The secrets behind Steve Jones' tone on the Sex Pistols' Anarchy in the UK

(L-R) Johnny Rotten and Steve Jones of Sex Pistols
(Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

More than four decades after its initial release as a single in November 1976, Anarchy in the UK remains the definitive punk rock statement. 

Johnny Rotten’s vicious snarl and biting lyrics had a lot to do with that, but what really makes the recording so effective is guitarist Steve Jones’ violent and visceral playing, which still sounds as powerful and dangerous today as it did when it first disrupted the mainstream rock establishment during the mid '70s.

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Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.