SOUTHERN RECORDS HAS released a new ‘white vinyl’ edition of The Feeding of the 5000; the band’s first release first issued on the Small Wonder label in 1978 (although not properly released until March 1979). This latest version, featuring the complete tracks of the ‘Second Sitting’ release, is taken from the original master tapes (rather than the Crassical Collection remix series), and included a complimentary digital download. This new version is priced at £14.00 (plus shipping).
This release comes just thirty-four years after Crass’ first experiment with the coloured vinyl format, with the 1983 release of the ‘Brown Shit-coloured’ Who Dunnit? seven-inch single.
18 tracks, 31 minutes. New pressing created from the original vinyl master tapes (no remix!). Wrapped in the original iconic fold-out black and white poster sleeve. Includes a code for a free digital download in the format of your choice (mp3, FLAC, ALAC (Apple Lossless), AAC, Ogg Vorbis, WAV and AIFF formats).
New as of March 2017: 180gm white vinyl
Also available on 140gm black vinyl.
The Feeding of the 5000 is the first album by Crass, released in 1978. The record came to be made when Pete Stennett, owner of Small Wonder Records, heard a demo that the band had recorded. Impressed by all of the material, he decided that rather than release a conventional single by the band, he would put all of their set onto an 18 track 12 inch EP.
However problems were encountered when workers at the Irish pressing plant contracted to manufacture the disc refused to handle it due to the allegedly blasphemous content of the track “Reality Asylum” (referred to as “Asylum” on the record sleeve). The record was eventually released with this track removed and replaced by two minutes of silence, retitled “The Sound Of Free Speech”. This incident also prompted Crass to set up their own record label in order to retain full editorial control as well as political and legal responsibility for their material, and “Reality Asylum” was shortly afterwards issued in a re-recorded and extended form as a 7 inch single.
A later repress of The Feeding Of The 5000 (subtitled The Second Sitting) released on Crass records in 1981 restored the missing track. The song “They’ve Got A Bomb” also features a period of silence within it, inspired by John Cage’s “4’33″”. The band have acknowledged the influence of Cage, and said that the idea of the space in the song, when performed live, was to suddenly stop the energy, dancing and noise and allow the audience to momentarily ‘confront themselves’ and consider the reality of nuclear war.
According to band founder and drummer Penny Rimbaud, who wrote in 1986: “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”.
2. Do They Owe Us A Living
3. End Result
4. They’ve Got A Bomb
5. Punk Is Dead
6. Reject Of Society
7. General Bacardi
8. Banned From The Roxy
9. G’s Song
10. Fight War Not Wars
14. You Pay
16. What A Shame
17. So What
18. Well…Do They?
Total Running Time: 31:51
Original Release: 1978
File Under: Punk
For Fans Of: Crass, Rudimentary Peni, Sex Pistols, The Clash, Flux Of Pink Indians
We were setting out as purists: hard, uncompromising and utterly bemused. – Penny Rimbaud, 2010
The Feeding of the Five Thousand is also available on the Crassical Collection, a series of remastered and expanded Crass albums on CD. Released in December 2010, the CD includes a 64-page booklet with notes from the band and a recreation poster sleeve.