Originally a controversial track, the Sex Pistols’ ‘God Save The Queen’ is to be re-released to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee later this year.
The punk tune was first released in 1977, around the same time as the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. Due to its anti-royalist lyrics, which compared the monarchy to a “fascist regime” and saying the Queen “ain’t no human being”, it was banned at the time by the BBC and every independent radio outlet.
Yet despite this censorship, the track was still able to reach number two in the singles chart, beaten only by Rod Stewart’s ‘I Don’t Want To Talk About It’. Rumours have long been held that the charts were manipulated to keep the Sex Pistol’s controversial track off the top spot.
And whilst not being number one, ‘God Save The Queen’ became the only time in chart history where a track has been listed as blank.
Paul Cook, the band’s drummer, would later say it was merely coincidence the track was released at the time of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, which marked 25 years since her accession to the throne.
Contrived or not, the timing caused an uproar, and the band were later arrested for promoting the record on their own jubilee boat trip along the River Thames.
And just as history repeats itself, so too does it sometimes overturn its past. Now, 45 years since it was first released, the once controversial tune will now be re-released as part of the forthcoming Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
4,000 copies of the track will be re-released through Virgin – the label the band initially released the track through – and 1,977 will be released through A&M, who had dropped the Sex Pistols.
For a more in-depth look at how the Sex Pistol’s classic, controversial ‘God Save The Queen’ anthem came to be, click here.