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Sex Pistols’ God Save the Queen still a hit October 22, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music.

British music weekly New Musical Express may have failed in its campaign to make the Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen” a No. 1 single 30 years after it first missed the target, but EMI still regards its accompanying vinyl reissue program as a success, according to a Billboard report.

Boosted by endorsements by such Sex Pistols devotees as Foo Fighters, Klaxons and the Beastie Boys, an NME campaign urged fans to buy the track as a download via iTunes and 7digital.com, or as part of the series of vinyl 7-inch Pistols singles issued on the EMI and Virgin labels in replica artwork, exactly as they were in 1976 and 1977.

“God Save the Queen” peaked at No. 2 in the United Kingdom in the week of the monarch’s silver jubilee, ostensibly outsold by Rod Stewart’s “I Don’t Want to Talk About It”/”The First Cut Is the Deepest” amid dark rumors that the “establishment” had kept it from the top spot. No such maneuvers were required this time, as “Queen” peaked at an anticlimactic No. 42. But, while downloads underperformed, EMI noted that it was the best-selling vinyl single of the week, with sales of some 3,100.

EMI product manager Tom Wegg-Prosser said the vinyl sales fed the campaign leading to the October 29 re-release of the iconic “Never Mind the Bollocks … Here’s the Sex Pistols” album, 30 years and one day after its first appearance. That comes in heavyweight vinyl and replicates the original insertion of a “Submission” single and poster. The album is also available digitally for the first time in the United States, via iTunes.

“We’ve tried to re-create what happened 30 years ago in a respectful and authentic way, and the fans have bought into that,” Wegg-Prosser said. “Aside from anything the NME have done, we’re proud of how the vinyl has sold.” Wegg-Prosser said the reissue program is taking place with the approval of the band and that it dovetails well with the Pistols’ brief reunion, which starts October 25 at the Roxy in Los Angeles and includes seven U.K. shows beginning November 8.

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