Submission was a late addition to (most versions of) Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, which anyone will tell you is Culturally Important. But mostly it’s just a really great rock song, which reveals that in among being Culturally Important, the Pistols were a highly competent and heavily rehearsed hard-rock band.
Most people reading this are probably way too young to remember what a big deal the Sex Pistols were. It’s worth investing a few minutes in the Wikipedia entry, which I think is outstanding. If you want to know more, one good place to go is Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs, John Lydon’s autobiography, an excellent read obviously written by a very intelligent person, excellent even though he keeps trying to pretend he hates everybody and everything even though he obviously doesn’t really.
Obviously this is hardass punk rock, which is why it’s a little weird that it says You've got me pretty deep baby/I can't figure out your watery love/I gotta solve your mystery/Your sitting it out in heaven above. Go figure.
Links · Spotify playlist. This tune on Amazon, and Spotify, iTunes. As for Spotify, I looked but can’t find the original track off Never Mind the Bollocks. Now, for live video, there’s nothing from the Pistols’ Seventies heyday, although there’s a no-video live capture from the Atlanta stop their on one and only U.S. tour, which I think does an OK capture of the insanity of the time and place. The most musical depth is probably in this 2007 take, but you also might want out to check out the 1996 in Japan version. There’s this essential contradiction between Johnny’s premise, which is “I hate everything, including you for being here and me for doing this” and the fact that he’s being sucked into giving a committed rock-n-roll performance of a really good song despite all that hate-claiming.
Rock and roll, you can’t kill it even from inside.