‘The Feeding Of The 5000’ is the first album by the anarcho-punk band Crass. The album was recorded on 29 October 1978, by John Loder at Southern Studios and was released the same year. It was considered revolutionary in its time due to what was considered an extreme sound, frequently profane lyrical content and the anarchist political ideals in the lyrics. The album is considered one of the first punk albums to expound serious anarchist philosophies. Crass helped reinitiate the influence of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the wider peace campaign in the UK with the songs like ‘They’ve Got A Bomb’, ‘Fight War Not Wars’ and the adoption of the CND symbol at their live concerts. ‘They’ve Got A Bomb’ also has 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.
One of the most important albums ever. It doesn’t get better, angrier and original. First released in 1978 on Small Wonder Records, and later re-released on the band’s own Crass Records, The Feeding of the Five Thousand showed Crass as an anti-establishment and highly uncompromising act, and one that would influence countless people, bands and activists. 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.