|Released 1986||Producer Dolf Planteijdt.|
|Recorded Emma's Koeienverhuurbedrijf, Amsterdam, Netherlands|
Genre Anarcho punk Post-punk Spanish folk music
Label Ex Records Ron Johnson Records AK Press
Aural Guerrilla (1988) Too Many Cowboys (1989)
1936, The Spanish Revolution is an album of songs and archival photographs related to the Spanish Civil War, recorded and assembled by Dutch anarchist punk band The Ex. The band released it in 1986, the 50th anniversary of the Spanish Revolution, on their own label as a square 7" (17.5cm) soft-cover book with two 45 rpm records. A 5" (12.5cm) hardcover edition was republished by AK press in 1997, replacing the records with a pair of 3" CDs.
Background and book
In 1936 two Spanish anarchist trade unions, the CNT and the FAI, waged war against Francisco Franco's nationalist troops siding with the legitimate republican government, until Franco defeated the republican army in 1939 with the help of German and Italian troops. With further involvement from the Soviet Union, France, Mexico and Portugal, the conflict is widely regarded as the first battle of World War II. In wanting to highlight the original values and spirit of the revolution rather than the conflict and eventual defeat of anarchist forces, The Ex compiled 144 pages of previously unpublished photographs taken by journalists aligned with the revolutionary forces, along with several short essays about the revolution. Text appears in both English and Spanish.
For the double-single, The Ex recorded two Spanish language songs with music and lyrics originally sung by 1930s Spanish revolutionary forces and supporters. On the flip side of each single was an English langiuage song about the revolution. The 1997 CD reissue split the songs up similarly as 2 mini-CDs.
- "They Shall Not Pass"
- "El Tren Blindado"
- "Ay Carmela"
- "People Again"
1936 was the first of The Ex's releases to gain some notoriety outside of the Netherlands, selling enough copies to reach No. 6 on the UK Indie Chart. AllMusic called the book a "powerful and enlightening visual document that casts a fresh light on a major historical event little understood in the United States," and said that The Ex's music "find them inviting the spirit of the revolution as if it occurred five minutes ago, not 50 years past."