Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Gift Of Schizo

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


This month marks the 20th anniversary of the release of one my all time favorite '80s albums - Scritti Politti's Cupid & Psyche 85. To celebrate it's birthday the next couple of days' posts here are all going to be Scritti-centric. The arrival of the LP was announced by it's first single Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin). I was a fan of the band at the time, having bought all of their singles to this point. When I first heard this record it floored me. It was such a radical reinvention of the the band's trademark sound - from rough and scruffy to tight precision. Gone were the post-punky flavors, replaced by slick New York City electro-funk riffs played by session musicians. From DIY to Arif Mardin so to speak. Instead of the politics of politics, it was all about the politics of the heart. Green has a remarkable lyrical ability - writing lines like "There's nothing I wouldn't take, Oh, even intravenous. There's nothing I wouldn't take To get to be approved. There's nothing I wouldn't be Oh that's the gift of schizo. There's nothing that's new to me I've seen it all before now sugar." - they sounded like nothing else to me at the time. I played this record to death then, and I still love it today. For your listening pleasure enjoy the 12" B-side remix, Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin) (Version). It's technology sounds a bit dated today (those gated snares are so '80s), but it's gorgeous melody still manages to send shivers down my spine. I love the clipped funkiness and the ka-chang of Paul Jackson Jr.'s guitars, and the super precise drumbeats of Steve Ferrone. As a little bonus I recommend visiting this page over at Scritti Cola - a cool fansite where you can listen to a rough demo recording of this tune - obviously from the Songs To Remember era. It's fascinating to hear how much this tune changed from this to the version that eventually got released!

8 comments:

Jesse a.k.a. The Vicar said...

Once again you've posted gold my friend.

Phil said...

a high point in 80s pop for sure. all those 12"s were never off the turntable at my place.

Anonymous said...

thank you. Scritti and Green were the highlife of my life from like 85 to 88. it was nice to remember why i found them so fascinating in the first place.

miike said...

Havn't heard this stuff in a while.

Check out the SMALL BEDROOM Mixtape Vol.I, it has some killer stuff on it.
-----
SMALL BEDROOM\\MP3 BLOG
http://small-bedroom.blogspot.com
-----

-Miike

Anonymous said...

Green Gartside is ingenuity, emotion, and imagination,(philosophic if not at times cryptic) rolled up in one wonderful man.This album is crystalline..and has a timeless quality to it. His albums are few and far between compared to the usual rut out there...but well worth the wait each time.

ion said...

I think this is the only record (besides Talking Heads' "Speaking In Tongues") that had me buying a copy in all three formats -- vinyl, cassette (for the extended versions) and of course the CD. Yes, it's a great record. Those synths sounds like rainfall from heaven and Green has a voice like no other singer I can think of. Though it sounds nothing like anything I listen to today, I still can't help smiling when I go back and slap it the CD player (I think I finally wore out my cassette!) Looking forward to more of your "Scritti-centric" posts.

erik hogstrom said...

You are so right about Scritti! Top stuff. Green made such perfect pop!

Anonymous said...

mmmm....Summer of 85. Who could forget the lush pop of Lover to Fall, the sublime Word Girl, or the almost street Hypnotize. The album that got me into music seriously - high on style, original in content, an 80's yet timeless classic.