Meet Los Punk Rockers, the Spanish act who, in 1978, covered track-by-track the entire Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols album for their one-off cash-in Los Exitos de Sex Pistols.
A swiftly-produced rip-off of the Sex Pistols’ only album proper, rumours persist that the band playing on the album is Spanish rock act Asfalto, formed in 1972 and, up until that point, best known for their cassette-only release Tribute to the Beatles, another note-for-note collection of covers. Having compared the two recordings I can report that there are similarities; I contacted the manager of Asfalto recently and asked him if nay members of the band were involved in the Los Exitos de Sex Pistols project, but he has yet to answer. If anyone knows for sure, please do get in touch.
Whoever it is, they hardly covered themselves in glory. The band sound like they’ve had less than ten minutes to learn the material and the vocalist has clearly never heard the original recording, performing a phonetic approximation of John Lydon’s agitprop lyrics in a pantomime villain voice.
The uncredited producer’s attempt to disguise the singer’s failings by slathering his vocals with reverb fails abysmally. The lyrics to Bodies, for example, bear little relation to the original
She was a nowhere, a conscious babyShe had a little bondage cash queen
She was an hour ago
She was a lot of cow
Hey! I’m gonna like them all!
Hey! I’m gonna like them all!
The chant I’m a lazy sod from Seventeen becomes I’m a lazy seven. John Lydon may once have been an angry young man (rather than the butter-peddling, tweed-wearing upstanding member of the establishment that he’s become) but at no time did he ever sing the line we’re so pretty, oh so pretty, we will cut her. Anarchy in the UK is certainly anarchic, but for all the wrong reasons. It’s an almost unrecognisable parody of itself; punk rock performed by a wedding band, with the bride’s tone-deaf grandfather on vocals. It’s bonkers and brilliant, and you have to hear it.
But buyer beware: original copies of Los Existos... are almost impossible to find these days and cost a small fortune when they do turn up for sale. Thankfully, for those of us with more shallow pockets, the album has been pirated on at least two different occasions, making it accessible even if it is via the black market. If you’re holding out for the real thing then the fakes are easy to spot: the first pirate pressings are missing the Nevada Records logo from the bottom right-hand corner of the front sleeve and the disc’s labels are printed in shades of pink. The second batch of copies feature the logo and the correct label colours (brown & orange) but are missing the address of the record company on the rear of the sleeve and use translucent rather than opaque yellow lettering on the front (as in the image above). This pressing is also on very heavy vinyl. Both copies feature the date (1978) on the top right hand corner of the rear sleeve. Originals do not.
Here's a handful of tracks from Los Exitos de Sex Pistols for you to marvel at: Anarchy in the UK, Pretty Vacant and, of course, the supremely silly Bodies.