Jane Gregory’s infamous ‘Do Not Go’ is a beautiful operatic drama, one seeped in a level of expression and passion rarely found across other genres. Rare too are the original pressings, with as few as 90 copies released by Crass Records in 1985 it’s now one of the hardest on their back catalogue to find. One Little Independent release it as part of a new vinyl single reissue series of the Crass Label.
The origins of this record lay a long way from classical music. The band Crass put anarchy to use in a positive way in the post-punk era from 1978 with a mixture of brilliant records and a willingness to educate and engage with their followers through their collective-living mentality, concerts and concerns over a range of issues from animal rights to anti-nuclear campaigning. To be honest, such a summary does not do justice to the powerful effect of Crass, who offered up a sense of empowerment to themselves and their followers, and the influence then extended to the music business.
As for Gregory’s identity, she was (according to Rimbaud, who produced the single at Southern Studios) an “operatic and classical singer who acted as Sarah Brightman’s understudy, in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem”. Requiem was actually a classical piece of music rather than a musical that came together in 1984 (with three soloists, Brightman, Placido Domingo and Paul Miles-Kingston and was premiered early in 1985. According to Rimbaud: “Crass wanted to do a crossover single and the idea was to make a popular, classical record, which it isn’t – but it is nevertheless very beautiful.” By the time Rimbaud had produced the single, Crass had split (1984) and their label – the Crass Records arm – was winding down as a viable concern. This probably accounts for the Jane Gregory single Do Not Go/ After A Dream being issued on the D Sharp imprint in late 1984 or early 1985. It would be fair to say that the record limped out rather than being released and there is web speculation that as few as 90 copies were pressed, so you were very lucky to pick one up. Like the Our Wedding single (which sells for up to £300), the Jane Gregory record is now one of the most sought-after and collectable records in the Crass and Crass Records catalogue. It is in the Rare Record Price Guide at £150 although copies have sold for up to £300 in competitive online auctions. The A-side of this single also appeared on the 1992 Crass records compilation A Sides Part 2 1982-84.