The soundtrack for Julien Temple's raucous yet poignant documentary about the Sex Pistols, The Filth and the Fury is a nice mixture of classics ("God Save the Queen," "Anarchy in the UK") and obscurities ("Did You No Wrong," "What'cha Gonna Do About It"). Containing most of their only proper album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, along with B-sides and outtakes, this disc would at first appear to be the sensible version of Temple's earlier Pistols' documentary, The Great Rock & Roll Swindle. What might annoy diehard fans is the inclusion of non-Pistols songs (taken from the film, of course), like Roxy Music's "Virginia Plain" and Alice Cooper's "School's Out." The most surprising inclusion on the disc is "Shang-a-Lang" by the Bay City Rollers, which at first might seem just plain silly, but excellently reveals what the Pistols were rebelling against -- at least musically. The inclusion of Simaryp's "Skinhead Moonstomp" and Tappa Zukie's "Way Over" reveal an unlikely influence for those not well acquainted with the group -- that of reggae music. Although the dub sound of reggae wasn't utilized until after the group broke up (the first two Public Image Ltd. records show this influence more explicitly), these tracks, among others, were strong political influences on Johnny Rotten's lyrics and general attitude at the time the band was making music. This two-disc set is recommended to both those who have or have not seen the film. Although the liner notes are not terribly informative, the music and the context in which the group thrived is presented here, in what might not be the smoothest of possibilities. But was there anything "smooth" about the Sex Pistols?
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AllMusic Review by Brian Flota