Scritti Politti - Part 2 - Green light to stardom

Green Gartside became influenced by new sounds from New York like hip hop en moved to New York in 1982. He disbanded the old band lineup and colloborated with producer Arif Mardin.

Wood Beez - 12"single cover

Keyboard player David Gamson studied music around 1981 at the Sarah Lawrence College in New York. There he met Fred Maher who played drums in the experimental NY band Material. Gamson's classmate was Maher's girlfriend so that's how they knew each other. They both recorded a demo covering the song "Sugar, Sugar" from the Archies. They were contracted by the Rough Trade label from the UK that released their most succesful album release so far by Scritti Politti. In the US it was distributed by Atlantic Records. The single "Sugar, Sugar" was released as a solo single for David Gamson. Another single was released titled "No Turn On Red" on ZE Records that was included in the NME JiveWire compilation cassette along with Scritti Politti's "Asylums In Jerusalem". As a result of this cassette David, Fred and Green Gartside became aware of each other. In 1982 Geoff Travis introduced David to Green. David helped Green to arrange "Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin)" and in return Green wrote lyrics for David's "Small Talk" and "L Is For Lover". 

Scritti Politti in 1985

They decided to transform their collaboration into a new reincarnation of Scritti Politti together with Fred Maher in 1983. They recorded "Small Talk" and "L Is For Lover" produced by Nile Rodgers. Green was negotiating with Virgin Records for a new record deal and due to a legal battle between Rough Trade Records and Virgin Records the 2 tracks remain unreleased. 

Absolute - 7" and 12" single cover

They recorded 3 songs for the new album. "Woodbeez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin)" that reached #10 in the UK, "Absolute" that reached #10 in the Netherlands and "Hypnotize" that were all released as a single. The rest of the tracks for the new album were produced by Green, David and Fred themselves in London. After the success of "The Word Girl" in the UK reaching #6 and #18 in the Netherlands they released their new album titled "Cupid & Psyche 85". Another single "Perfect Way" would become their biggest hit from the album in the US reaching #11. In the video's of "Woodbeez" and "Absolute" David and Fred were not present and replaced by stand-ins. In the video of "Hypnotize" all 3 band members appeared for the first time together.

The Word Girl - 7"single cover

David also wrote and produced songs for other people during this time together with Fred he made "When It's Over" for Adele Bertei with guest vocals by Green. In 1986 he did "Love Of A Lifetime" for Chaka Khan together with Green who again did vocals. Finally in 1986 they gave their unreleased "L Is For Lover" to Al Jarreau. These songs all had the scritti politti sound all over.

Scritti Politti in 1988

After a promotional tour for the album "Cupid & Psyche 85" they started working on their next album "Provision". In the meantime David wrote 2 songs for Luther Vandross: "Come Back" and "I Know You Want To" released on the album "Any Love" by Luther. David had a big influence on the new Scritti Politti album that was finally released in 1988. David became very ill and exhausted after the album was released and sadly the relationship between the band members came to an end. They didn't talk to each other for 10 years after the release of the album. They didn't perform live to promote the album. Mainly to the earlier discussed (Scritti Politti part 1) strage fright of Green and the fact David never wanted to be part of a band or even perform live. During the first video for "Ooh Patti (Don't Feel Sorry For Loverboy)" they appeared together but for later video's of the album David and Fred remained absent.

Ooh Patti - single cover

There were many collaborations on the album with Roger Troutman known for his "I Want to Be Your Man" from 1987, bassist Marcus Miller and trumpeter Miles Davis.

David would become a producer for Warner Brothers Records. He produced albums for Roger Troutman's "Bridging The Gap" in 1991 and Donny Osmond’s 1990 comeback album "Eyes Don't Lie" for example. He also planned to produce the album "Dare You To Love Me" by Chaka Khan but that album remained unreleased. He produced songs for Chaka Khan, Sheila E, George Benson and many more.

Fred continued as studio drummer and producer. He produced Lou Reed's comeback album "New York" from 1989 and Information Society's self-titled album from 1988 for example.

Green released some singles as Scritti Politti in 1991 which were covers. First the Beatles song "She's A Woman" with Shabba Ranks which was the final hit for Scritti Politti reaching #20 in the UK. Then the Gladys Knight song "Take Me in Your Arms And Love Me" with Sweetie Irie and finally Stevie Wonder's "I Don't Know Why I Love You" with B.E.F. (Heaven 17). Then Green retired in Wales for many years to return in 1999 as Scritti Politti which became a solo act from then on. Releasing an album with rappers titled "Anomie & Bonhomie" and in 2006 with the album "White Bread Black Beer". Still with the well known Scritti Politti sound surviving. Both these album are very good.

Original album cover

Cupid & Psyche 85 (1985)
The Word Girl / Small Talk / Absolute / A Little Knowledge / Don't Work That Hard / Perfect Way / Lover to Fall / Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin) / Hypnotize

Orginal album cover
Provision (1988)
Boom! There She Was / Overnite / First Boy in This Town (Lovesick) / All That We Are / Best Thing Ever / Oh Patti (Don't Feel Sorry for Loverboy) / Bam Salute / Sugar and Spice / Philosophy Now
David Gamson - Sugar sugar

Absolute - Promo video

The Word Girl - Promo video
Adele Bertei - When it's over


Ooh Patti - Promo video

She's A Woman (with Shabba Ranks) - Promo video

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