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The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle Import

57 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, July 15, 1999
$14.49 $0.74

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Editorial Reviews

Originally released in 1979 as the soundtrack to a documentary that marked the rocket rise and flaming crash of the SexPistols, The Great Rock & Roll Swindle was really Pistols' manager Malcolm McLaren's cinematic (and vinyl) potshot at the music industry he despised. Engaged in vicious legal battles with Johnny Rotten, Warner Brothers Records and Virgin Records, McLaren fought back in the only way he knew how, by raising hell and documenting the whole bloody mess. By the time The Great Rock & Roll Swindle was released, the punk-era soap opera had ended: Sid Vicious was dead and Rotten had formed Public Image Limited. Probably best known for Vicious' tortured deconstruction of 'My Way', the 21-track compilation features seven tracks by the Pistols even though Rotten only appears in the film via archival footage-as well as songs by Tenpole Tudor, Ronnie Biggs and others. Curiosities abound, including a French version of 'Anarchy in the U.K', drunken rugby songs, and the fey, McLaren- crooned 'You Need Hands'. Both ragged and riveting, The Great Rock & Roll Swindle is a fascinating, screaming document of the tattered remains of one of the most explosive moments in rock history. EMI.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. God Save The Queen (Symphony)
  2. Rock Around The Clock - Tenpole Tudor
  3. Johnny B Goode
  4. Road Runner
  5. Black Arabs - BLACK ARABS
  6. Anarchy In The UK
  7. Watcha Gonna Do About It
  8. Who Killed Bambi? - Tenpole Tudor
  9. Silly Thing
  10. Substitute
  11. Don't Gimme No Lip Child
  12. I'm Not Your Stepping Stone
  13. Lonely Boy
  14. Something Else - Sid Vicious
  15. L'Anarchie Pour Le UK - JERZIMY
  16. Einmal War Belsen Bortrefflich
  17. Einmal War Belsen Wirflich Bortrefflich
  18. No One Is Innocent
  19. My Way - Sid Vicious
  20. C'Mon Everybody
  21. EMI (Orchestral)
  22. The Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle
  23. You Need Hands
  24. Friggin' In The Riggin'

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 15, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: EMI Europe Generic
  • ASIN: B000025IQA
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,278 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By David L. Mccabe on April 27, 2001
Format: Audio CD
An odd, occasionally hilarious, hodge-podge from those notorious yobs of the late seventies that transcends vulgarity and low brow humor and drifts into the realm of the truly bizarre. Certain tracks will raise questions of not only how much the band was involved, but how these tracks came into existence, but if your taste veers into warped humor, you'll probably have a lot of fun along the way. There's a handful of loud, gritty Pistol's type punk with Rotton's notorious scathing vocals. Some are covers, (e.g.) "Substitute", "(I'm not your) Stepping Stone", some are originals, "I Wanna Be Me", "Belson Was A Gas" (for bad taste fans), and there's also an alternate take, though not much different from the original version, of "Anarchy In the U.K.". Actually there are several different versions of Anarchy, and here is were things get weird, one is part of a disco medley and the other is the French accordion version. Who's responsible for this is unclear. Guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook, who originally started the group and expected little more than your standard hard rock band, put in a couple of good originals. The songs "Silly Thing" and "Lonely Boy", not surprisingly, sound closer to standard, crude hard rock. Infamous dervish nitwit Sid Vicious does a trio of surprisingly great covers. He covers two Eddie Cochran numbers ("Something Else" and "C'mon Everybody") and his "singing" has an on target sly but energetic rockabilly delivery, which sounds great with Steve Jones' crude (but often under appreciated) guitar playing. Vicious also turns in a humorous parody of Paul Anka's "My Way".Read more ›
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Chet L. Young on July 14, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The Sex Pistols, having recorded just one album and splitting up as a fully-functioning group after a disastrous North American tour in January 1978, suffered the most drawn-out, painful demise of any band in rock history. Their manager/Svengali, London boutique owner and conman extraordinaire Malcolm McLaren, willed the battered corpse of the Pistols to lurch onward for another two years--like Frankenstein's Monster--until the film "The Great Rock and Roll Swindle" was released. McLaren's obsessive quest to bring the Sex Pistols phenomenon to what he felt was a proper end was documented in exhaustive(and exhausting) detail in Jon Savage's "England's Dreaming", and can be heard on this sprawling soundtrack album.
There was no more Johnny Rotten, of course, but Lydon's vocals spice up a few tracks on this disc, including the ragged 'I Wanna Be Me'; a demo of 'Anarchy in the UK' that strangles the life out of the "Never Mind the Bollocks" version; and the horrifying live take of 'Belsen Was a Gas'(from the final show on their American tour). Steve Jones takes the mic on 'Silly Thing' and 'Lonely Boy', two stripped-down rock and roll tracks. Exiled train robber Ronnie Biggs contributes vocals to two more songs(one of them an inferior remake of 'Belsen'), Sid Vicious gets the single shining moment of his brief life on 'My Way', and even McLaren makes a couple of appearances. On the title song, Tenpole Tudor and various Pistols fans join the band on vocals...and the end result is a rollicking, desperate shout into the void that will leave you reeling.
Some of the other reviewers have insisted that this is not a Sex Pistols album. I don't think that's accurate, really--in some ways it's a Pistols album, in other ways it isn't. Ultimately, it transcends such mundane labels and becomes a fascinating document of desperation and mental illness. It's a strange soundtrack for a strange film.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Captain Couth VINE VOICE on June 26, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The Great Rock n' Roll Swindle was a hodgpodge film that

