V/A - Bullshit Detector Vol. 1 LP, Vol. 2 2xLP & Vol. 3 2xLP

$27.99 - $29.99

On June 9th Crass Records, alongside One Little Independent Records, will reissue their iconic three volume compilation series ‘Bullshit Detector’ on 12” vinyl, available in classic black vinyl.

‘Bullshit Detector’ was the name of a series of compilation LPs put together by the anarcho-punk band Crass and released on their own label. Three editions were released between 1980 and 1984, consisting of demo tapes, rough recordings and artwork that had been sent to the band. The sound quality of the ‘Bullshit Detector’ series was mixed and often basic, or even poor, as Crass would master the tapes directly to record without any additional production or enhancement. For Crass, the expectation of a polished performance was missing the point.

Sleeve notes from Bullshit Detector Volume 3 read; “Don’t expect music when the melody is anger, when the message sings defiance, three chords are frustration when the words are from the heart.”

The title ‘Bullshit Detector’ was derived as a reference to the Clash song ‘Garageland’ from their first album, a song covered by Chumbawamba guitarist Boffo on the second volume.

The series is notable for marking the first appearance on vinyl of Napalm Death (on the third volume). The “POWER” sleeve with marker pen art was designed by Haggis, AKA David Hargreaves lead singer of Youthanasia PX.

Further evidence of the compilation’s legacy can be found in a fourth, unofficial ‘Bullshit Detector’, this time an international compilation, released by the Swiss independent anarcho-punk record label Resistance Productions in 1994. There have also been records released in a similar style and with similar sentiment such as the ‘Bullsheep Detector’ compilation of Welsh punk bands released in 2012.

After punk had already been co-opted, re-packaged and sold back to us, ‘Bullshit Detector’ Volumes 1-3 were, and still are, seen by many to capture the purest ethos of punk culture, an event that inspired hundreds to take to their bedrooms and garages and join the DIY revolution. Crass believed in the power of community and that their movement was for everybody, these compilations are an admittedly harsh but important part of that story; when Crass gave punk back to the people.

Penny Rimbaud expands; “Back in the day, the late seventies and early eighties, when Crass ruled the waves, or is that ‘waved the rules’, hundreds if not thousands of inspired individuals and groups set about ‘doing it their way’, setting the new rule that there were no rules. Ears ever to the ground, Crass got to hear about these ‘new pretenders’ and they liked what they heard. Sending out a call to arms, they began to receive cassettes by the bag-load; good, bad, sad and sensational, conclusively proving, despite Crass’ own ‘Punk is Dead’ mantra, that punk was very much alive.

I have always felt that ‘Bullshit Detector’ was the most honest statement ever made on the true nature of punk as it really was and still can be. Not the ruination of pop pretensions, but very real statements of how it could and should be; a better world for all of us, rather than a crippling strangulation for all but an elitist few. Yup, we did it our way and, in truth, that’s the only way it CAN be done. Here’s to ‘More Bullshit’.”