I identified with, he was the sensitive one."

  • Social Distortion - Social Distortion lead singer Mike Ness within the band%u2019s documentary Another State of Mind stated that he wanted to be recognised as 'Orange County%u2019s Sid Vicious'.

  • Green Day - Without Sex Pistols, there couldn%u2019t ever be a Green Day. A band that fully flies the flag of punk in the modern era, and in a former Rolling Stone article, Billie Joe Armstrong stated the importance of the band: "The Sex Pistols released just one album %u2014 Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols %u2014 but it punched a huge hole in everything that was bullshit about rock music, and everything that was going wrong with the world, too. No one else has had that kind of impact with one album%u2026 Never Mind the Bollocks is the root of everything that goes on at modern-rock radio. It's just an amazing thing that no one's been able to live up to."

  • Joy Division - If it wasn%u2019t for the Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall gig in 1976, there wouldn%u2019t have been a Joy Division (or a New Order for that matter). Here%u2019s Peter Hook first reaction to the Sex Pistols: "We just stood there, stock still, watching the Pistols. Absolutely, utterly, gobsmacked."

  • The Fall - We have the Sex Pistols to thank for Mark E Smith and The Fall. The frontman swears in his autobiography that he was at the Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall gig in 1976, and said that he'd do whatever he could "to be better than most of the so-called punk shite I was hearing at the time."

  • The Smiths - Young Stephen Patrick Morrissey, aka the Mozfather, was also a face at the legendary Lesser Free Trade Hall gig, and found the time to review the group: "The bumptious Pistols in jumble sale attire had those few that attended dancing in the aisles despite their discordant music and barely audible audacious lyrics, and they were called back for two encores." "I'd love to see the Pistols make it. Maybe then they will be able to afford some clothes which don't look as though they've been slept in."

  • Buzzcocks - Howard Devoto was also present at the Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall, and in his words, he saw the band's arrival as groundbreaking: "My life changed the moment that I saw the Sex Pistols."

  • The Jesus and Mary Chain - Jim Reid saw the intricacy of the Sex Pistols early on in his career as a stepping stone. "We heard the Sex Pistols and all that, and we wanted to be in a punk band, but were very confused. The punk ideal was that you shouldn't be able to play your guitars very well. You just got up and did it, but then we heard all these records by the Sex Pistols and Clash, who all sounded like they could play guitars very well."

  • Oasis - Noel Gallagher's never one to mince his words, and in an old Time Out interview, he says what he means on the Seventies: "Who defined the 1970s? Well, you go, no one really defined the 1970s. You could say David Bowie, but if you say that, you're gonna go "Whoah, what about the Sex Pistols?"

  • Sioux Sioux - Siouxsie was part of the Bromley Contingent and best mates with the Pistols, and her first 15 minutes of fame with the group was on the Bill Grundy Today show. Here's her take on punk. "What people don't understand is when punk started it was so innocent and not aware of being a phenomenon. The major participators didn't know they were the major players. I mean, the 100 Club Punk Festival wasn't sold out. The venues that the Pistols played weren't sold out. Not many people saw them. Punk was a minority thing."

  • NOFX - Lead vocalist and fassist Michael John Burkett, better known as Fat Mike from post-punk band NOFX, wrote back in a fan Q&A that Sex Pistols played a crucial part in his career. "If I had to choose one record to listen to, it would be Never Mind The Bollocks. That record changed my life."

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