was produced by Svengali/Haberdasher Malcolm McLaren.

The movie itself is a collection of half and partially finished

film projects. It was up to novice director Julien Temple to make something out of the endless reels of footage. The soundtrack mirrors the album. This soundtrack was released in several different versions. A single disc, a double disc and an even shorter release.

The songs for the most part were recorded by the Sex Pistols except....

1.)God Save the Queen (orchestration) spoken word by Malcom McLaren.

2.)Rock and the Clock: vocals Eddie "Ten" Pole-Tudor

guitar Steve Jones, Drums Paul Cook, Bass Andy Allen

5.)Sex Pistols Medley (Black Arabs)

8.)Who Killed Bambi: vocals Eddie "Ten" Pole-Tudor

9.)Silly Thing: Guitar/Vocals Steve Jones, Drums/Vocals

Paul Cook, Bass Andy Allen.

13.)Lonely Boy: Guitar/Vocals Steve Jones, Drums Paul

Cook, Bass Andy Allen.

14.)Something Else: Guitar Steve Jones, Drums Paul Cook

Vocals Sid Vicious, Bass Andy Allen

15.)L'anarchie Pour U.K. (polka version, french language).

17.)Belsen Vos a Gassa : Vocals Ronnie Biggs, Guitar &

Bass , vocals Steve Jones; Drums, vocals Paul Cook.

18.)No one is Innocent (same as above).

19.)My Way : vocals Sid Vicious, guitar Steve Jones, bass

Andy Allen, Drums: sessions drummer. (recorded in


20.) C'mon Everybody: vocals Sid Vicious, guitar Steve

Jones, bass Andy Allen, Drums Paul Cook.

21.)EMI (orchestration) vocals Steve Jones

Read more ›
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The sex pistols are real punk, why do people these days think pop groups...
Truly individual bands don't need to be pigeonholed into a particular genre or scene. "Why do people these days think pop groups are punk rockers?" Common sense--because there is no single authority specifically defining what punk is. There are just a bunch of unknown music critics... Read More
Dec 31, 2007 by A. Campbell |  See all 3 posts
the sex pistols are punk rock at its best and and most raw Be the first to reply
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