Love Songs is the book which compiles all of the words to all of the songs by Crass. Originally published by Pomona in 2004 as a paperback, and out of print for a couple of years, we felt it was time for a resurrection. Love Songs seems a fitting endpoint to the Crassical Collection – the remastered and expanded CDs of Crass’ studio albums.
Love Songs may seem to some an ironic title for the words of Crass, who are often dismissed as “angry shouty noise” by those who were too affronted by the sheer intensity of the records and the gigs. But there it is, at the beginning of Crass’ own War And Peace, the seemingly billion words that made up Yes Sir, I Will:
In attempts to moderate, they ask why we don’t write love songs.
What is it that we sing then?
Our love of life is total, everything we do is an expression of that.
Everything that we write is a love song.
In truth, it’s something at we all missed at the time – I know I did. The motivation behind the ferocity of Crass was certainly not hate. It was love. Let me be the first person to quote Pat Benatar in reference to Crass – “Love is a battlefield”. Though I doubt Ms. Benatar was pondering the same battles that Crass were, she has a point. And as Penny Rimbaud says in his forward to the original edition of the book “Love then is not just a word, it is total action. Rather than being in a state, love is a state of being.”.
If the reader can use that sentiment – love as total action, as a state of being – as a starting point when delving into Love Songs, I think that it will reveal itself as a subtext which is more obvious when the words are removed from the glorious din of the recordings.
And so… what have we done here? Well, we’ve taken the songs and put them in chronological order (something that was intentionally not done for the Pomona edition). Penny has added a new preface and Pomona publisher Mark Hodkinson has added an addendum to his. We’ve litho printed it on heavy paper, added colour endpapers, fashioned a hardback cover from grey card which is blind embossed with the Crass logo and bound with litho printed spine tape. We’ve made just 500 copies. We apologise (a bit) for the price but we wanted to do something truly special, hand-made, beautiful. If you already have the paperback there’s really no need to buy this again – but if you don’t own it, we hope that it’s something that you will be able to treasure both for its contents and for the way it was lovingly crafted.
Now available to purchase from the web shop.
The Crassical Collection
- CC01 Feeding Of The Five Thousand CD
- CC02 Stations Of The Crass CD
- CC03 Penis Envy CD
- CC04 Christ, The Album CD
- CC05 Yes Sir, I Will CD
- CC06 Ten Notes On A Summer’s Day CD
- CC07 Best Before 1984 CD (work in progress)
- CC08 Love Songs book
- CC09 Consummatum Est poster