In the 1970’s, there were two phases when rock bootlegs managed to transcend their humble existence: First, in 1969/’70 when this was a new phenomenon, satisfying the urge to hear new/live material by 1960’s icons and giving those interested a first taste of how some of the hottest new acts of 1970 sounded live. Second, in 1977 in the UK when only bootlegs were the only medium to capture the fleeting nature of a musical revolution.
“…it would be impossible to consider either the social or musical impact of English punk without considering The Sex Pistols’ Spunk and Indecent Exposure, The Buzzcocks’ Time’s Up, Siouxsie and the Banshees’ Love In A Void or Joy Division’s Warsaw – albums as central to the movement as The Clash, Never Mind The Bollocks or Pink Flag. For a brief moment, the lines were down.” [Bootleg, Heylin, p. 163]
Bands changed line ups so fast that it was all over months ago by the time fans caught up. Only the bootlegs could fill this demand for any tangible evidence of a band’s fleeting moment of brilliance.
A copy of the UK bootleg Spunk with short intro track added (parts of Janet Street Porter interview with John Lydon). The first edition of Spunk is described in detail here: http://www.discogs.com/Sex-Pistols-Spunk/release/673946
Smilin’ Ears version released in 1978.
Spunk is one of the few bootlegs that has its own Wikipedia entry AND probably the only entry where a Smilin’ Ears title is mentioned: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spunk_%28album%29
Discussion about how to identify an original pressing and the speed issue can be found here: http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/sex-pistols-spunk-original-pressing-question.289041/
Some images relating to the original UK release:
“Alan Henderson: […] … And the first few thousand we took out into my back garden and spray painted a stencil with Spunk. […] [Bootleg, Heylin, p. 169]
I wonder if this record store owner isn’t mistaken and they had spray painted it with the band’s name – which would have made more sense marketing-wise – and this is one of these copies?
Such is the legend of this bootleg that the Independent UK newspaper wrote in their obituary for Dave Goodman, the producer of the demo sessions immortalized here “Dave Goodman was the man behind the notorious Sex Pistols bootleg Spunk. Reviewed in glowing terms by the New Musical Express and Sounds, …” as if the bootleg had been Dave’s initiative – also making him the only individual so far to have a bootleg LP listed as their top achievement in life.
Nobody was ever prosecuted for copyright infringement, despite Johnny Rotten stating on BBC radio that he knew exactly who was behind the album and fully intended to deal with the person. Malcom McLaren, suspected by many to be behind it all, denied his involvement. It was all very punk and certainly helped the band immensely, the publicity in the press alone could not have been bought for any amount.
The album repressed as “No Future U.K?” with a couple of extra tracks (not to be mistaken with the live bootleg by the same name):
No Future UK? (GD 001/002)
Studio demos, “Spunk” LP plus Denmark St. – July ’76 versions of “Pretty Vacant” & “Anarchy In The UK”, & Wessex Studios take of “No Fun”.
Side One. Pretty Vacant / Seventeen / Satellite (I’m A Lazy Sod) / No Feelings / I Wanna Be Me / Submission / Anarchy In The UK / Anarchy In The UK (Different Version)
Side Two. No Fun / God Save The Queen / Problems / Pretty Vacant / Liar / EMI / New York (Looking For A Kiss)
“Notes. Issued in 3 different coloured sleeves. Black & white labels. Also pressed as ‘Spunk 2′ and ‘Son Of Spunk’. Some copies of No Future UK? (GD 002) carry Spunk BLA-169 labels on both sides, however the contents comprise of the 15 track LP as listed above.
Another version of No Future UK? was released under the name of ‘Golden Bullet’. Plain white sleeve, with a dark yellow A4 insert with 2 pictures of Jorge Angel (Copenhagen 13/07/77). Possible Swedish repress.”
Hey, if they were offering… Lyntone London (mostly known for pressing flexi singles (including the Beatles’ Fanclub Christmas Flexis) and promotional records but also many UK singles in the early 1980’s) where the original UK versions of Spunk and Time’s UP had been pressed.
Another 1977 UK bootleg was Time’s Up by the Buzzcocks on Voto Records:
First vinyl release in the UK in 1977 on Voto Records – LYN5333
For more details on the original, see page 12 here: http://www.buzzcocks.com/buzzcocksdiscography.pdf