Did Nirvana 'copy' Sex Pistols' Never Mind The Bollocks album title with their Nevermind album?

28 October 2019, 15:28 | Updated: 28 October 2019, 15:39

John Lydon with Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bollocks album and Kurt Cobain with Nirvana's Nevermind album
John Lydon with Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bollocks album and Kurt Cobain with Nirvana's Nevermind album. Picture: Amanda Edwards/WireImage/ Getty Images & KMazur/WireImage/Gatty Images

We celebrate 42 years of Never Mind The Bollocks by looking back at this classic interview with the punk legend and why he thought Nirvana copied them.

This week marks 42 years since the release of Sex Pistols' seminal Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols album was released on 28 October 1977.

The first and only record from the punk icons has undoubtedly influenced musicians throughout the decades, but John Lydon once revealed that believed Nirvana "copied" its title.

Sex Pistols' Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols album artwork
Sex Pistols' Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols album artwork. Picture: Press/Album artwork

In an interview with Pitchfork in 2016 where he discussed influential records, the God Save The Queen singer said: "I remember being very angry at their album title being Nevermind.

"I thought 'Nevermind? Have you lost your bollocks or something?'"

The PiL frontman added: "I was drawing a line on it all, perhaps too sharply, but I have to say Smells Like Teen Spirit is one of pop music’s all-time greatest.

"That song is firmly embedded in my psyche. So, I forgive them. Most bands can’t come up with one complete song, and sometimes one is enough."

But was John Lydon right to think Nirvana had used Sex Pistols' album as the inspiration for their second record?

READ MORE: Are these the best final albums ever?

READ MORE: Who is the baby on Nirvana's Nevermind cover?

Did Sex Pistols' Never Mind The Bollocks inspire Nirvina's Nevermind album title?

We can't categorically say that it didn't, but it's more likely that Nirvana's Nevermind album title was taken from its lead single, Smells Like Teen Spirit.

On the inner sleeve of the 1991 record, the band chose to feature a string of lyrics from the album tracks tied together.

The paragraph ends on one of the most famous lines of Smells Like Teen Spirit which reads: "I found it hard, it's hard to find/Oh well, whatever, nevermind".

The inner sleeve on Nirvana's Nevermind album
The inner sleeve on Nirvana's Nevermind album. Picture: Press

READ MORE: The 10 best Nirvana songs

As The Telegraph notes, the grunge rockers were actually set to call the album Sheep which was "a joke about the people who who'd buy it".

However, it has been reported that Kurt Cobain soon grew tired of the idea, and the new Nevermind title better represented his world view.

Like with their Smells Like Teen Spirit single, Nevermind is purposely grammatically incorrect, and while one could argue it was to disguise the inspiration of Never Mind The Bollocks, it's much more likely the album's name simply mirrored how it was written in their single.

Whether or not Nirvana were inspired by the 1977 Sex Pistols album, Nevermind went on to be just as iconic and influential to the generations that followed.

Plus, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and the late Kurt Cobain can all find solace in the face Lydon has "forgiven" them anyway...