The Crassical Collection – The remastered Crass CD out now!

Crass performing at Acklam Hall, Ladbroke Grove March 1979 ‘Free All Prisoners Now’ benefit gig –  photograph taken by Tony Barber c/o Terry Smith archive.

Crass poster – Acklam Hall, Ladbroke Grove March 1979 ‘Free All Prisoners Now’ benefit gig – Toby Mott archive

It’s official!

News of the release of the re-mastered Crass material is now available on the Southern website HERE.

The Feeding Of The Five Thousand tracks plus a heap of bonus material on CD yours for £12…

AL Puppy

Southern Studio notes below:

The Crassical Collection is finally here, and the first release is the newly remastered “The Feeding Of The Five Thousand”. After many years of being out of print, this legendary album has been been restored from the original analogue studio tapes, repackaged and bolstered by rare and unreleased tracks, and stunning new artwork from Gee Vaucher, who has lovingly created what could only be considered a real artefact. Included in this package is a 64-page booklet featuring all lyrics along with extensive liner notes from band members Penny Rimbaud and Steve Ignorant, which shed light on the making of the record. Also included is CD-sized recreation of the iconic original fold-out poster sleeve.

‘Five thousand’s a crowd (four thousand nine hundred and ninety nine more than I imagined were going to buy the record), but two’s company (I knew for certain that my Mum would want one), so it was on the plate, ready to serve, The Feeding of the Five Thousand’.
‘We were setting out as purists: hard, uncompromising and utterly bemused’

‘On one thing we were very clear, in bringing a prosecution of Criminal Blasphemy against us the authorities would have been giving us the kind of publicity which overnight would have made us a household name. They were aware of this, and so were we. It was a situation that allowed us carte blanche to say pretty much whatever we wanted without any real fear of incrimination, a situation which over the next seven years we exploited to the hilt’.

‘Easy listening? You ain’t heard nothing yet’.

First released in 1978 on Small Wonder Records, and later rereleased on the band’s own Crass Records, “The Feeding Of The Five Thousand” showed Crass as an anti-establishment and highly uncompromising act, and one that would influence countless other bands to follow. This signals the first in a series of remastered versions of each of Crass’ now legendary albums, each one including bonus tracks and brand new artwork.

Crass flyer Colombo Street Community Centre Waterloo July 1979 – Terry Smith archive.

Published by

AL Puppy

I wrote for the original Kill Your Pet Puppy and ran All the Madmen Records for 18 months. Apart from those moments of spectacular exicitment I led and continue to lead, a dull and simple life.

79 thoughts on “The Crassical Collection – The remastered Crass CD out now!”

  1. A trope? But what if we deconstruct Bloody Revolutions? We have little snatches of La Marseillaise coming in right from the start and then, about two minutes in we get the ‘Viva la revolution’ line and it comes in strongly…
    Since the song is anti-revolutionary ”the truth of revolutions is year zero’, the use of La Marseillaise in this anti-revolutionary context signifies Crass rejection of the French Revolution as well as any future revolution.

    Now although the Enlightenment (more the French than the Scottish version) is associated with the French Revolution, the philosophes -including Diderot as well as Voltaire and Rousseau were advocates of rational reform rather than bloody revolution.

    The French Revolution was an unintended consequence of the Enlightenment so that by using La Marseillaise as a connecting musical theme in their anti-revolutionary Bloody Revolutions, Crass were allying themselves with the the reformists and against the revolutionaries.

  2. If current global events are to include 9/11, 7/7 and pretty much any other contemporary suicide bombings, then surely the fact that they all scream ‘god is great’ as their last words would indicate a connection to religion?

  3. But Gerard and Nick, isn’t Dr. Fokker making the point that in the 21st century people can only be religious by denying reality? Whereas in the past religious belief was supported by reality as then understood? Before the development of science and technology actualised Enlightenment theory, the world itself and its very existence seemed to confirm belief in god(s) – religious beliefs made sense of what was otherwise an incomprehensible reality. Religions provided the basic structures and frameworks within which lives could be lived (and wars could be fought.)

    The structures and frameworks of religions still exist, but the ‘church’ (temple, mosque, synagogue) has become a empty shell and the gods an absence, a void at the heart of religious interpretations of existence. Of course some people still claim that ‘God told me to do it’ – but why should we believe them? Or rather why should we accept their sincerity?

