The Crack

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The Crack
Ruts - The Crack CD album cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 29, 1979
StudioThe Town House, London
GenrePunk rock
ProducerMick Glossop & The Ruts, Bob Sargeant
The Ruts chronology
The Crack
Grin & Bear It
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Q4/5 stars[2]

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).[4] 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.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by The Ruts (Paul Fox, Malcolm Owen, Dave Ruffy, John Jennings); except where indicated.

1."Babylon's Burning" 2:35
2."Dope for Guns" 2:11
3."S.U.S."The Ruts, Richard Mannah3:49
4."Something That I Said" 3:53
5."You're Just A…" 2:55
6."It Was Cold" 6:48
7."Savage Circle" 3:05
8."Jah War" 6:55
9."Criminal Mind" 1:34
10."Backbiter" 3:02
11."Out of Order" 1:50
12."Human Punk" (live at The Marquee, London, 19 July 1979) 4:34
CD bonus tracks
13."Give Youth a Chance" (B-side of "Something That I Said"; produced by Bob Sargeant)3:07
14."I Ain't Sofisticated" (B-side of "Jah War")2:16
15."The Crack" (B-side of "West One (Shine On Me)")5:49


The Ruts
  • Malcolm Owen - vocals
  • Paul Fox - guitar, backing vocals; occasional organ on "Jah War"
  • John "Segs" Jennings - bass guitar, backing vocals; piano ("stanking Steinway") on "Jah War"
  • Dave Ruffy - drums, percussion, backing vocals


  • Richard Mannah - backing vocals on "S.U.S" and "Criminal Mind"
  • Bertie, Pocky, Rocky - backing vocals on "Jah War"
  • Mick Glossop - synthesizer effects on "It Was Cold"
  • Gary Barnacle - saxophone
  • Luke Tunney - trumpet
  • Mick Glossop - producer, engineer, mixing
  • The Ruts - cover concept
  • John H. Howard - front cover painting

Audio sample[edit]


  1. ^ Greene, Jo-Ann. "The Crack – Ruts". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  2. ^ "The Ruts: The Crack". Q (190): 140. May 2002.
  3. ^ Watts, Peter (February 2019). "Punk Debuts". Uncut (261): 45.
  4. ^ "Ruts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 October 2011.