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This amazing documentary is about the rise of the UK punk movement in 1977, and focuses specifically on the Sex Pistols. Everyone interested in subversive cultural movements should see this remarkable film.
 
45 Cover art for "God Save the Queen."
45 Cover art for "God Save the Queen."
45 Cover art for "God Save the Queen."
45 Cover art for "God Save the Queen."

BACK TO PUNK ALBUM COVERS

In late 1970's England, the Sex Pistols lead the blossoming punk rebellion. Artist Jamie Reid created many images for the band, including this one, the cover art for the Pistol's first single God Save The Queen. Released in 1977 to coincide with the Queen's Silver Jubilee Celebrations... the single was considered so shocking that it was officially banned from the English airwaves, yet despite this open censorship it became the number one song in Great Britain and helped launch the international punk rock movement.

Twenty four years later... on March 13, 2001, an English panel of judges composed of editors and artists gave their highest honor to the controversial artwork of Jamie Reid, calling it the "best record cover ever produced." The outrageous anti-monarchist image from the Pistols won the honor from the panel of judges for their book, 100 Best Record Covers Of All Time. Editor Andrew Harrison (one of the judges) put it this way. "The Sex Pistols is the best crystallization of all the excitement rock and roll gives you. It was also probably the first and perhaps the last time something was put on the front cover which collectively shocked a nation.'' Actually, there were two versions of this image. The one seen here, where the band's name appeared over the Queen's face in the style of a cut and paste hostage takers ransom note, the other version had little swastikas painted over the Queen's eyes and a safety pin stuck through her lips. Reid's image was directly inspired from the radical French 1968 poster, Youth Fearful of the Future. In fact the Sex Pistols popularized the slogan No Future... which was a rallying cry against a bleak and meaningless life in conformist merry 'ol England. As the cold war heated up and England became a base for US missiles aimed at the Soviet Union... the slogan of no future took on a frightening dimension.

www.art-for-a-change.com is owned and operated by Mark Vallen All text by Mark Vallen.