Sex Pistols: “Anarchy in the U.K.”

Posted: February 25, 2015 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
Tags: , , , , ,
Tune du Jour: “Anarchy in the U.K.” – Sex Pistols
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Barnyard Fury vs. Skandalous All-Stars
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
Everybody's Dressin' Funny ... Cover Me Impressed!

I Am An Antichrist! I Am A Broccoli Head!


Ah, those were the days! When Mohawks, earrings, Dr. Martens and mosh pits were the domain of crazed, disenfranchised, young social deviants. Just how the Young-Republican suburbanite set managed to expropriate that phenomena I’ll never know. Although, sooner or later that crowd always plunders whatever it can from the commonality. But I digress…

Anarchy in the U.K. was the Sex Pistols debut single, released on November 26, 1976. It later appeared on the Sex Pistols first and, for all intent and purposes, only album Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols. Anarchy in the U.K. reached number 38 on the UK Singles Chart before their record label, EMI, pulled the record and dropped the band for its lewd behavior and notorious exploits. Reflecting on the record company’s decision, lead singer Johnny Rotten delivered this classic quote: “I don’t understand it. All we’re trying to do is destroy everything.”

In 2004 Rolling Stone Magazine named Anarchy in the U.K. number 56 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of all Time. According to Rolling Stone, “This is what the beginning of a revolution sounds like: an explosion of punk-rock guitar noise and Johnny Rotten’s evil cackle.” 

The Original

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Sex Pistols:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Barnyard Fury vs. Skandalous All-Stars

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Barnyard Fury:

Barnyard Fury is a recipient of CMI’s universally coveted title of Uni Victor Melodious Maximus in Adversarial Replication. Among the title’s myriad of rewards and benefits, perhaps most desirous is that it bestows upon the recipient the eminently yearned for privilege of having one’s name appear in print media in bold yellow!

Barnyard Fury’s triumph in CMI’s THE CLASH of Cover Tunes competition is detailed below:

11/5/2013 – “I Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In” (Kenny Rogers & The First Edition) – Barnyard Fury (86%) pummel Mojo Nixon & The Second Edition (14%)

Skandalous All-Stars:

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Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to three months from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

  1. Arnie Plotnick says:

    Hmmm. This was a very tough choice. This song, as y’all know, is an absolute favorite of mine. I’ve played it hundreds of times and know it inside and out. I love reggae and I dislike bluegrass/country/twangy stuff, but I’m giving this one to Barnyard Fury. The Skandalous All-Stars’ version sounds to me like a generically reggae-fied version of basically any song that they want to reggae-fy, just by putting that reggae beat and bass to it. Barnyard Fury, though, is really jamming, even performing both of the song’s instrumental interludes. The singer is rolling his r’s in a way that would make Johnny proud. I never thought anyone could get away with a version of Anarchy that contained banjo and mandolin. Cover me impressed.

  2. Cuspid says:

    I hate to say this. But I think Arnie P. 100% right and would have to agree with every word he said. And after almost 40 years, I now see that what the original Anarchy song was missing was a steel guitar slide solo. I’m sure Steve Jones would agree.

  3. The Bug says:

    I had a tough time picking on this one as well but I had to go with the ska version and the trombone solo. I agree with Plotnick that its a standard issue “reggae-fied” song but to my ear that’s not a bad thing. Though I do like the banjo sound of the Barnyard. Hey I never knew Gary Oldman was in the Sex Pistols, who ‘da guessed?

  4. Kerry Black says:

    I enjoyed both versions. If you’re gonna cover a classic, you should change it somewhat. Both acts succeed in adding a new angle to this old favorite. I’m gonna vote for Barnyard Fury on the grounds that I love everything twangy and bluegrassy.

  5. RDubbs says:

    I’m a big fan of the Skandalous All-Stars but this one is not even close. The Skanders’ effort on this song is uncharacteristically lackluster whereas Barnyard Fury’s is anything but.

    Over the last few years, while scouring for interesting covers I’ve discovered a few bands – often rather obscure – that I really like. But none more than the Swedish ensemble Barnyard Fury. They’ve got quite a few covers on YouTube and every one I’ve taken in is excellent. They’re obviously having a lot of fun while covering wildly divergent genres of music with verve & aplomb (as well as a mandolin, dobro and fiddle). Barnyard Fury certainly gives me the impression of a band that would be great to see along with twenty-five of your best friends. Sometimes all I can think of is buying a one-way ticket to Sweden. Of course I’ve had that sentiment well before discovering the Fury, but you know what I mean, don’t ya?

  6. bornunderabadsign says:

    There may not be any “neutrals” at CMI, but there are occasionally some very close (hair width) seconds. I went with Skandalous!

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