Taking the ethic of “Cash from Chaos”, the Sex Pistols (or more accurately, their manager Malcolm McClaren) exploited media manipulation and hype like never before, by creating something out of nothing. Which is exactly what "Jubilee" is, because it is, quite literally - "Flogging A Dead Horse" by any other name, being simply a repackage of that 1980 compilation. Its got the mostly the same tracks in the same chronological running order – only with the B-side tracks taken off, and replaced with “Friggin’ in the Riggin’” and a live track.
Being chronologically arranged , there’s some truly brilliant stuff here – and a whole lot of rubbish. It truly is an album of two halves.The first four songs here, all originals taken from the seminal debut “Never Mind the Bollocks” are anarchy in aural form , a flying spit in the eye of authority, and nothing less than essential.
However,by the time Johnny Rotten quit and guitarist Steve Jones carried on, what the establishment couldn’t do, the band did themselves; turned into a toothless neutuered parody of their former selves with a succession of karoake vocalists like Tenpole Tudor, and Ronnie Biggs. Tracks such as “The Great rock n roll swindle” (featuring Tenpole Tudor singing “God save the sex pistols,they’re a bunch of alright blokes”) , the cover of 50's rockabilly “Something Else”, the cover of the Monkees “Stepping Stone” (etc.) are bloated, pointless, and tired re-hashed pub-rock the likes of which were so favoured by late 70's bands such as the Motors. Compared to the venom and the vitriol of their original line-up, these tracks aren't even worth the tape they were recorded on.
The last two tracks here are an odd selection: a live and superflous version of “Pretty Vacant” from the 1996 tour (do you really need the same song twice?) and the standard album version of “EMI”.
Musically, this is a mixed bag. It’s a comprehensive history of The Pistols singles put together chronologically – and as such, reflects their artistic peak and nadir. The non-Johnny Rotten era tracks are quite simply utter crap. The others you should own already. Its another pointless compilation, to join a multitude of existing crud carrying the Pistols name that’s clogging up record shops everywhere.
Ever feel like you’ve been cheated?
6Graham Reed's Score