26 November 1976

The Sex Pistols release “Anarchy in the U.K.”, heralding the arrival of punk rock in the UK.


By late 1976, bands such as Television and the Ramones in New York City, and the Sex Pistols. They were recognized as the vanguard of a new musical movement. The following year saw punk rock spreading around the world, and it became a major cultural phenomenon in the United Kingdom. One of the most iconic singles in the history of punk music was released and the Sex Pistols were launched on a trajectory towards equal measures of fame and notoriety.Anarchy in the UK may have only edged into the Top 40, reaching the not-so-heady heights of 38, but its cultural impact still reverberates.It was the musical detonation of frustration at the status quo. It wasn’t the articulation of a manifesto for a new economics but a wrecking ball of a song that these musicians aimed straight at the establishment. This spectacle of rebellion shocked Britain but four decades on the Sex Pistols back catalogue could provide the soundtrack for a new season of revolt.