    In other words when seeking to understand the actions of self-confessed religionists, we have to look for known and knowable influences and patterns of power relations rather than the hand of god in history.

  4. To deny that the Church,s mentioned do not have an unacceptable influence on our society now, never mind when this recorded seems….well bizarre.

  5. I agree, Gerard and Nick, that religious perspectives DO have a great influence over many people in the world, and it may well be pertinent to address that. However, my comment was more about the way in which the focus on religion in Crass lyrics seemed like more of a personal obsession being played out in the public sphere. Looking back, Rimbaud’s lyrics live under the shadow of Ginsberg (wrestling with guilt, guilt, guilt) like us nippers lived under the shadow of ‘The Bomb’…

    Having said that, don’t both the ‘Left’ and the ‘Right’ use the notion of ‘guilt’ in the same manner as religious groups and thinkers? Remember how alienated many people became with the cult-ish zeal of some of the exponents of ‘Animal Rights’? I imagine it’s the same if you’re in the BNP and into a bit of Northern…Pete Wright touches on this in some of his comments related to the recent ‘Crassical Collection’ (groan)…

    To play the advocate for a moment Jim: ‘unacceptable’ by whose standards? Yours? Mine? My neighbours? Church affiliated projects in my city are doing more to house, feed and clothe the homeless than any of those who are supposedly on the ‘Left’ – is that an unacceptable influence?

    (Don’t get me wrong – I’m as wary of religious groups as I am of nutters like Dawkins)

  6. “To deny that the Church,s mentioned do not have an unacceptable influence on our society now, never mind when this recorded seems….well bizarre.”

    Which is why I never denied it. To wit….

    ‘Of course, I would not deny the powerful political and social dimensions of some of religious organisations. The question is whether these organisations are genuinely independent or designed and manipulated by outsiders and staffed by useful idiots. I would go with the latter theory….’

    Thanks, AL, I knew you’d understand the point I was making vis a vis modern religious beliefs in a profoundly, if not ubiquitously, secular world.

    As for bloody revolutions a la Bastille, some interesting ruminations there, but was the French Enlightenment, absurd as this may seem, that much of a factor overall in the proceedings? I’ve always subscribed to the refreshingly anglo-centric viewpoint that diverse English poltical shenanigans such as the ordeals of the English Commonwealth and the Bill of Rights of 1689 were more of an influence on such inorganic constitutions and stellar upheavals. Always thought Coke, Hampden and Pym (Or even Lilburne and later Wilkes) as more influential than Diderot, Montisquieu etc….(Of course you need your French intellectuals to elucidate and diffuse ideas with their characteristic grand academic style and irrepressible theoretical panache but I think we excel in the ‘doing’..mais, oui? Actuallly I have just finished reading an interesting monograph on the direct influence of the magna carta and the bill of rights on the American constitution (s). Never really knew how much was unashamedly plagiarised. Bloody colonials!

    @Sam

    The problem with incarcerating uneducated thugs is that they tend to read a lot of books. Such are the internal (or eternal) contradictions of any system, I suppose.

  7. Origins of the French Revolution… one factor was that the French had supported the US of A in its war of independence against the UK. The cost of that war plus the earlier Seven Years War had virtually bankrupted France. So Louis XVI tried to raise taxes but to do so he had to convene the main French parliament (which had not met since 1614). The parliament then tried to extract reforms in return for agreeing to new taxes…but Louis refused setting in motion the events which would lead to the Revolution.

    The US of A declared independence because the Americans were not prepared to pay higher taxes which the UK needed because it had also almost bankrupted itself fighting the Seven years War… The Americans argued their ‘no taxation without representation’ case using a whole set of constitutional arguments going back to the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the political debates of the 1640s against Charles I and the Levellers pro-democracy movement (suppressed by Cromwell) – and all the way back to Magna Carta… so it could be argued that the French Revolution was started by the Brits. (If Samuel Rutherford’s Lex Rex of 1644 counts as a Scottish contribution).

    Certainly the first stirrings of the French Revolution were welcomed in the UK – the French having their Glorious Revolution 100 years after we had ours. But then some paranoia crept in – what if popular support for the French got out of hand? Especially since the UK was having its own new revolution – the industrial revolution which was concentrating large numbers of rootless poor people in the new cities and industrial districts. So that almost as soon as the ‘working class’ had been created and begun to organise themselves – they were attacked as an enemy within, as ‘traitors’ who would ally with France in the war which began in February 1793 and was to last 22 years, until Napoleon’s final defeat at Waterloo in 1815.

