16th August 2012

Sex Pistols Box Set Sleeve, Virgin Records 2002Definitive 3 CD box set featuring rarities, demos, album tracks and singles, plus unreleased live material. Issued in 80 page colour book. Released June, 2002. Virgin Records SEXBOX1

Review by Scott M, July 2002
(taken from Pistols at The Palace gig programme)

My first thought was, ‘How can you have a Sex Pistols a box set, they (really) only had one album and four singles’? Well, this 3 CD compilation – made up of the classic ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’ album, B-sides, demos, studio outtakes, and unreleased live material – proves you can…

Disc 1 features the complete ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’ album, the four B-sides, and the band’s first demo session with Chris Spedding. ‘NMTB’, and the B-sides have all been remastered, they’ve never sounded better. At least, not since the first time you heard them. The Spedding session sounds superb, probably in the best sound quality it’s ever been issued.

Disc 2 contains a staggering amount of Sex Pistols demos and studio outtakes. Practically every demo the band ever made is on this disc. 22 tracks in all. Starting off with the July 1976 Dave Goodman demos, the disc travels through the band’s repertoire of rehearsal cover versions. It also includes a rejected version of the seminal ‘Anarchy in the UK’ single, and unearths the previously unreleased Mike Thorne EMI demo sessions; before finishing off with the January 1977 Dave Goodman sessions, and outtakes from the Chris Thomas ‘NMTB’ sessions. Again all tracks have been remastered, with the sound quality pristine.

Disc 3 features the whole of the legendary – and previously unreleased – Screen on the Green 31.8.76 gig, along with a selection of other previously unreleased live bonus tracks; including the unrecorded tracks: ‘Understanding’ and ‘Flowers of Romance’. Considering the Screen on the Green gig was recorded two months before the band even signed to a record company, it finally puts an end to the myth the Sex Pistols couldn’t play. The band are tight, and Johnny Rotten is at his confrontational best. For such an old recording, it sounds great! And although the sound quality of the live bonus tracks can be a little ropey, they are an important inclusion; as not many fans will have them.

To top things off the box set comes packaged in a lavish 80 page book, featuring many previously unseen photographs, along with detailed sleevenotes; including a biography, quotes from the band, lyrics, discography, and a gig guide.

The box set is a ‘must-have’ for every Pistols fan. The most definitive Sex Pistols compilation ever, it packages virtually every Rotten-era recording of the band into 3 discs. You no longer have to buy countless rip-off bootlegs to get this material. It’s every Sex Pistols recording you ever needed, and never wanted! And I haven’t even mentioned the secret hidden tracks at the end of each disc…

Of course the eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted there is no material from the post-Rotten ‘Great Rock n Roll Swindle’ era. That material has been left for the ‘Jubilee’ singles compilation.

Disc 1
Studio Tracks & Early Demos

1. Holidays in the Sun
2. Bodies
3. No Feelings
4. Liar
5. God Save The Queen
6. Problems
7. Seventeen
8. Anarchy in the UK
9. Submission
10. Pretty Vacant
11. New York
12. EMI Unlimited Edition
‘Never Mind The Bollocks’ Original Analogue Master

13. I Wanna Be Me
14. No Feeling (bonus B-side)
15. Did You No Wrong
16. No Fun* (unedited)
17. Satellite

18. Problems
19. Pretty Vacant
20. No Feelings
Majestic Studios Demo Session May 1976

21. (Hidden Track)
Anarchy in the UK (instrumental)
Manchester Square Demo Session December 1976*

Disc 2
Demos & Rarities

1. Pretty Vacant
2. Submission
Denmark Street Demo Session July 1976

3. Anarchy in the UK
Wessex Studios Session October 1976

4. Substitute
5. (Don’t Give Me) No Lip
6. (I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone
7. Johnny B Goode
8. Road Runner
9. Watcha Gonna Do About it?
10. Through My Eyes*
Wessex Studios Rehearsal Session October 1976

11. Anarchy in the UK*
Rejected version of the ‘Anarchy in the UK’ 7″ single

12. No Feelings (instrumental)
13. No Future
14. Liar
15. Problems
Manchester Square Demo Session December 1976*

16. New York
17. God Save The Queen
Gooseberry Studios January 1977

18. Satellite
19. EMI
20. Seventeen
21. No Feelings
22. Submission (version #1)
Wessex Studios ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’ Outtakes
May-August 1977

23. (Hidden Track)
GSTQ (instrumental)
Manchester Square Demo Session December 1976*

Disc 3
Live at Screen on the Green ’76, plus live rarities

1. Anarchy in the UK
2. I Wanna Be Me
3. Seventeen
4. New York
5. (Don’t Give Me) No Lip
6. (I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone
7. Satellite
8. Submission
9. Liar
10. No Feelings
11. Substitute
12. Pretty Vacant
13. Problems
14. Did You No Wrong
15. No Fun
Islington, Screen On The Green Cinema, 29.8.76*

16. Understanding (live bonus track)
London, Nashville Rooms, 3.4.76*

17. Flowers of Romance #1 (live bonus track)
London, 100 Club, 29.6.76*

18.Flowers… #2 (live bonus track)
Birmingham, Barbarellas, 14.8.76*

19. Belsen Was a Gas (live bonus track)
Dallas, Longhorns Ballroom, USA, 10.1.78*

20. (Hidden Track)
Pretty Vacant (instrumental)
Manchester Square Demo Session December 1976*

* indicates previously unreleased