As live recordings of the Sex Pistols go, Raw is not too bad, capturing the band at an important juncture -- this soundboard recording from a gig on September 24, 1976 at the 76 Club in Burton-Upon-Trent was made only three weeks before the Pistols laid down the first studio version of "Anarchy In the U.K." The sound quality is not great, but it's as good as one is likely to find on a live recording during the Pistols' original go-round. A largely tuneless Johnny Rotten is his usual vitriolic self, and the band is amateurishly exciting throughout the eleven tracks. But more than anything else, what this one has to recommend it over others is the presence of original bassist Glen Matlock, who provides the glue that holds the performance together, something Sid Vicious was incapable of doing. If you want a live document of the Sex Pistols during their glory years, it will probably be difficult to top this one. Apparently in an attempt to provide a wider-ranging sample of the Pistols' low-fidelity formative period (hence the title), the CD also tacks on four demos culled from the Dave Goodman studio sessions in January 1977, which are available elsewhere.
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey