Notorious Sex Pistols track found among archive of recordings

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A notorious, long-lost track by punk pioneers the Sex Pistols is to finally be released after a tape was discovered after 35 years.

The recording of Belsen Was A Gas was thought to have been lost with only a live version and a later recording featuring Ronnie Biggs thought to exist.

Now a studio version in demo form has been unearthed, turning up in the vaults when the band’s archive was moved.

The discovery of the track will be celebrated by fans although the subject matter made it probably their most controversial song. Its lyric was about the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany, which contrary to the song’s title, did not house any gas chambers.

Frontman John Lydon – who in his Pistols days was known as Johnny Rotten – later admitted the song was in poor taste.

In an interview he said it was a “very nasty, silly little thing” which he claimed should have “ended up on the cutting room floor”.

The newly-discovered version will feature in a deluxe reissue of the band’s only studio album, Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols, which is to be released on September 24.

The demo of Belsen dates back to 1977, although the live recording and version featuring train robber Biggs appeared
on the soundtrack to the
movie The Great Rock’n’Roll Swindle.

The remastered version of the album will also feature demos that previously only appeared on bootlegs, as well as single B-sides.