Sex Pistols to re-release once-banned God Save The Queen to mark Platinum Jubilee

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The Sex Pistols will re-release their once-banned punk rock anthem God Save The Queen to mark the monarch’s upcoming Platinum Jubilee.

The anti-authoritarian hit was first released in 1977 at the same time as the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and it was promptly banned by the BBC and every independent radio station.

The anti-royalist song called the monarchy a “fascist regime” and included the lyrics: “She ain’t no human being, and there’s no future, and England’s dreaming”. It was also included on the band’s only album Never Mind the B******s.

Despite this, the song reached number two in the singles chart – the only time in chart history a track was listed with a blank title to avoid offence.

The band was held off the top spot by Rod Stewart, but there were rumours the chart had been manipulated to prevent God Save The Queen from reaching number one.

The Sex Pistols, signing a new recording contract with A&M Records outside Buckingham Palace in 1977
Image:
The Sex Pistols, signing a new recording contract with A&M Records outside Buckingham Palace in 1977

The band’s drummer, Paul Cook later denied it was released to coincide with the jubilee: “We weren’t aware of it at the time. It wasn’t a contrived effort to go out and shock everyone.”

The band was arrested after they promoted the record on their own jubilee boat trip along the Thames.

More on Platinum Jubilee

At the time, the group was dropped by their record label A&M and the band released the single through Virgin after signing a new deal.

To mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, 4,000 copies of the punk anthem will be re-released through Virgin, and 1,977 copies of the rare A&M version will also be available.

Read more:
Ed Sheeran, corgi puppets, and moving cake: The Queen’s £15 million Platinum Jubilee finale
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The A&M version will include the B-side of the original release, No Feelings, while the Virgin edition will have Did You No Wrong.

Both versions will recreate original artwork, with the A&M edition featuring its generic company sleeve and pressed on silver and platinum vinyl, while the Virgin single has Sex Pistols artwork designed by Jamie Reid.

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