'God Save the Queen' Re-Release Set For Jubilee
A quarter century after the Sex Pistols belted out an acerbic punk tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, the song is being re-released to mark the monarch's golden jubilee. Virgin Records plans to release "GA quarter century after the Sex Pistols belted out an acerbic punk tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, the song is being re-released to mark the monarch's golden jubilee. Virgin Records plans to release "God Save the Queen" on May 27, hoping it will top the charts when Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 50 years on the throne during the first weekend in June.
The song -- in which singer Johnny Rotten snarls, "God save the Queen, she ain't no human being" -- shot up the U.K. charts on its release in 1977, despite receiving little radio or television airplay. It peaked at No. 2, below Rod Stewart's "I Don't Want To Talk About It," but to this day rumors persist that the Sex Pistols' song sold more copies.
"What we really want is it will finally gain the No. 1 spot. It will certainly be an alternative to the [the Queen's Golden] Jubilee," a Virgin spokesperson said.
Infamous for their rebellious attitude and rowdy gigs, the Sex Pistols were dropped by record labels EMI and A&M in quick succession before Virgin signed them in 1977. The label released "God Save the Queen" on May 27 with a now-famous cover image of the queen, her eyes and mouth obscured by lettering cut from newspaper headlines to spell out the song title.
The band celebrated the song's release with an infamous party on a boat called "Queen Elizabeth" on the River Thames. Police raided the party and arrested many of the guests.
While Rotten and the surviving members of the Sex Pistols probably won't be invited, a host of musicians will toast the Queen's 50th anniversary with a concert on the grounds of Buckingham Palace. As previously reported, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Brian Wilson, Phil Collins, Aretha Franklin, Tom Jones, Atomic Kitten, S Club 7, and Will Young will perform during the June 3 concert.
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