The Sex Pistols’ debut was prolific. Sort of. From it came documentaries, mythologies and a caricature of punk to boot. You could write a piece on just how those guitars move so fast, but doing so would be missing it’s real importance: its effect on punk’s image. Released in 1977, the year synonymous with the violent birth of punk rock. It saw The Stranglers’ Rattus Norvegicus, The Clash’s debut, Buzzcocks’ first EP Spiral Scratch, The Damned’s Damned Damned Damned, Blondie’s Rip Her To Shreds, and Talking Heads’ ’77 (important in creating the lineage which led to the mix of punk-rock and new wave to make post-punk). Also in the mix was the Ramones (Rocket to Russia), Wire (Pink Flag), and the tail end of proto-punk with Richard Hell & The Voidoids and the Modern Lovers both releasing ‘albums’. It be would reducing punk greatly to say it was all the Sex Pistols. But in a way, that’s what it’s become.

The Sex Pistols did less musically for punk, and more for the imagery and its packaging. While the famous anecdote of ‘the Manchester gig which changed the world’ is slung out like a 3-week old dead fish at every opportunity, it probably didn’t. The atmosphere of aggressive bands was there, and had been since bands like Death, Ramones and the Stooges had been strutting about.

The design is striking – one of the best album covers ever. The record itself is good, but it’s far from great. There are four good songs: God Save The Queen, Anarchy In The UK and Pretty Vacant (maybe Problems). The Stooges did the same thing in ’73 with Raw Power, which was as potently visceral but with better songs. The Sex Pistols were influential, they kicked, spat and had immeasurable nervous energy. They were part of the DIY movement, that’s right, and they made punk something, but to say they are the definition of it? That’s bollocks.