Sex Pistols

Early Daze

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Over the years Dave Goodman (or whoever owns the rights to his tape library) has built a cottage industry out of recycling the various demos and soundboard recordings he made during his 12 months as the Sex Pistols' official soundman, and it would probably take a book to sort out the variations between the dozens of semi-official albums which have been culled from his material (as well as a surprising number of live gigs recorded by fans-turned-bootleggers). Early Daze is an EP which features seven Goodman-produced tunes, a couple of which had snuck out as B-sides for singles and the rest of which first circulated on the infamous bootleg LP Spunk. Oddly enough, Goodman was a slightly more intrusive producer than Chris Thomas, who handled the bulk of the Pistols' releases (and, of course, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols); while Thomas went for a big but straightforward sound, Goodman enjoyed tarting up the band's approach with cheezy echo filters, odd panning effects, and guitar overdubs, though the final product still sounds more homemade than Thomas' stuff. Most of the tunes on Early Daze are easily accessible elsewhere, except for "Satellite," a great song which deserves wider circulation; elsewhere, if these early takes of "Seventeen," "No Feeling," and "Pretty Vacant" lack the physical force of the later (and better known) versions, they also give a somewhat cleaner view of the musical core of this band, and Johnny Rotten's vocals are less mannered and more easily understood. Early Daze may be the Sex Pistols' juvenalia, but it's still a good bit more interesting (and listenable) than most of the band's non-Virgin catalog, though more detailed liner notes and session information would have been very welcome indeed.

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