Crass Records 321984/1
Recorded at Southern studios, London Dec 1980. Design by Crass at Exitstencil press. B6 is an unlisted track which was originally released as a flexi disc (321984/1F). Cover Sleeve – Front “What Vision Is Left And Is Anyone Asking? No More Than Â£2.25 – Crass, Penis Envy” Run-out groove etchings: Side A: “In her hands she has seduction-you’ve heard it all before”. Side B: “In his hands he has destruction-make love not war”
The third Crass LP, Penis Envy, was a radical departure from the first two albums and as such represents something of a milestone. It was released the same week as the Loving flexi scam, proving Crass were no idiots in the promotion department. Penis Envy is “the misuse of one of Freud’s more absurd theories”, as described by Penny Rimbaud to a radio interviewer in 1983.“When we first started, we were seen as a male boot band and this record certainly puts that straight – that our sensitivities are much wider than just that element.” In this respect, Penis Envy could be thought of as Crass’ first truly self-conscious recording. Having had plenty of time to reflect on the position they found themselves in, Penis Envy is the sound of the band trying to achieve something tangible and pre-conceived. The band heralded Penis Envy as their big feminist statement, though in truth it covered a broader range of topics, and with considerably more generosity to men than other feminist acts of the time. Indeed, it could be argued that the real theme of the record is love itself.The cover fea- tured a packaged rubber doll, none too subtly juxtaposed with back cover artwork of an animal being cut up in a slaughterhouse, and a collage of women in bondage.
Other Pressings of Penis Envy have slightly different Covers
UK release pay no more than £3.00
Plastic Dreams Plastic instead of the pay no more
No More than $6.59 Dollars
No more than….
UpDate Dec 2012
Penis Envy Japanese release
1982 saw Penis Envy Released in Japan through a licensing deal with Rough Trade. (Japan RTl-25 (RTL-25 B) 1982. This Pressing is from from Tokuma Japan and the cover has a pink Obi
Penis Envy Test Pressing
Test press of Penis Envy pressed by Waddell co. I always though it was rare to see a white label or Test press of Crass records as they kept costs down, but over the last few years quite a few have made it on to the auction sites.
Exit Stencil postcard Number 10
Pub. 14 February 2004 ISBN 1-904590-03-9 Published by Pomona Books
Friday 12 March 2004
Anyone who saw black-clad anarchist punks Crass play live, or took a cursory glance at their record sleeves, may be surprised that they considered their output to be songs of love rather than hate. It was easy to miss amidst the buzzsaw guitars and expletive-laden lyrics, but Crass never went about anything in an orthodox manner during their tenure as fomenters of dissent from 1977 to 1984. Living as a collective on the edge of Epping Forest, where growing organic vegetables was more important than tour schedules, Crass were on the end of a large amount of invective from the music press. This is why the likes of Garry Bushell and Tony Parsons come in for a fair bit of stick in this collection of the band’s lyrics set out as poetry and revealing which band member wrote which song. Previously the words were credited to the band as a whole, an important part of their “no celebrity” stance. Shorn of the music, the lyrics lose none of their power and act as an essential, insightful piece of social history. They also go a good way towards explaining how the band came to spawn the anti-globalisation and modern animal rights movements, as well as get up the nose of police, security services and politicians.
Update December 2012
Exit Stencil Press Gee and Pennys publishing house have produced a beautiful Hardback version of the book, Listed on the southern website as
Hardback, 304 pages, 12.7 x 19.5 cm. Litho printed, embossed heavy card cover bound with litho printed spine tape.
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 and so 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.
Photos curtesy of Southern.
There are still copies available from the southern web site
Crass Records CC02
CD Re-Mastered Stations of the Crass in box with booklet and mini version of the Crass Records Release cover.
Again with the Crassical Collection immaculately packaged, with a similar box as The Feeding of the Five Thousand, booklet and mini version of the original vinyl LP sleeve, done by Gee Vaucher and again a beautiful art work. The remastering again makes the sound totally contemporary and very very rich, not the thin sound of the 90s release. Stations was always always a favorite of mine and listening to it again after so many years is amazingly refreshing, Big Hands, The Gasman Cometh, Contaminational Power, Darling and White Punks On Hope all classics, and all sound amazing. Must say Crass’s Oi song I Ain’t Thick, It’s Just A Trick still makes me laugh out loud.
This release come with the John Peel Session recorded on 28th March 1979, Only ever having it on cassette recorded at the time of its broadcast it great to hear how Crass got on recording away from Southern, finally hearing the layers of sound that my little mono tape deck failed enhance, The sound is very full the guitars just cut through the base, and there are some great experimental noises in there to build the sound. One thing these re masters have highlighted to me is was a great bass player Peter Wright was. Check out Gozonabit you can even hear Penny Laugh. The live tracks from Pied Bull, Islington, London, 7th August 1979 are not on this release but will be available for download from the Crassarkive
Crass Records Cat. No. 5 CD
Crass Records 121984/2.CD
Gee Vauchers Cover design, original collage 32cm x 25 cm
Crass Records 521984. CD