Feeding of the 5000
After over three years of being out of print the entire Crass vinyl collection is available once more. Each title has been remastered at Abbey Road Studios in London by John Loder and Penny Rimbaud. Meanwhile, all the artwork has been carefully reassembled by original Crass member and artist Gee Vaucher. Every title is now presented in its original state, except Christ The Album which appears in a gatefold sleeve as opposed to the original box.
Crass are remembered as the most notorious agit−propsters of the 70s and 80s, for being founders of the Stonehenge festival, to having questions raised in Parliament regarding their various pranks, including a spoof tape of a telephone conversation between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, to their instigation of the ’Stop The City’ marches, and many many more activities. They are also remembered for being the leading protagonists of the genre know known as anarcho−punk, for being the first band to make their records available at little more than cost price, and to print a "Pay No More Than..." price on their record sleeves to stop fans being ripped off. And although many will remember the Crass sound as being ’unlistenable cacophony’ and their lyrics as ’shock slogans and mindless token tantrums’ (copyright: The Sun), listen to these records now and what you hear may surprise you, as what went on the studio was actually quite revolutionary in more than just the political sense.
Crass gigs were more like events, encompassing music, poetry, film and performance. There were often stalls from various political organisations and the members of the band would wander around the audience handing out leaflets and lyric sheets. The incredible backdrops which covered the walls were created by G Sus (latterly Gee Vaucher) who also designed the band’s terrifying, humorous and highly acclaimed artwork. The films Crass projected at shows were also created by Gee and another filmmaker, Mick Duffield.
In recent years Crass fought and won a long battle against property developers to keep hold of Dial House. In November 2002, the original members of the collective performed at the "Voices and Music Against War" event at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s South Bank, though they did not appear on stage at the same time. Crass will never reform.
Published by Pomona Books March 2004 | Price:£9.99
A passionate anthology of lyrics that (subversively) inspired millions.
Punk is not normally associated with ‘love songs’, but this is the title of the latest book from Pomona. Love Songs collects the lyrics and poems of anarchist band Crass; a band which, though largely bypassed by the mainstream music business, sold over a million records from its own staunchly independent label, and inspired a massive underground following from 1977 – 1984.
Crass began as a rural collective of diverse and eclectic individuals based in Essex in 1977, who used art, literature and film, as well as music, to share information and ideas. At the centre of their philosophy were themes of free thought, enthusiasm, creativity, ingenuity, peace, and yes, love – a radical standpoint for a band set within the generally nihilistic context of punk rock.
Their stance created a massive underground and autonomous movement, which has sustained itself since its hey-day, especially in the United States where they are considered the godfathers of politico rock. Bizarrely, celebrities such as David Beckham and Angelina Jolie have recently been seen sporting Crass logos on their shirts. Vinyl re-issues of their albums, re-mastered at Abbey Road, have recently been released and are very much in demand.
Love Songs, published in March 2004, is the definitive and official anthology of Crass, collecting the lyrics of every song they ever wrote (all 82), plus further shock slogans and mindless token tantrums of the collective. It includes a lengthy preface by band member Penny Rimbaud (author of Shibboleth and the Diamond Signature) who reflects on the effects of the collective’s works.
For more information visit the Pomona Books web site about 'Love Songs'
This website was originally produced by Southern Records in the 2000s. It has been reconstructed as part of http://theartofcrass.uk