Søkeord:   


06.11.2017

BRIAN SOUTHALL

Sex Pistols: 90 Days at EMI

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Omnibus Press, 2017)

Karakter: 5/6

Sex Pistols bok.jpgThis superb 149-page book entitled "Sex Pistols: 90 Days at EMI" by former EMI PR executive Brian Southall provides us with an exhaustive study of the rather tense, problematic, and ultimately incompatible relationship between the notorious Sex Pistols and the well-respected and revered EMI. The Sex Pistols/EMI coupling was an odd one to many; why would a bunch of revolting and filthy punk rockers such as the Sex Pistols sign a deal with EMI? On the other hand, why on earth would EMI welcome those disease-riddled scumbags into their fold and release, promote, and distribute their obscene tunes? Fans of underground music and punk rock were just as confused about the whole thing as the conservative powers in the UK and elsewhere were. What the heck was going on? The Sex Pistols' manager Malcolm McLaren had a point, though: The band was something new and different entirely and they had things that they needed to get off their chest by means of songs and lyrics, so what better way to get the music out there than by securing a deal with a heavyweight label and have them promote the Sex Pistols?! Southall's captivating insider's account of what actually went on behind closed doors at EMI as well as in the press and elsewhere during those turbulent and chaotic three months that the Sex Pistols and the aforementioned label were in cahoots with each other is both thought-provoking and fascinating. The relationship between the band and the label turned sour following the legendary (and controversial) Bill Grundy interview with the Sex Pistols on TV in 1976 where certain things were uttered that shocked nearly everyone and everything, including the powers that be at EMI at the time. The whole TV swearing incident along with the band's behavior in public caused a scandal and EMI ultimately bowed to public pressure and severed their contract with the band following a mere 90 days. As you can probably imagine, there are many different sides to and versions of the whole story, and that is where Southall's excellent chronicle of the affair enters the picture and comes in handy. Southall presents us with a structured and in-depth story of what happened and where. If you want to know who said or did what in relation to the Sex Pistols and EMI, all you need to do is to consult this book. Southall's narrative also paints an interesting portrait of the rather complex and cunning character that was Malcolm McLaren and it quite quickly becomes clear that the whole Sex Pistols vs. EMI conflict was anything but simple or clear-cut. Many different agendas, opinions, strategies, and tactics were in play both within and outside the EMI offices as well as in the Sex Pistols camp, and Southall does a great job at presenting and contextualizing them and putting each and every aspect of the entire episode into perspective. The book is well-written and there is cohesion and coherence in the text. It is not without a sense of drama and action places, but that is what makes it such an informative and engaging piece of literature. I do wish that there were more photos included, but the few ones that are definitely fit in nicely.

"Sex Pistols: 90 Days at EMI" is obviously highly recommendable if you are a fan of the Sex Pistols and punk rock in general, but it is also a must-read for anyone out there with more than a passing interest in music history. The book actually says a lot about what went on in the UK back in the 70s and touches on issues of censorship, ideology, idealism, and power in relation to both society and the music business. On top of that, there is a brilliant foreword to the book by Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock that shines an interesting light on the whole debacle. Recommended!This superb 149-page book entitled "Sex Pistols: 90 Days at EMI" by former EMI PR executive Brian Southall provides us with an exhaustive study of the rather tense, problematic, and ultimately incompatible relationship between the notorious Sex Pistols and the well-respected and revered EMI. The Sex Pistols/EMI coupling was an odd one to many; why would a bunch of revolting and filthy punk rockers such as the Sex Pistols sign a deal with EMI? On the other hand, why on earth would EMI welcome those disease-riddled scumbags into their fold and release, promote, and distribute their obscene tunes? Fans of underground music and punk rock were just as confused about the whole thing as the conservative powers in the UK and elsewhere were. What the heck was going on? The Sex Pistols' manager Malcolm McLaren had a point, though: The band was something new and different entirely and they had things that they needed to get off their chest by means of songs and lyrics, so what better way to get the music out there than by securing a deal with a heavyweight label and have them promote the Sex Pistols?! Southall's captivating insider's account of what actually went on behind closed doors at EMI as well as in the press and elsewhere during those turbulent and chaotic three months that the Sex Pistols and the aforementioned label were in cahoots with each other is both thought-provoking and fascinating. The relationship between the band and the label turned sour following the legendary (and controversial) Bill Grundy interview with the Sex Pistols on TV in 1976 where certain things were uttered that shocked nearly everyone and everything, including the powers that be at EMI at the time. The whole TV swearing incident along with the band's behavior in public caused a scandal and EMI ultimately bowed to public pressure and severed their contract with the band following a mere 90 days. As you can probably imagine, there are many different sides to and versions of the whole story, and that is where Southall's excellent chronicle of the affair enters the picture and comes in handy. Southall presents us with a structured and in-depth story of what happened and where. If you want to know who said or did what in relation to the Sex Pistols and EMI, all you need to do is to consult this book. Southall's narrative also paints an interesting portrait of the rather complex and cunning character that was Malcolm McLaren and it quite quickly becomes clear that the whole Sex Pistols vs. EMI conflict was anything but simple or clear-cut. Many different agendas, opinions, strategies, and tactics were in play both within and outside the EMI offices as well as in the Sex Pistols camp, and Southall does a great job at presenting and contextualizing them and putting each and every aspect of the entire episode into perspective. The book is well-written and there is cohesion and coherence in the text. It is not without a sense of drama and action places, but that is what makes it such an informative and engaging piece of literature. I do wish that there were more photos included, but the few ones that are definitely fit in nicely.

"Sex Pistols: 90 Days at EMI" is obviously highly recommendable if you are a fan of the Sex Pistols and punk rock in general, but it is also a must-read for anyone out there with more than a passing interest in music history. The book actually says a lot about what went on in the UK back in the 70s and touches on issues of censorship, ideology, idealism, and power in relation to both society and the music business. On top of that, there is a brilliant foreword to the book by Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock that shines an interesting light on the whole debacle. Recommended!


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