Stream: Sex Pistols, ‘Belsen Was a Gas’ with Johnny Rotten vocals — unreleased demo

For fans, one of the highlights of the Sex Pistols’ upcoming super-deluxe Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols box set is the “lost” 1977 studio demo of “Belsen Was a Gas” with John Lydon’s vocals, the highly controversial Holocaust-themed song billed as the only “original Sex Pistols composition of the era thought not to be recorded.”

In advance of the Sept. 24 release of the 3CD/1DVD collection in the U.K. via Universal Music, you can now hear that demo for the first time via the clip embedded above.

The track, purportedly written by Sid Vicious before joining the band, was never fully recorded by the Pistols, but was released in two different versions on the posthumous Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle album, including a live version recorded at the band’s then-final show in San Francisco in 1978 and a studio version with altered lyrics sung by notorious train robber Ronnie Biggs.

The Bollocks box set also features a full remastering of Never Mind the Bollocks by Tim Young, under the direction of original producer Chris Thomas, using the once-lost original master tapes, plus Thomas’ unreleased demos as well as the six demos featured on the Pistols’ infamous Spunk bootleg, and a full CD of live material recorded in Norway and Sweden in 1977, most of which is previously unreleased (check out the set’s full tracklist).

Below, you can also check out a video tour of the box set’s book.

 

 

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3 Comments

  • Awesome! The Holy Grail of the Sex Pistols!

     
  • Steve

    OK, at 41 years old, I am not into the Sex Pistols thing at all anymore but this does have me a little excited since I always wondered if there was a studio recording of it. Plus, I remember Lydon stating years ago there was a demo but it was lost forever.

     
  • Chris H

    Box set looks mighty fine, but not at the $186 Amazon has it going for. $50-$60 sounds a bit more right…

     
 

 

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