Filthy Lucre Live

Sex Pistols

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Filthy Lucre Live Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

As the cliche says, the Sex Pistols were the last band anyone expected to see reunite. However, those observers were ignoring just how alluring the promise of easy money is to a band that never earned that much in the first place, so the Sex Pistols did what was previously unthinkable and reunited in 1996 for a summer-long tour of Europe and the United States. After playing two warm-up gigs, the band played their first official live concert at Finsbury Park in early June and the result is presented on Filthy Lucre Live, which was released just a matter of weeks after the concert. Two things about the reunited Pistols are clear from the outset -- they can play their instruments and they sound much heavier and less revolutionary than expected; in fact, the band doesn't sound very punk at all -- they sound like a professional hard rock band. But -- and this is the most surprising thing -- they sound fun. If you're a fan, it's hard to deny that it's fun to hear a live performance by the Pistols that doesn't degenerate into chaos and is recorded in clean audio. You can't call Filthy Lucre Live punk rock by any stretch of the imagination, but it is first-rate nostalgia, even if punk was about eliminating the need for records just like this one.

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