The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (song)

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"The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle"
Single by Sex Pistols
from the album The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle
B-side Rock Around The Clock
Released 12 September 1979
Format Vinyl
Recorded Ramport Studios 1978
Genre Punk rock
Length 3:20
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Paul Cook, Steve Jones, Julien Temple
Producer(s) Steve Jones and Paul Cook
Sex Pistols singles chronology
"C'mon Everybody"
"The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle"
"(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone"

"The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle" is the title song of The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle movie soundtrack album.

The single was released on 12 September 1979 and featured vocals by Edward Tudor-Pole on both sides.


According to producer Dave Goodman, both songs were recorded at The Who's Ramport Studios[1] with himself playing bass on both tracks.[2] According to Edward Tudor-Pole, the song originally featured lead vocals by Steve Jones.[3]

The final vocals were recorded live on the second day of an audition for singers specially filmed for inclusion in the The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle movie. Vocal takes by Edward Tudor-Pole and three others were recorded and later edited together.[3] According to the soundtrack album record sleeve, filming and recording took place at the Duchess Theatre[4] in June 1978, however John Lydon wrote in his autobiography that it was actually the Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park[5] near his parents' home.

Vocals for the B-side, Rock Around The Clock, were recorded several weeks later.[3]


  • The single spent 6 weeks in the UK Top 75, peaking at #21 on 13 October 1979.[6]
  • Virgin Records also released the single in the Netherlands and West Germany, but it did not chart.


  1. Ramport Studios (115 Thessaly Road, London SW8)
  2. Dave Goodman: “My Amazing Adventures With The Sex Pistols” (The Bluecoat Press, 2006, pages 169-170)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Phil Singleton: “Ed Tudor-Pole In Conversation With Phil Singleton” ( website, 2005)
  4. Duchess Theatre (3-5 Catherine Street, London WC2)
  5. Rainbow Theatre (232-238 Seven Sisters Road, London N4, closed down in 1981)
  6. website