    Economic conditions got worse after the war ended, especially for textile workers in Manchester – which led to political prostests…Hence the irony of ‘Peterloo’ -in 1819, when cavalry/ yeomanry charged a crowd at St. Peter’s Fields in Manchester and killed 11 and injured 600. In 1842 there was an ‘almost’ revolution in the north of England and central Scotland with troops despatched by train to Manchester.
    See http://web.bham.ac.uk/1848/document/poppro.htm

    Friedrich Engles arrived in Manchester in 1844 – and convinced himself (and then his mate Karl) that the English (British) industrial revolution was creating social tensions so acute that there was bound to be be another revolution, one which would complete the unfinished work of the French- and it was going to happen very soon. Very, very soon.

  8. An adequate summary of events but I was more interested in discussing the theoretical millieu that led to the French Revolution. But seeing as you are in your usual free-flowing mood for tangential narrative….You missed a few critical events that have very important echoes in today’s world of ballooning deficits and shrinking civil liberties.

    The 1797 Bank Restriction Act which led to an avalanche of debt and inflationary horrors as cash payments of gold were suspended and we began our first experiments with a truly fiat currency. (Only possible because of our enormous industrial might and efficient capital markets – our three greatest ‘generals’ against Napoleon were probably Watt, Arkwright and Brindley.)

    The suspension of habeas corpus by Pitt in 1794. Something that was again resorted to in the wake of the food shortages under Lord Liverpool’s repressive administration.

    And the nefarious imposition of a income tax in 1798. Something which, despite a short period of abolition, inevitably returned and has now become part of our political landscape. And the mainstay of government mafiosi the world over.

    Interestingly enough, William Pitt jr, that true pinnacle of bipolar creativity and personal instability, is William Hague’s personal hero. Proof positive that he is a cunt of the highest order. As if any proof were needed.

    Weirdly, I only last week watched Bondarchuk’s classic on the Corsican Monster. One of the few historical epics that is largely devoid of errors and inaccuracies. (Though there are some omissions.)

    ALTOGETHER NOW…….

    Who makes the ‘parlez-vous’ to run? OUR ATTY!
    Who’s the boy with the hooky nose? OUR ATTY!
    Who’s the lad who leathers the French? OUR ATTY!
    Who’s the boy to kick Boney’s arse? OUR ATTY!

    (That should keep the web spiders happy for another day….)

  9. I think it is in a potentially pre-economic collapse situation – as is the entire global financial system, predicated as it is on endemic inflation to stoke perpetual demand and the unlimited expansion of pyramidal debt instruments to raise capital. But revolution, as in a popular upheaval in which the elite is suddenly overthrown and replaced by a new ruling class from the lower orders? I doubt it. But revolution as in a return to pre-industrial forms of social and economic organisation (especially considering the rapid dwindling of key finite resources) is a distinct possibility. But it will probably take decades to play out. (Japan has been in a 20 year economic malaise without any cataclysmic chaos so far.) Of course, there is always the possibility of a paradigm-changing spectacular global event gumming up the works permanently and/or sending them into a horrifying freefall.

    I’m long on bean-sprouts, crossbows, antibiotics and medieval histories at the moment. Shit, everybody needs a hobby…Besides, line dancing and paintballing is soooooo 1990s.

  10. On a different note, here’s an interesting ‘state of play’ regarding creationism and the (knowledge of) US Constitution (esp 1st amendment):

  11. CRASS CRASS for those with the wit and stomach for it, try
    crassunofficial.com
    From Crass to Franchise

  12. The site http://www.crassunofficial.com/ gives a link to 169 pages of Pete Wright’s correspondence with various people and their replies regarding the re-issue of Crass album’s on CD as ‘The Crassical Collection’.

    So in case anyone was not aware of Pete’s side of the story and was unaware that the re-issue divided the Crass collective – now you can find out.

    Checking on the Crass Southern forum, the material was published by a person unknown without permission and is only a partial account.

  13. I recently posted a link to http://www.crassunofficial.com/ , on Southern’s weblog page, just so people could see the other side of the coin to Penny, Gee, & Alison’s (Southern) account of events.
    My post was deleted, after a week or so!

