Truly, the year of punk, although, as photos show, it was still the year of flares. Keith Richards‘ arrest at Toronto airport on drugs charges seemed to symbolise the bewilderment of the rock dinosaurs – he was so out of it, he thought arresting officers were record company reps helping him with his luggage.
Gone: Peter Green, who’d written Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Albatross’ was now a reclusive headcase. He was admitted to a a mental institution after shooting at a messenger at his home who’d tried to bring him a royalty cheque.
Album of the year: Never Mind The Bollocks – Here’s The Sex Pistols – The Sex Pistols
Single of the year: God Save The Queen – The Sex Pistols
Band/artist of the year: The Sex Pistols
1977 belong to: Showaddywaddy – sorry, The Sex Pistols
Key event of the year: The Band’s last gig is released on vinyl and on film The Last Waltz – guests include Dylan, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, the old order gracefully giving way to the new. Elvis Costello, The Jam, Tom Robinson and The Stranglers all charted in 1977 but the truly rampant force were tabloid bete noirs The Sex Pistols. Dropped by EMI, then A&M before Virgin picked them up, Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious brought to rock a huge, authentic dose of insolence and delinquency it had been lacking for years. The release of ‘God Save The Queen’ coincided with yer actual Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations and was duly banned by the Beeb, lyrics such as “The Fascist regime . . . they made you a moron/potential H-Bomb” deemed an uncouth contribution to the flag-waving festivities. The single nonetheless soared to the top five, the album Never Mind The Bollocks‘ followed, and British rock’s greatest adventure since Beatlemania was under way.
Drearisos still held sway – The Eagles‘ Hotel California and Paul McCartney‘s ‘Mull Of Kintyre’ both sold in record-breaking amounts. Donna Summer‘s ‘I Feel Love’, with its Giorgio Moroder sequencer-driven backdrop, meanwhile, was as radical as The Pistols in its own way. A good year for the Reaper – Marc Bolan died in a car crash, most of Lyrnyrd Skynrd in a plane crash and poor, fat Elvis Presley died on the bog.