"They moved us to Berlin for a holiday. We lasted about three days, but that's when I wrote it."
John Lydon, 1989
SEX PISTOLS 'Holidays In The Sun' (VIRGIN)
ONE OF the most frightening records ever made, Holidays In The Sun captures the Pistols' disintegration in sound. Starting with goose-stepping feet and a classic broadside - "a cheap holiday in other people's miser!" - this psychodrama resolves itself into a riff nicked from The Jam's In The City and some of Lydon's sharpest lyrics. There was no respite on the B-side. 'Satellite' was one of the Sex Pistols' oldest songs: rerecorded until it had as many layers as ancient Troy, it was now a million miles removed from the world of Shanne Bradley and student discos. With layer upon layer of guitar sound, 'Satellite' is so complete that you can hardly breathe. As the riff churns, Lydon mutters, almost to himself: 'I can't take no more - you'd better stop'. He whoops, yells, bashes the microphone: after the last chopped chord, he is still screaming. Just after this session Lydon was injured by knife-wielding royalist thugs, and the song captures the political polarisation and violence of '77 - this time, the Pistols were not instigators but victims. (Jon Savage)
Chart peak: 8
Writers: Steve Jones, Paul Cook, Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious
Producers: Chris Thomas And Bill Price
Personnel: Rotten (vcs),Jones (gtr, bs), Vicious (bs),Cook (drs)