a a a a a

Crass reissues

Posted on August 17, 2010
Filed Under New Releases | Leave a Comment

"... a nasty, worthless little record." Tony Parsons, NME 1978

Formed in 1977 by Steve Ignorant and Penny Rimbaud, Crass were an English punk band, which promoted anarchism as a political ideology, way of living, and as a resistance movement. Crass popularised the seminal anarcho-punk movement of the punk subculture, and advocated direct action, animal rights, and environmentalism. The band both utilised and advocated a "Do It Yourself" approach, producing sound collages, graphics, albums and films.

"...it sounds as revolutionary and poisonous today as it did a quarter of a century before." Tommy Udo, Metal Hammer, 2004

Crass also criticised and attempted to subvert the dominant culture with messages promoting feminism, anti-racism, anti-war, and anti-globalisation.

"...full of shit, spirited shit maybe, but let's face it, Crass?  Precisely." Garry Bushell, Sounds, 1978

The band were critical of the punk movement itself, as well as wider youth culture in general. Crass promoted the type of anarcho-pacifism that eventually became more common in the punk music scene. They are also considered part of the art punk genre, due to their use of tape collages, graphics, spoken word releases, poetry and improvisation.

"...one of the most influential bands in the history of rock." George Berger, Sounds, 1990

Crass disbanded in 1984, just as their cryptic catalogue numbers suggested they might.  Before doing so, they altered the course of history.  Without Crass, would "D.I.Y" have meant what it did to the record industry? (They were the first band to form their own label to retain complete artistic control, as well as political and legal responsibility for their work, and to print the price ("pay no more than") on the sleeve to prevent record stores from cashing in.)  Would Banksy mean the same in the art world? (Crass used stencil art to decorate the streets and tube stations of London with though-provoking agit-propagandist work.)  Would anti-globilisation protests be what they are? (Crass were lynchpins of the Stop The City demonstrations of 1983 and 1984.)  Crass had their phones tapped, were raised as a question of national security in Parliament, conned a teen magazine into distributing their subversive message as a cover-mounted flexi-disc.

Despite all of this, and having sold over a million and a half records, Crass are routinely written out of the rose-coloured nostalgia afforded to punk, rock, and their musical peers.  Thirty years on, are people still afraid to look Crass in the eye?

CRASS REISSUES

The Crassical collection is finally here and the first release is the newly re-mastered The Feeding Of The Five Thousand which will be released on the band's own Crass Records. This seminal and influential album has been restored from the original analogue studio tapes, repackaged and bolstered by rare and unreleased tracks and stunning new artwork from Gee Vaucher (aka G Suss), who has lovingly breathed new life into her original work (feast your eyes below)

Also coming out this year will be Stations Of The Crass and Penis Envy.

STEVE IGNORANT TOUR AND BOOK

This September Southern Records will be publishing Steve's autobiography The Rest Is Propaganda and will be selling it on his tour that is named 'The Last Supper' which he translates as "Crass songs 1977-1982 plus a few shocks, surprises, perhaps some slogans, but no tantrums and a bit of a laugh". The once-only tour, never to be repeated, cross-our-hearts-hope-to-die. Or to put it more simply, not to be missed.

EXITSTENCIL RELAUNCH

This year will also see the relaunch of Penny Rimbaud and Gee Vaucher's imprint Exitstencil, with a whole host of reissues and new music, book, and film projects to be released. This year Acts Of Love by Penny Rimbaud & Eve Libertine (their first post-Crass work) and Penny Rimaud and Louise Elliott's new work In The Beginning, as well as Vaucher's book Much Ado About Something will also see the light of day.

Comments

Comments are closed.