Uploaded on Jul 25, 2008
From the alternate debut album, spunk
Spunk is the title of a bootleg album by Sex Pistols, originally released in the UK during September or October 1977 (see 1977 in music).
The album comprises studio demos and chatter recorded with Dave Goodman during 1976 and early 1977, while original bass player Glen Matlock was still a member of the group. Most of the songs would later be re-recorded and officially released on the group's debut album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols.
 The alternative debut album
Several parties, including some members of the British music press, immediately suspected that the group's manager, Malcolm McLaren, was responsible for the original Spunk bootleg. This would have been in breach of the band's record contract with Virgin, which was itself planning the release of Never Mind the Bollocks when Spunk appeared. An October 1977 Sounds article by Chas de Whalley discussed Spunk and made reference to this conveniently coincidental timing.
The evidence for McLaren's involvement is speculative, although it can be noted that his company, Glitterbest, retained the rights to the demo recordings as well as the master tapes — and the demos appearing on Spunk were presented in excellent quality. Also, as evidenced by the original album's "LYN-" matrix number prefix, the record had clearly been pressed in the UK by Lintone, a legitimate independent pressing plant that would presumably not handle anything that appeared to be a bootleg, and would certainly allow the bootlegger in question to be traced if enquiries had ever been made by the genuine copyright owner. McLaren has always publicly denied responsibility for Spunk, but has stated that he prefers the record to Never Mind the Bollocks.
Some Sex Pistols fans concur with McLaren -- and producer Goodman -- that the raw versions of the songs on Spunk are superior to the officially released ones, particularly since Spunk approximates a faithful reproduction of the original Sex Pistols line-up's live sound. The album also features the bass-lines of Glen Matlock, which were not reproduced when guitarist Steve Jones took over bass duties for the recording of Never Mind the Bollocks.
Spunk is therefore often cited as the Sex Pistols' de facto alternative debut album. Certainly a tape of part or all of Spunk had been played to Tony Parsons as early as March 1977, and became the subject of his NME article, "Blank Nuggets in the UK", which described the recordings as if they represented an imminent debut album release.
The original Spunk was itself copied and bootlegged immediately upon release. The tracks have since been re-bootlegged countless times in many different formats, including a widespread variant called No Future UK?, which added three extra tracks, and many releases by Dave Goodman, which often feature evidence of remixing or other post-production tampering.
Spunk has also been the subject of several official releases.
Virgin Records released the whole of Spunk (omitting the talking between songs) along with several other early Sex Pistols demos as part of a limited edition double-CD reissue of Never Mind the Bollocks in 1996.
Spunk was released on 17 July 2006 by Sanctuary Records in its original vinyl format (CMQLP1395, limited to 1,000 copies), complete with studio chatter. The CD version (CMRCD1376) included the three bonus tracks from the original No Future UK? bootleg.
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