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CRASS - Penis Envy [CD]

  • CC03
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Product Description

13 tracks, 47 minutes. Newly remastered, and bolstered with rare and unreleased tracks. All new artwork from Gee Vaucher including a recreation of the original poster sleeve. Includes a 64-page perfect bound booklet featuring extensive liner notes from Penny Rimbaud and Eve Libertine.

The Crassical Collection continues with Penis Envy, number three in the series of re-releases of Crass' now classical albums.

After many years of being out of print, this legendary album has been 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 extensive liner notes from band members Penny Rimbaud and Eve Libertine which sheds light on the making of the record, plus a recreation of the original poster sleeve.

from the liner notes:
'There were, and still are, ideas within the words of these Crass songs which can act as tools to choose and use for a while as you go on your own crazy, sweet way. When they no longer serve you, discard them. Good luck...and laugh.'

'She who shouts the loudest? Well, yes, and what's more I'm in no doubt at all that it can be heard to advantage in the resultant remix. Penis Envy turned out to be the closest Crass ever got to sounding anything like a proper rock 'n' roll band, tunes 'n' all.'

''Bloody hell,' responded Steve, 'it sounds almost commercial.' Which, of course, was a dirty word to all of us. 'Maybe,' I conceded, 'but the message certainly isn't.''

Track Listing
Southern Studios December 1980
1.Bata Motel
2.Systematic Death
3.Poison in a Pretty Pill
4.What the Fuck?
5.Where Next Columbus?
6.Berkertex Bribe
7.Smother Love
8.Health Surface
9.Dry Weather
10.Our Wedding

11.Yorkie Talk
Compiled from archive material. Southern Studios, January 2009

12.Yes, Folks
Collage of Our Wedding/Loving hoax. Southern Studios, January 2009.

13.The Unelected President
Rewrite/remix of Major General Despair previously released by Peace Not War. Southern Studios, Spring 2003.

  • Running Time: 45.07
  • File Under: Punk, Art
  • For Fans Of: Crass, Emma Goldman
  • Released: November 2010

Someone Said:

'There's a strong argument for the two most influential punk bands of all time being the Sex Pistols and Crass; the former encouraged bored teenagers everywhere to get off their arses and start their own bands, the latter encouraged them to get off their arses and think for themselves' .. Ian Glasper, Record Collector, 2004

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

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Product Reviews

  1. Sordid Sequences In Brilliant Life 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 28th Apr 2012

    Beneath its polished black surface, Penis Envy is Crass at their tightest, almost clinical even, it is intricate and disturbing in places but many of these soundscapes and lyrics deal with the perverse and the bound. The front cover (of the original album release, beautifully reproduced here in miniature with a stunning 64 page booklet) features the face of a plastic doll which appears trapped yet eternally willing within its tight, open mouthed, shrink wrapped shroud.

    One of the album's themes is the portrayal and perception of women as grotesque dolls, finely air-brushed and polished to 'statuesque perfection.' Which brings us to the lyrics, and what lucid and lurid lyrics they are. Joy de Vivre and Eve Libertine wrote some of the most beautifully strange lyrics that I have ever had the good fortune to read, they really do blend from a brilliant landscape of dark lyricism to the delicate paths of a unique, startling poetry. To illustrate this here are some wonderful examples.

    From Poison In Pretty Pill. (by Joy de Vivre)

    'They deal with flesh, incarcerate with rags, red lips, shimmer-silk and body bags, hairless legs against the blistered napalm burn. I want to rape the substance of your downy hair, in that mist a gutted child fights for air. Against the fragile, mashed and sweaty wound, your facile beauty has an outrageous sound, like a glamour billboard on a battlefield. At least the blood-red poppy was of natures will. That flower perfecting by the barbed wire fence must be insulted by your scented poor pretence.' In terms of musical intelligence, Poison In A Pretty Pill is also very interesting with those needle-like guitar sounds, small and sharp at first, then spreading, like the effect of ink in water. The bass guitar work is also worth mentioning, a slick, snaking thing that pulsates and drives through the track (and indeed throughout the album) but the real standout track, in terms of bass guitar, lies within the classic Systematic Death.

    From Bata Motel. (by Eve Libertine)

    'Tease me, tease me, the reason to play, in my red high heels I can't get away. I'll be your bonsai, your beautiful bonsai, your black-eye bonsai, erotically rotting.' There are tight, chugging guitars here with what sounds like wah-wah pedals all infused with full on punk rock energy and a refined, clean production - crystal clear on this remastered edition. There has been a lot of talk regarding the release of these remasters, they do sound very different (in places) to the original vinyl and cd releases but to that I would simply say keep (listening to) the originals if that is your preference but bear in mind, these are some of the most important, iconic albums ever recorded and these new editions preserve the history of these recordings and further enhance their uniqueness and originality.

    From Health Surface. (by Joy de Vivre)

    'Shattered proofing of the lost, splinter shackled, little wounds of cruelty and truth, they tie the one way sickness up inside... places of laughter leave me cool, hot fire burning down to ash... without a sinking heart this sigh could be the wind among the leaves. This pain does not belong to me, they've taken everything away.'

    'With weighty promises of love, waiting for the last to fall away. Buckle noose around the strap, all that separates the flesh. From green grass or sinking mud, stagnating, knowing the delusion, clean sheets waiting for a body, slapped into life and slowly gutted... drip-fed tears of the forsaken.'

    If I could, I would kiss Eve and Joy for these (brilliantly evocative) images and words, for the sheer pleasure and inspiration their work has given me over the years. I read a lot and I love to read and yet out of all the magazines, books and poetry that I adore, I always seem to find myself returning, from time to time, to these lyrics and to this album in particular. The imagery contained within the words and music never tires me, it is, in places, a dark and introspective record, yet at the same time it holds its own quality of light. Its own quality of hope.

    The uncontrived weirdness of this record, it encapsulates a very definative feeling for me, of being surrounded by modern life, this strange wildnerness of superficial people, of cold technology and the ancient roles of master and servant but at the same time there is a feeling of being free within its wild, churning centre.

    And it reminds me of a simple truth.

    There is no authority but yourself.

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