    “The Sound of Free Speech”, eh…..? 😉

  14. To be fair, you probably wouldn’t want the world to read your private emails. Was never too keen on Crass back in the day so haven’t bothered to read all the stuff on Anarcho-punk wikileaks. Shame that they still bear grudges against each other after all this time.

  15. if they do air their dirty linen in public will it all be black?
    i dont get all this bitchy shit,steve seems a decent guy,lot of hate still out there regarding crass,even tho they finished half a lifetime ago.oh what a shame………..

  16. Hire a life some of you, cos you obviously can’t afford a whole one, alternatively, get a twelve pack down the 7/11.

    Such passive bullshit, what is with some people?

    Were you there?
    Where are you now?
    Who the fuck are you?
    How have you lived?

    I can’t believe that i’m reading/hearing/being subjected to the same subjective crap all these years/decades later!

    Crass, decanted the whole can of worms & oh so many people missed the point & disappeared up their own existence trying to pull them apart.
    Get ya’ own phuckin’ art out then, qunts!

    The name of the band tells you everything you need to know about it’s detractors.

    Pfffttt!

    APF

    …T.V.BaBiES!..(copyright control)

    x

  17. @ Clint Flick – but was it a fresh can of worms that Crass opened ?
    Or did they recycle a stale can of worms – rehearsing the rhetoric of 1969, which was ancient past not recent history for the 1979 generation?

    Supporting evidence- ‘We can be together’ by Jefferson Airplane.

    We are all outlaws in the eyes of america
    In order to survive we steal cheat lie forge fred hide and deal
    We are obscene lawless hideous dangerous dirty violent and young
    But we should be together
    Come on all you people standing around
    Our life’s too fine to let it die and
    We can be together
    All your private property is
    Target for your enemy
    And your enemy is
    We
    We are forces of chaos and anarchy
    Everything they say we are we are
    And we are very
    Proud of ourselves
    Up against the wall
    Up against the wall fred (motherfucker)
    Tear down the walls
    Tear down the walls

  18. Ok, quick bit of deconstruction before bed.

    Clint said :
    Such passive bullshit, what is with some people?
    Were you there?
    Where are you now?
    Who the fuck are you?
    How have you lived?
    I can’t believe that i’m reading/hearing/being subjected to the same subjective crap all these years/decades later!
    Crass, decanted the whole can of worms & oh so many people missed the point & disappeared up their own existence trying to pull them apart.
    Get ya’ own phuckin’ art out then, qunts!
    The name of the band tells you everything you need to know about it’s detractors.

    Which I read as saying “Crass were an important and influential group who put a lot of effort into their work. It is really annoying that they still get criticised by people who never made the same efforts and are generally negative rather than positive.”

    But where does that leave the ‘myth’ of Crass? By this I mean the lazy assumption that Crass = anarcho-punk so ‘anarcho-punk’ just means ’Crass fan’ ? So you can get an academic like George McKay writing a history of ’cultural resistance since the sixties’ [in his book Senseless Acts of Beauty Fair, published in 1996] saying that Crass alone out of the punk/post-punk groups avoided recuperation and maintained their political and artistic autonomy… but when I questioned him about the statement , he admitted he was unaware of Rubella Ballet, Zounds, The Mob, The Apostles etc., of the Centro Iberico and the various post-Wapping anarchy centres.

    Crass had a high enough media profile to register outside the anarcho-punk scene and so get included in such sociology as political history studies. The complex, dynamic and confusing reality – as illustrated by the sheer diversity of musics available here on KYPP – gets lost and only Crass remain and all the other voices get drowned out.

    Maybe what you are hearing as ‘passive bullshit‘ and ‘the same subjective crap‘ are just some of those other voices saying different things, having points of view and perspectives different to Crass. Maybe Crass themselves were just one voice among many, one version of anarchy and punk.

  19. Cheers Al – when we inevitably started to become musically competent after a few months of gigging and rehearsing we did the decent thing and split up…

  20. We did reform for one gig in December 1981, when we played on the same bill as The Apostles, Cold War, What Is Oil? and some local Southend bands at The Spread Eagle in Southend. Theres talk of reforming for a couple of gigs some time just for the fun of it, maybe at the 12 Bar Club in Denmark Street where our old guitarist has some connections I believe…

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