Scritti Politti PhotoFORMED: 1977, Leeds, England

The last person you would expect to have seen fronting an anarchic punk band is Green Gartside, the Welsh wonder more renowned for highly polished pop-luxary that melts in the mouth like candy floss. Born in Cardiff (22 June 1956) Gartside at just fifteen, disatisfied with his comman christian name, decided to pick at random 'Green' after the trees and hills of Wales. Scritti Politti is near Italian for political writing. As a 12 piece, they released several singles/ep's which include: 4 A sides, Works In Progress, Scritlocks Door and Hegamony before launching full length Songs To Remember at the tail end of '82. It landed at No. 12 and spawned three singles; the double a side "Asylums In Jerusalem"/"Jacques Derrida," "Faithless" and the classic "Sweetest Girl" which started a fascination with the female gender in his lyrics and titles e.g. future singles "The Word Girl," "She's A Woman."

A three year gap and a move from indie stalwarts Rough Trade to Virgin resulted in the exquisette Cupid & Psyche '85 proceeded by another classic, Arif Mardin produced "Wood Beez (pray like Aretha Franklin)" the year before. It became Scritti's first top ten single. Recorded in NYC with Fred Maher (Material) and David Gamson, the sound became mainstream pop, disco even. Five singles were culled from Cupid including their biggest hit to date "The Word Girl" A reggae tinged slice of heaven that shone across the airwaves, reaching No.6 in May 1985.

One that failed in the UK, ironically became their only US hit. "Perfect Way" made #11 and was in turn covered by legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis who appeared on "Oh Patti," the first track lifted from their third album Provision(1988)which retained the line-up of Gartside, Maher, Gamson. In-between Gartside & Gamson wrote and produced for a clutch of artists; Al Jarreau, Chaka Khan, Adele Bertei included in the fold. Another three years elapsed and in 1991 Scritti (now down to Green) released 2 ragga influenced singles. One with Shabba Ranks, a cover of The Beatles "She's A Woman," the other with Sweetie Irie on "Take Me In Your Arms & Love Me." Friend Martyn Ware of Heaven 17 was again compiling a set of songs for BEF (British Electric Foundation) 2 and looked for accomplished artists to pair the songs. He settled on Green for "I Don't Know Why I Love You." Sadly without the Scritti monicker it missed the chart completely.

By the time the world heard from Scritti Politti again, it was on the verge of a new millennium. After eight years Green re-immerged with Gamson back on production for his fourth Anomie & Bonhomie. The album got back to guitar base, yet still kept up his interest in soul, featuring many stars from the hip hop music scene. Also guesting in Scritti's 1999 - ex-Prince cohort Wendy Melvoin. Indeed, some of Anomie.. doesn't really sound like Scritti at all; "Here Come July" sounds more like the Lemonheads! And brilliant opener "UMM" somehow fuses trashy guitar wrapped in a soulful swirl. A typical complexity seemingly made simply by Green. When asked in an interview what he had been up to, Gartside replied he got 'a profound sense of well being from his own company and only made the album because he was bored with doing nothing!' With an almost phobic reputation for perfection, rivalled by The Blue Nile, who knows how long it will be before Mr. Gartside graces our ears again, if ever. ~ Kelvin Hayes, All Music Guide