From Morrissey to Roxy Music: Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones picks 12 essential albums
As part of a 2005 interview, Entertainment Weekly caught up with one of the most notable guitarists of a generation, mostly because of his seemingly strong interest in indulging in as little guitar works as possible. Of course, we’re talking about Sex Pistols’ leading guitar man, Steve Jones.
A founding member of the punk outfit which would go on to define a generation, Jones remains a stalwart of the music scene, as authentic and unrelenting as he always was, Jones is the real deal. A punk forever.
As part of the interview with Jones, one question was burning on their lips; what were the albums the legendary Sex Pistols guitarist would recommend to any music fans out there? His choices aren’t exactly the hallmark of a notorious hellraiser.
No, in fact, Jones picks an array of artists which range from British indie heroes Supergrass to the 1950s pop idol Billy Fury to the antithesis of the Sex Pistols ethos, Cliff Richard. While Richard may seem like the direct opposite of Jones, he does represent a route to the past for the Pistols’ guitarist: ”England’s version of Elvis,” Jones explained. “People think he’s a nerd because he [hardly] drank or anything, but his voice warms me cockles. Reminds me of a more innocent time. [Sighs]”.
There’s also room on the list for two entries from Jones’ glam rock past. Like many kids in London during the early seventies, Jones was swept up in the glittering shine of Bowie and Roxy Music. Bryan Ferry’s Roxy Music played a vital part in the musical education of Jones: ”I adored Roxy Music when I was 13,” he explained. “I remember studying their photo for hours and wondering where they got their clothes.” It’s a sentiment that would keep Jones in the best rockstar clothes for years.
Roxy Music played their part but it was Bowie’s introduction of Ziggy Stardust in ’72 that was a seminal moment for British music and Jones himself: ”This album is what got me into music when I was a teenager. Every song is amazing,” he said.
Jones does, however, pick a couple of more recent artists with one being Swedish band (and FIFA stalwarts) Caesars and the other being The Wedding Present—a band who Jones wrongly describes as the new band in town. In reality, Wedding Present have actually been around since the eighties but returned the scene during the early-noughties. Most of the artists are from Jones’ own era of rock, from stadium rock Gods Queen to reggae legend Ken Boothe.
Jones naturally would also add his own band to the list of essential albums, avoiding the classic Never Mind the Bollocks…, Jones instead suggests The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle, saying: ”It’s the only legit album put out by the Sex Pistols, and the soundtrack to the movie… Hey, at least I put it second instead of first.” It all makes for an unstoppable playlist and one which has many troughs and peaks.
Read the full list below and listen to the perfect playlist below that. Get ready to be dumfounded as you try to figure out how Steve Jones, the lead guitarist for the most ferocious punk band ever, somehow managed to pick Queen as one of his most essential albums.
Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones favourite albums of all time:
Paper Tigers – Caesars, 2005
The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle – Sex Pistols, 1979
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars – David Bowie, 1972
Roxy Music – Roxy Music, 1972
Supergrass Is 10: The Best of 94-04 – Supergrass, 2004
Crying Over You: Anthology 1963-1978 – Ken Boothe, 2001
The Whole Story: His Greatest Hits – Cliff Richard, 2004
The Billy Fury Hit Parade – Billy Fury, 1982
A Nod Is as Good as a Wink. . .to a Blind Horse – The Faces, 1971