41 Years Ago: CRASS record The Feeding of the 5000

Daily Noise -

41 Years Ago: CRASS record The Feeding of the 5000

...in the Summer of '78, Pete Stennet, owner of the much missed Small Wonder Records, heard one of our demo tapes and loved it. He wanted to put out a single but couldn't decide on which track, so we recorded all the songs we'd written and made the first ever multitracked 45. We named the album The Feeding Of The Five Thousand because 5000 was the minimum number that we could get pressed and some 4900 more than we thought we'd sell. Feeding is now only a few hundred short of going golden, though I don't suppose we'll hear too much about that in the music press.
...with our entire stage set on record, wrapped in what was then highly innovative black and white, the music press were able to commence on the barrage of attack that has followed us throughout the years. They hated it and us and their loathing positively overflowed. It is not grandiose to claim that we have been one of the most influential bands in the history of British rock, true we have not greatly influenced music itself, but our effect on broader social issues has been enormous. From the start the media has attempted to ignore us and only when its hand has been forced by circumstances has it grudgingly given us credence. It's all fairly simple, if you don't play their game, that is commercial exploitation, they won't play yours. The music bit doesn't just buy its groups, it pays for the music press as well. The charlatans were spread thicker and deeper than we could ever have imagined.

In Which Crass Voluntarily Blow Their Own, Best Before

CRASS recorded their iconic debut album The Feeding of the 5000 on this day in 1978, live at 'Southern Studios Ink', London.

in 1978 we were beginning to wonder if we were ever going to do much more than play empty halls and desolate pubs, the roxy was closed, london slept, punk was dead. one gig we played that year with the subs attracted no audience at all, we played first and the subs watched, then they played and we watched, they were good, so were we, but how long do you last like that? shortly after that pete of small wonder got in touch with us, he'd heard a demo tape and wanted to do a single, we couldn't decide what song to put on it, so we did the lot and the result was 'the feeding of the 5000'. instantly we ran into trouble, no one was prepared to press it with 'asylum' on, so, after a lot of talk we agreed to drop it and the record came out to a hail of abuse from the music press. months later we found someone who was willing to press 'asylum', so we rewrote it and brought it out as a single on our own label. our efforts were rewarded by a visit from scotland yard, the real hassle had begun. at this time we had just recorded 'stations' for small wonder but pete and mari were getting tired of the problems of running a hugely successful record label, so we decided to release that on our own as well. now they have decided to close down their label completely and have handed us back 'feeding', so here it is as it was originally recorded with 'asylum' as the first track. although small wonder will be greatly missed we sincerely hope that its spirit lingers on in this record. with real thanks to pete, mari & alan, who helped us move at last.

Liner notes, The Feeding of the 5000, Crass Records

When Feeding came out in the Spring of '79, the first track had been silent and named The Sound Of Free Speech. The pressing plant had decided that the track that had been there, Asylum, was too blasphemous for their, and your, tastes. Such is the true face of censorship in the 'Free World'.

In Which Crass Voluntarily Blow Their Own, Best Before

"Asylum" has been included since the Crass Records reissue in 1980.

Once again the violent majority assert their bogoted reality through the silencing of others. ASYLUM, an antichrist/feminist statement, read by Eve Libertine, has been erased because of the refusal by any company to press the record if it was left intact. We apologise, for a copy of the words, or a cassette copy of the censored track, send a stamped addressed envelope, plus cassette if required, to CRASS, c/o Small Wonder.

In Which Crass Voluntarily Blow Their Own, Best Before