The Crack is The Ruts first album, released in 1979 and containing the UK hit singles: "Babylon's Burning" (Number seven on the UK chart in June 1979) and "Something That I Said" (No. 29 in September 1979). The white-reggae "Jah War", which was written in the aftermath of the Southall unrest and the over-use of force by the Metropolitan Police Service's Special Patrol Group in 1979, was also released as a single but didn't make the UK chart.
The cover picture by artist John H. Howard shows the members of the group (from left to right: Malcolm Owen, Paul Fox, Dave Ruffy and Segs - who is perusing a copy of Exchange & Mart) seated on a large sofa, around them are some of their contemporaries such as Rat Scabies and Captain Sensible of The Damned (top right corner), Jimmy Pursey of Sham 69 (bottom right), while Peter Cook and Dudley Moore are standing behind Malcolm, John Peel appears to be doing something to a schoolgirl (in uniform) with a bar of chocolate on the left hand side, Jimi Hendrix looks on from the right, the wives and girlfriends of the band members appear in various poses, as does the band's roadie Mannah (seen from the back) who assisted in writing the song "S.U.S" which deals with the vagrancy act, widely used by London's Metropolitan Police Service in the late 1970s. The astronomer Patrick Moore looks on somewhat disapprovingly from the left.
The album sleeve contains a dedication to Jimmy O'Neal, one of the organizers of the Deeply Vale Free Festival, where the band had their beginnings.