The last couple of years have been very exciting for Crass fans. Wait, wait, “who’s Crass?”, you ask? Well, that’s a long story. And one you should know. Crass was a band that, though associated with the punk movement, really were a genre unto themselves. Architects of a sound so unique and holders of a vision so grounded, Crass defined, embraced, defied and contracted everything that punk stood for. Let’s just say that my 14 your-old self thought they were the cat’s pajamas and that sentiment has yet to fade:
I’ll stop with that, because I really could go on for days. And the image above speaks for itself (I’m a dork for this band). But getting back to the point, there has been a lot of news on the Crass front in recent years. There’s the great interview with Crass co-founder and drummer,etc., Penny Rimbaud on Vice TV’s Soft Focus show (hosted by Ian Svenonius). Vice also had a great story on Crass recent legal troubles and an interview with Penny in their mag. You can read it HERE. And elsewhere you can watch a short documentary on the band that’s pretty good. Here it is:
And in 2009 after years of waiting, George Berger’s book The Story of Crass finally came out. It’s a great read and really digs deep into the roots of Crass’ story, their theories, and the story of their home and work place, Dial House. Another great read is Crass sing Steve Ignorant’s autobiography (with Steve Pottinger) The Rest Is Propaganda. It may not make autobiography of the year (hey, he’s gotta compete with Keith Richards‘ Life) but it’s filled with good stories and lots of insights.
And then BAM! out of the blue I see on Piccadilly Records‘ website their top reissues of 2010 and what’s number 2…Crass – The Feeding of the 5,000 (LITA’s reissue of Jim Sullivan U.F.O. made #5!). Somehow I missed the post on the Southern Records (Crass’ label) blog that said starting in late 2010 and continuing through 2011 they plan to do a major reissue project – The Crassical Collection. And what a project it is.
Starting with their first album The Feeding of the 5,000 and continuing with their last effort, the much maligned 10 Notes on a Summer’s Day, the reissues will feature remastered audio from the original tapes and faithfully replicated artwork. Also, most of the releases will find their way onto 180-gram wax. There’s also talk of releasing an expanded edition of the classic Crass compilation Best Before 1984 and a few other rare releases. Check out the whole post HERE for all the info. Unfortunately as of now, these releases have no US distributor so say “hi” to expensive international shipping charges.
And it doesn’t stop there. Beginning in March 2011, Crass lead singer Steve Ignorant is touring the US and Canada performing doing a show of all Crass material. Check out Steve’s Facebook page for more info. See ya there!