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The Sex Pistols are an English punk rock band that formed in London in 1975. The band originally comprised vocalist Johnny Rotten, guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook and bassist Glen Matlock (later replaced by Sid Vicious). Although their initial career lasted only three years and produced only four singles and one studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, the Sex Pistols have been described by the BBC as "the definitive English punk rock band." The Pistols are widely credited with initiating the punk movement in the United Kingdom and creating the first generation gap within rock and roll.

The Sex Pistols emerged as a response to what was perceived to be the "increasingly safe and bloated" progressive rock and manufactured pop music of the mid-1970s. The band created various controversies during their brief career which captivated Britain, but often eclipsed their music. Their shows and tours repeatedly faced difficulties from authorities, and public appearances often ended in disaster and riot. Their 1977 single, "God Save the Queen", was widely regarded as an attack on the British monarchy and British nationalism.

Rotten left the band in January 1978, amid a turbulent tour of the United States; the remaining trio carried on for the remainder of the year with vocals provided by Jones, Edward Tudor-Pole and Ronnie Biggs but disbanded in early 1979. With Lydon, they reunited in 1996 for the "Filthy Lucre" tour and have staged subsequent reunion tours in 2002, 2003, and 2007. On 24 February 2006, the Sex Pistols were officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but they refused to attend the induction, calling the museum a "piss stain".

The Sex Pistols may have only been together for two years in the late '70s but they changed the face of popular music. Through their raw nihilistic singles and violent performances the band revolutionized the idea of what rock & roll could be. In England the group was considered dangerous to the very fabric of society and was banned across the country; in America they didn't have the same impact but countless bands in both countries were inspired by the sheer sonic force of their music while countless others were inspired by their independent do-it-yourself ethics. Even if they didn't release any singles by themselves there was an implicit independence in the way they played their music and handled their career. The band gave birth to the massive independent music underground in England and America that would soon include bands that didn't have a direct musical connection to the Sex Pistols' initial three-minute blasts of rage but couldn't have existed without those singles.

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