10 tracks, 35 minutes. New pressing created from the original vinyl master tapes (no remix!). Wrapped in the original fold-out black and white poster sleeve. For the first time this vinyl package includes a download card entitling the bearer to a free mp3 download of the album.
"WHAT VISION IS LEFT AND IS ANYONE ASKING?"
Originally released in 1981, Penis Envy has been rereleased in the original poster sleeve and now comes with a download card entitling the holder to a free mp3 download of the album. This new pressing has been prepared from new metalwork cut using the original analogue vinyl masters (in contrast to the recent, expanded CD resissue as part of the Crassical Collection, which was remastered from the original tapes).
Named as a reference to some of Freud's ideas concerning sexuality, this release marked something of a departure from the somewhat 'macho', 'hardcore punk' image that The Feeding of the 5000 and its follow up Stations of the Crass had to some extent given the group, for it featured more obviously complex musical arrangements, as well as exclusively female vocals provided by Eve Libertine and Joy De Vivre (although Steve Ignorant remained a group member and is credited on the record sleeve as not on this recording). The album addressed feminist issues and once again attacked the institutions of 'the system' such as marriage and sexual repression.
One track, not actually listed on the album cover, was a deliberately saccharine (described in fact by the band themselves as "pure, unadulterated shit") parody of a "MOR" love song entitled "Our Wedding". This was given away as a flexi disc with a teenage girl's romance magazine called Loving after having been offered it by an organisation calling itself Creative Recording And Sound Services (note the initials). A minor tabloid furore erupted once the hoax was revealed, with the News of the World going so far as to state that the album's title was "too obscene to print" (a leaflet giving the background to this Situationist-style prank was subsequently issued by the band). Now considered a rarity, the original flexi-disc fetches high prices on the collectors market.
During the mid 1980s copies of this album were seized, along with other records by Flux Of Pink Indians and The Dead Kennedys, by Greater Manchester Police from Eastern Bloc record shop. Frank Schofield was charged with displaying "Obscene Articles For Publication For Gain".
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
Total Running Time: 35:12
- Original release: 1981
- For Fans of: Crass, The Slits, Kleenex, The Raincoats, Bikini Kill
'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' ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£
Ian Glasper, Record Collector, 2004
'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.' - Eve Libertine, 2010
Penis Envy has also been released on CD as part of the Crassical Collection. The CD is remastered and expanded with additional tracks and includes a 64-page booklet with notes from the band and a
recreation poster sleeve.