Best Before 1984 is a compilation of Crass' singles and other tracks, released in 1986, including lyrics and a booklet ("...In Which Crass Voluntarily 'Blow Their Own'") which details the history of the band in their own words. The album was named in reference to the notion that 1984 was the band's "'sell by date", the year that they had often publicly stated that they would split up. Indeed the band ceased gigging and recording in that year.
According to a blog on the Southern Records website, there are plans to release an expanded edition of Best Before 1984, which will include currently unavailable material (such as the "Merry Crassmas" and "Whodunnit?" singles) and rarities, in the same vein as the 'Crassical Collection' editions of the band's albums. The Southern Records forum has announced that the reissue of the album will most likely not be released until 2014, due to financial issues as a result of the money spent on releasing the 'Crassical Collection' CDs.
Tracks 1-3 are from an early recording session on February 27, 1978.
Tracks 4 and 5 are from the "Reality Asylum" single, released in 1979.
Track 6 is from the "Bloody Revolutions / Persons Unknown" split single with Poison Girls, released in 1980.
Tracks 7 and 8 are from the "Nagasaki Nightmare" single, released 1980.
Track 9 is from the "Rival Tribal Rebel Revel" flexi-single, released in 1980 (later released on 7" vinyl).
Track 10 is from an anti-war flexi-single released anonymously in 1982.
Tracks 11-13 are from the "How Does It Feel (To Be The Mother Of A Thousand Dead)?" single, released in 1982.
Tracks 14 and 15 are from the "Sheep Farming In The Falklands" single, released in 1983.
Tracks 16-18 are from the band's final single, "You're Already Dead", released in 1984.
Track 19 is previously unreleased.
Track 20 was recorded live at the band's final gig at Aberdare in 1984. A full copy of the gig is in existence, but it is bad quality and slightly speeded up. Part of the intro tape for that gig is tacked onto the beginning of track 1.
There were some interview snippets on the LP, but they were removed on the CD because they put the running time over the maximum 80 minutes. It is possible that they may be restored to the album with the 2014 Crassical Collection reissue.