45083-2 The Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle
Produced by Matrixbest, Paul Cook, Steve Jones, Dave Goodman, Jamie Thraves, Micky Foote, Jean Davoust
Released on March 1979
Find it at GEMM
45083-2 cover
[high resolution scan]

M aybe you thought the Pistols were a one-shot band, but a lot of music slipped in after Bullocks: on singles, in shows, from other quarters. Swindle bundles it all together, doing collectors and fans a kindness. By the time of its release, the Pistols were already over; Lydon was gone, Sid was real gone. McLaren was only moneymaking with this album, but it’s all part of the swindle. For your money, you get an early Pistols recording (“I Wanna Be Me”), post-Lydon singles and everything in between. If it had something to do with the Pistols punk phenomenon, it’s on here. There are orchestral treatments of classic Pistols tunes (punk muzak), covers in various dishabille, even a disco medley of Pistols hits. Most interesting are the band’s attempts to soldier on after the loss of Lydon, with Cook, Jones and Sid Vicious taking turns at the mike without ill effect (Johnny didn’t set the bar too high). Where the Pistols end and the brand begins is blurred, as it should be. Ronnie Biggs takes lead vocals on a couple of tracks, but no one is pushing it as Pistols. Highlights (and, yes, Swindle has them) include a fiery cover of The Monkees’ “(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone,” Sid’s spotlight as the anti-Elvis on “C’mon Everybody” and “Something Else,” and Johnny Rotten faking his way through “Johnny B. Goode.” Swindle is repulsive, attractive, intelligent, moronic and, most of all, audacious. The Pistols weren’t overrated; they were underexposed. This album settles the score some by assembling a second spectacle from the skits that followed the first.

45083-2 gatefold sleeve 45083-2 back sleeve
45083-2 gatefold sleeve 45083-2 back sleeve


  1. GOD SAVE THE QUEEN (SYMPHONY)    (Paul Cook/Steve Jones/Glen Matlock/Johnny Rotten)    4:03
  2. JOHNNY B. GOODE/ROAD RUNNER    (Chuck Berry/Jonathan Richman)    6:13
  3. ANARCHY IN THE U.K./GOD SAVE THE QUEEN/PRETTY VACANT/NO ONE IS INNOCENT (MEDLEY)    (Paul Cook/Steve Jones/Glen Matlock/Johnny Rotten/Ronnie Biggs)    4:46
  4. ANARCHY IN THE U.K.    (Paul Cook/Steve Jones/Glen Matlock/Johnny Rotten)    4:03
  5. SUBSTITUTE    (Pete Townshend)    3:07
  6. DON'T GIMME NO LIP CHILD    (J.D. Thomas/Richards)    3:28
  7. (I'M NOT YOUR) STEPPING STONE    (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)    3:07
  8. L'ANARCHIE POUR LE U.K.    (Paul Cook/Steve Jones/Glen Matlock/Johnny Rotten, translation: Louis Brennon)    3:25
  9. BELSEN WAS A GAS (LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO)    (Paul Cook/Steve Jones/Sid Vicious/Johnny Rotten)    2:09
  10. EINMAL BELSEN WAR WIRFLICH BORTREFFLICH (BELSEN VAS A GASSA)    (Paul Cook/Steve Jones/Sis Vicious/Johnny Rotten)    2:13
  11. SILLY THING    (Paul Cook/Steve Jones)    2:50
  12. MY WAY    (Paul Anka/Claude Francois/Jacques Revaux)    4:04
  13. I WANNA BE ME    (Glen Matlock/Paul Cook/Steve Jones/Johnny Rotten)    3:03
  14. SOMETHING ELSE    (Eddie Cochran/Sharon Sheeley)    2:09
  15. ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK    (James Myers/Max Freedman)    2:03
  16. LONELY BOY    (Paul Cook/Steve Jones)    3:01
  17. NO ONE IS INNOCENT    (Paul Cook/Steve Jones/Ronnie Biggs)    3:01
  18. C'MON EVERYBODY    (Eddie Cochran/Jerry Capehart)    1:55
  19. EMI (ORCH)    (Paul Cook/Steve Jones/Glen Matlock/Johnny Rotten)    3:45
  20. THE GREAT ROCK 'N' ROLL SWINDLE    (Paul Cook/Steve Jones/Julien Temple)    4:15
  21. FRIGGIN' IN THE RIGGIN'    (traditional arr. by Steve Jones)    3:33
  22. YOU NEED HANDS    (Max Bygraves)    3:51
  23. WHO KILLED BAMBI    (Ten Pole Tudor/Vivienne Westwood)    3:02


PAUL COOK -- drums, vocals
STEVE JONES -- guitar, vocals
SID VICIOUS -- bass, vocals
Ronnie Biggs -- vocals
Black Arabs -- performers (3)
Simon Jeffes -- arrangement (12)
Jerzimy -- vocals (8)
Glen Matlock --
Malcolm McLaren -- vocals
Ten Pole Tudor -- vocals

return to SEX PISTOLS discography

UK March 1979 Virgin 2LP VD 2510 gatefold cover
US   Warner Bros. CD 45083  
JPN   Virgin CD VJCP-68057  


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