They didn't invent punk rock, and they weren't the first British punk band to perform or record, but no band did more to turn punk into a global cultural phenomenon than the Sex Pistols. In just over two years, the group's success de scandale took them from utter obscurity to global infamy, beloved by converts to punk rock, hated by nearly everyone else, and subject to legal and vigilante persecution in their native England. The Sex Pistols' music was not formally groundbreaking, yet their simple meat-and-potatoes rock was filled with a power and aggression that was all but unknown in the mid-'70s, and the ferocious, sneering vocals of Johnny Rotten (as well as his pointed, accusatory lyrics) upended all expectations of how a rock frontman should look or sound. Even as the media treated them as pariahs, the potency of their music and ...
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