||Scritti Politti History
1978 - 82
Green relocates to New York and stays with David Gamson. They record David's song
'Small Talk' which has Green's vocals on it. Fred Maher is also involved and the song is produced by Nile Rodgers of Chic. It is originally intended to be put out as David's single but they decide to put it out as a Scritti single as Scritti have more of a following. Unfortunately it coincides with Green leaving Rough Trade, so it never gets released. Another song written at the time,
'L Is For Lover' is also caught up in the label change.
Being in New York, Green is now heavily influenced by New York's hip hop, soul and electro-boogie scene. He begins to formulate the new Scritti. Impressed by Arif Mardin's work on Chaka Khan's 'We Can Work It Out', Green decides that he'd like Arif Mardin to produce some of his new songs. Green sends him demos and Arif is impressed. Coincidentally Arif is the producer of some of the early big US R'n'B and soul artists like Aretha Franklin.
Green signs to Virgin records who give him an advance of $500,000 to cover the recording of the first three singles,
'Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin)', 'Absolute' and 'Hypnotize'. He works on the new singles with new band members David Gamson and Fred Maher. Arif Mardin takes a hands-off production role; all the arrangements remain intact from Green's demos. Steve Ferrone is used to do the drumming on 'Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin)' and 'Absolute'.
Green's mother and step-father move to Spain. Green (27) rents a flat in Islington, London and stays at David Gamson's house when in the US. David and Fred still live at home in New York, with their parents.
April - 'Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin)' is released as a single by Virgin. It becomes Scritti's first top 40 entry into the UK singles charts at UK#10. It also becomes popular in the US dance scene but can only manage US#91 in the main chart. It features ex-Miles Davis bassist, Marcus Miller.
Green got the idea for the song from Dave and Ansell Collins' 'Double Barrel' (UK#1 and US#8 in March 1971) which begins with
"W... o... o... o...". Green combined this with his admiration for Aretha Franklin.
The cover of the single is co-designed by Keith Breedan of Design KB, who will go on to co-design all of the other Scritti record covers. Keith Breedan has designed record covers for many other artists, including ABC's 'How To Be A Zillionaire' album and singles.
July - 'Absolute' is released as a single by Virgin. It follows the success of 'Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin)' and makes UK#17.
The Scritti fan club, called the Scritti Crush Crew, is started.
During the year, Green is asked to do a modelling assignment for Italian Vogue magazine, which he does.
November - 'Hypnotize' is released as a single by Virgin. A popular favourite among Scritti fans, it sadly peaks very short of the top 40 at UK#68.
April - David and Fred move from New York into a rented flat in London.
May - 'The Word Girl' is released as a single by Virgin. Its slow reggae-tinged rhythm proves a winning formula and gives Scritti their highest ever UK singles chart hit at UK#6. 'The Word Girl' was the last recorded track for the album and had the least amount of time spent on it. The idea for the song came from Green's discovery at the regularity with which he used the word "girl" in his lyrics.
The single is backed with 'Flesh And Blood' which is an instrumental of 'The Word Girl' with a rap over it by militant rapper Ranking Ann. Green had previously heard Ranking Ann's two albums and thought that she might like the sentiments of the song. Ranking Ann wrote the rap and they recorded it in April.
Scritti appear on Top Of The Pops due to the success of 'The Word Girl' but this unfortunately coincides with Green having a really bad bout of 'flu', and he has to have painful intra-muscular vitamin injections to get him through the performance.
June - Scritti's second album 'Cupid & Psyche 85' is released by Virgin. It secures Scritti's highest UK album chart placing at UK#5 and makes US#50 in the US album charts. It has taken 18 months to complete and has cost a lot of money due to the amount of studio time used (one of the studios used was the Power Station at $350 an hour!). They used the expensive Fairlight music computer (popular at that time) for sampling, and David and Fred contributed as much as Green on the album. The version of 'Small Talk' on the album is a remake of the version they recorded back in 1983 with Nile Rodgers.
July - Scritti complete an extensive round-the-World promotional trip that includes Japan, Australia and the US, doing interviews and TV appearances at various steps along the way. In Japan, they do 40 interviews and 40 photo sessions in just 6 days, including TV shows Funky Tomato and Telegio 7.
Afterwards, Green holidays in Barbados (his third time in the Caribbean) while Dave and Fred return to New York to recover after six months away from home.
The first issue of the Scritti Crush Crew magazine is produced. It is edited by Geoff Parkyn and designed by Keith Breedan.
July / August - Scritti set aside eight weeks to rehearse for a month's tour of Eire and the UK in September. The dates and venues are set but after ten days of rehearsal, the band decide that eight weeks rehearsal would not be long enough as they plan to play totally live, with session musicians. Any plans for future live performances vanish as Scritti realise that their studio-based method of making music would not translate to or benefit from live performance.
August - Scritti start to remix the drum sounds on 'Lover To Fall' for release as a single. Part way through they decide to release
'Perfect Way' instead.
