Holidays in the SunA This starts out with marching soldiers sound-byte. Sound effects? Isn’t that a little posh for a punk album?? Anyway, the ensuing track is an appropriately spirited guitar-led song with a simple structure, catchy melody and wild-man vocals. The fuzzy guitar atmosphere gets tenser by the end, which gives it good drive. This all and more that I require in my punk!
BodiesA+ This song is structured in such a sense that it even has a chorus of sorts! The melody is catchy and the atmosphere is well developed. The lyrics were noted for their shock value, but beneath that, frankly, they’re thought provoking. (What sort of thought it provokes is strictly up to the listener!)
No FeelingsA- Now that the spirit of the album has been firmly established, some critics have dismissed the rest of the album as being “the same song.” Well, in my experience these are all very distinctive songs from each other, even though they’re all punk songs with the same tempo, more or less. What you might confuse as being “the same song” is really the inertia the album picks up, which never lets up! Keep on going!!
Liar!A I never get the impression that Steve Jones was much of a guitar player, but he had enough ability to keep the thing moving… heck in some respects, I’d call this guitar work polished! Eh, they didn’t need a virtuoso. It’s all great the way it is. (Naturally, I’m comparing this to music that would come much later than 1977… That’s the same frame of mind that I can consider this album entirely accessible.)
ProblemsB+ This track is four minutes long!! … a bit posh for a punk album??? Well, it’s from the horse’s mouth! It’s OK for a punk song to be four minutes long.
God Save the QueenA The secondmost famous song of the album and more proof that the band was probably full of it. They love the queen. I don’t have evidence to back that up, but I have the feeling. My female intuition is enough to convince me that’s true. This is such a spirited song, though! Coupled with the engaging and sarcastic lyrics makes this an unforgettable experience…
SeventeenA- Somehow this two-minute track doesn’t suffer with the distinction of being placed between the album’s two most well-known hits. The energy is as strong as ever, and the song sounds fresh. The rousing chorus of “I’m a lazy sod” is very memorable!
Anarchy in the U.K.A+ Even though this is a remarkably even album, this is the undisputed highlight of Never Mind the Bullocks. The riffs, though simple, are memorable, and this must also be the highlight of Rotten’s vocal delivery. His brand of sneering seems like it reached its height.
SubmissionB+ This is one of the album’s weaker songs! Interestingly, the lyrics are about a submarine mission (maybe they were playing a trick on us… I thought the lyrics would be dirty or something…) There is absolutely nothing punkish about this song. Anyway, I like Rotten’s performance (especially the coughing at the end), and I love the lyrics anyway.
Pretty Vacant A The lyric-delivery really is great… Rotten’s “Oh we’re so pretty, oh so pretty…” (and I always seem to miss the “vacant” after that) always makes me smile. This is quite a bit more punkish than the previous track and a tad more inspired. The energy hasn’t diminished!
New YorkA- Hippies are trashed here, which constitutes one of the meaner songs of the album. Eh, who likes hippies anyway? The guitar tones are darker and meaner, which is good. Rotten’s showman vocals somehow gives it a “lighthearted” feeling. He’s something else, really…
EMIA Last song of the album, and I haven’t grown tired of it yet. I feel better than when I put it on. There’s my justification for loving Never Mind the Bollocks…. So, this song trashes the record company that marketed this band. Of course it’s all an act! … I guess they can say with every joke, there’s a shred of truth!