Now that the Crassical Collection has released The Feeding of the Five Thousand on CD, there have been a lot of questions about when the rest of the CDs will be released, what about vinyl etc etc. So I thought I’d share our current “strategy” with you. Although “strategy” seems like a word which is far too organised to apply to us.
Crassical Collection future releases
These release dates are for the UK only. Other countries are being confirmed by our distributors now. Hopefully it will all get synchronised as we go on!
“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.”
The Crassical Collection is finally here, and the first release is the newly remastered The Feeding of the Five Thousand. After several 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.
“We were setting out as purists: hard, uncompromising and utterly bemused.”
The Feeding of the 5000 is the first album by Crass, released in 1978. The record came to be made when Pete Stennett, owner of Small Wonder Records, heard a demo that the band had recorded. Impressed by all of the material, he decided that rather than release a conventional single by the band, he would put all of their set onto an 18 track 12 inch EP.
In which our guest blogger, Little Annie, regales us with tales from her unpublished biography. In this chapter, the little lady from New York travels far far away across the ocean to take up residence with a gang of British anarchist hippie punks called Crass. They call her “Annie Anxiety”.
TEETERING DOWN the single file country ‘road’ that snaked its way to Crass’ Epping Forest home in my faux Frederick’s of Hollywood stilettos and dragging my equally glitzy chi-chi drag behind me, I may not have been the quintessential ugly American, but I was definitely the quintessential inappropriately dressed one. As the country lane turned into a path through a mud-slicked cow yard, I couldn’t help but wonder where this incredibly hip-and-happening second English Explosion Jammy Wonderland that all the knuckleheads back in New York were always yapping about was. Just as I was figuring that I was the butt of a very expensive and complicated episode of Candid Camera, the smoky-eyed, Jean Seberg-cropped Crass vocalist, Eve Libertine, drove up and rescued my quintessential daft ass. As we pulled up to the sixteenth-century former labourer’s cottage in Eve’s old blue Mini, its soft beauty knocked me out. Some members of Crass had found this once uninhabitable wreck many years ago, seen its potential and rented it from the farmer, who thought they were crazy, hence the ridiculously affordable rent. Hard work had turned this crumbling structure into a House and Garden – worthy Zen dream, and one that was more or less obscured by beautiful lush vegetation. Inside was equally impressive, immaculately clean and lovingly handcrafted. It was paradise, except for one little thing – it was in the country.
I had believed from the conversations with Steve (Ignorant) I had back in New York that they all lived in some sort of English version of the projects. In one of his letters, he had spoken of everyone sitting around in the garden. I just assumed he had meant a vacant lot or basketball court. I mean this was rural with a capital W, and I’m just not down with the country groove. It scares the hell outta me. Country life is all about the natural order: the cyclical process of growth and decay, sowing and harvest, waxing and waning. Children raised in rural areas grow with a firm comprehension of birth and death. City children have no such acceptance. We beat death by aspiring toward immortality by becoming drug addicts, boxers and movie stars. Continue reading →
If you’re not familiar with Vice magazine… well, get yourself on over to Wikipedia. Like Marmite, Vice is an instant room divider. A crowd will gravitate to one corner, decrying their approach as shallow, fashion-fixated, culturally regressive and just plain offensive. A louder, possibly drunk contingent will hold ground in the middle of the room bellowing at everyone to shutthefuckup because itsjustafuckinglaugh. Still more will sulk about on the settee, mumbling about cutting-edge journalism. And a few will linger by the door, logging on to Twitter to find out what they’re meant to think about it.
Probably the most widely derided, and of course therefore, most popular feature in Vice is their Do’s And Don’ts column. The concept is of course as old as criticism itself – take random photographs and use them to illustrate the various triumphant victories and fumbling faux pas of … well, anything … but most entertainingly, fashion. Vice took this concept and made it as acerbic and acrimonious as possible, while striving hard to maintain the judgemental values of a white suburban teenage boy. The fact that being a classed as Do is seemingly no more redemptive than being branded a Don’t is a clue to the column’s real intentions. It’s cruel, vulgar, and hysterical. Unless of course you take yourself too seriously.
This week Vice published the above entry in their Do’s and Don’ts. When reposted on the Facebook page for Crass fans, it immediately garnered that predictable room-dividing effect. Unfortunately, not many of the posters got the joke. The Winnie The Pooh-faced punter is indeed Penny Rimbaud, founder (along with Steve Ignorant) of Crass. Christ only knows where he got the jacket, it’s certainly not his, but he clearly participated in the prank. In fact Penny has collaborated several times in the past with Vice, in particular its UK editor Andy Capper, for whom he is known to have great admiration. The interviews he did with Ian Svenonius for Vice’s VBS online television series are particularly worth watching.
As was said on Facebook… it’s Monday. Have a giggle.