September - 'Perfect Way' is released by Virgin as a single. It just misses the UK singles chart top 40, peaking at UK#48, but strangely gives Scritti their first US singles chart smash by reaching US#11.
October - Green is in the process of writing a new Scritti song.
He is also finishing writing a song for Chaka Khan, called 'Love Of A Lifetime'. It is the first he's written for somebody else, and he will sing on it with Chaka and co-produce it. Chaka had contacted Green and asked him to do it. They have met previously and Chaka likes the Scritti stuff very much.
The second, and sadly last, issue of the Scritti Crush Crew magazine is produced.
November - Scritti are recording a new song in Minot Studios in White Plains, New York. It is untitled at the time, and is 122 beats per minute. It is intended for release in the new year but never materialises (it is possibly one of the songs that will appear later, on the third album).
In retrospect, the unreleased Scritti song and the Chaka Khan single may be the same song.
January - Green records and co-produces Chaka Khan's 'Love Of A Lifetime' with David Gamson.
February - Madness release their cover version of 'The Sweetest Girl' as a single. It makes UK#35.
Scritti start working on their third album.
July - 'Love Of A Lifetime' is released as a single and reaches UK#52 and US#53.
September - Al Jarreau releases his cover version of 'L Is For Lover' as a single, which doesn't chart. The song was originally written but Green and David back in 1983 but was never released.
October - Miles Davis releases his album 'Tutu' which features his cover version of 'Perfect Way'. The album makes UK#74.
December - The 'Scritti Politti' video collection is released by Virgin. It features all of the videos for the five 'Cupid & Psyche 85' singles and an additional US version of the 'Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin)' video.
Scritti spend the year in various studios working on their third album. They record improvised performances from Miles Davis, for 'Oh Patti (Don't Feel Sorry For Loverboy)', and Zapp's Roger Troutman, who plays his own voice box-treated synthesizer (similar in sound to a vocoder) for 'Boom! There She Was' and 'Sugar And Spice'.
Green travels between the UK and the US a lot which will eventually wear him out by the end of 1988.
August - The film soundtrack album for Madonna's film 'Who's That Girl' is released and makes UK#4 in the UK album chart. It includes a new Scritti track called
'Best Thing Ever' which will appear later on the third Scritti album.
By now, Green (31) doesn't listens to his records, watch his videos or watch himself on TV, and refuses to let success go to his head. He no longer reads the music papers and dislikes going to gigs. He does, however, still love buying and playing pop music.
Partisan Management still have an office in Soho, London.
February - Green's mother and step-father move back to Wales. After vowing to finally settle, they move again after just three months!
March - Green takes part in the annual Montreux pop festival in Switzerland.
April - 'Oh Patti (Don't Feel Sorry For Loverboy)' is released as a single by Virgin. It is a wonderful slow song which Green describes as being about "the end of a relationship, and faith of knowing the truth about the world". It features jazz legend Miles Davis on trumpet, who covered 'Perfect Way' on his album 'Tutu', back in 1986.
May - 'Oh Patti (Don't Feel Sorry For Loverboy)' climbs the UK chart, reaching UK#13.
June - Green goes to Holland to promote 'Oh Patti (Don't Feel Sorry For Loverboy)'.
Scritti's third album, 'Provision' is released by Virgin in the UK and Warner Bros in the US. It achieves UK#8 and US#113 album chart placings respectively. The album has taken over two years. This long period in time is due to changes in studio technology (they are now using a Synclavier for sampling and playing back drum samples and rhythms), and Scritti's method of working, which means that they go straight into the studio without rehearsing anything previously. Like 'Cupid & Psyche 85', the recording costs are very high. David Gamson feels that 'Provision' has better vocals and arrangements than its predecessor.
July - 'First Boy In This Town (Lovesick)' is released as a single (in the UK only) by Virgin. It fails to benefit in any way from the success of 'Oh Patti (Don't Feel Sorry For Loverboy)', managing only to reach UK#63. The B-side features a very good unreleased Scritti song called
'World Come Back To Life'.
August - 'Boom! There She Was' is released as a single by Warner Bros in the US. Scritti feel it to be more suitable for the US market than 'First Boy In This Town (Lovesick)'. The single manages US#53. The B-side features 'World Come Back To Life'.
Green is still subletting fully-furnished apartments in Manhattan, and renting places in London.
November - 'Boom! There She Was' is released as a single by Virgin in the UK. Despite its good reception (even making Smash Hit's single of the week), it fails to break the top 40 at Uk#55, almost mirroring its US chart placing. The B-side features album track 'Philosophy Now'.
End of the year - Green gets irritated and ill with all the promotion involved with promoting his singles. He takes down all his music gear and retreats to South Wales, checking into a hospital with 'exhaustion'. He has demoed a good album's worth of new material.
He gives only a handful of trusted friends a forwarding address, making sure that his record company (Virgin) don't know where he is.
David and Fred drift on to other music projects, mainly producing. Scritti becomes just Green.
1989 - 1998