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Absolute [CD]

Scritti Politti Audio CD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Price: £7.56 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Frequently Bought Together

Absolute + White Bread, Black Beer + Songs To Remember
Price For All Three: £21.15

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Product details

  • Audio CD (28 Feb 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B003A7I4YO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,201 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin) (7" Version) 3:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Absolute 4:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. The Word Girl (Flesh And Blood) (Edit) 3:19£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Perfect Way 4:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Hypnotize (Short Version) 3:34£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Oh Patti (Don't Feel Sorry for Loverboy) 4:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Boom! There She Was (US Mix) 4:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Umm 4:13£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Tinseltown To The Boogiedown (Radio Edit) 4:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Die Alone 4:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Brushed With Oil, Dusted With Powder 5:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Skank Bloc Bologna 5:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. The Sweetest Girl (2001 Digital Remaster) 6:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Asylums In Jerusalem (2001 Digital Remaster) 3:15£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Jacques Derrida (2001 Digital Remaster) 5:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. She's A Woman (Little Way Different 7") 3:28£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. A Day Late And A Dollar Short 3:14£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. A Place We Both Belong 3:10£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

BBC Review

As Green Gartside enjoys another lengthy hiatus between albums, this first career-spanning retrospective in Scritti Politti’s 34-year stint plugs a gap, picking tracks from those sparse decades and throwing in a couple of new ones to sweeten the deal. And Scritti were always about sugaring the pill; candy-cute vocals and light-as-air pop-funk arrangements did a great job of smuggling big ideas and smart wordplay into the charts, at least in the mid-80s. But Gartside could never stick around long enough to keep any momentum going.

Unlike Scritti’s own career, Absolute starts with the hits. Five in a row from second album Cupid & Psyche 85, beginning with the fizzing, punning Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin), through the sly lovers rock of The Word Girl and onto US top 10 smash Perfect Way. These are startling examples of immaculate, state-of-the-art 80s pop, produced by soul backroom legend Arif Mardin and honed to perfection by Gartside and then-colleagues David Gamson and Fred Maher, and they opened doors that the Camden squat collective of eight years earlier couldn’t have hoped to barge.

With Mardin’s approval and Gartside’s timing, Scritti found acceptance with the sort of R&B legends they were hoping to ape, leading to writing songs for Chaka Khan and the extraordinary domino effect of having Miles Davis first cover one of their numbers and then guest on one. That song is Oh Patti (Don’t Feel Sorry for Loverboy), a marriage of soft jazz and blue-eyed soul that followed Cupid & Psyche then and here, the first song off 1988’s troubled Provision. Gartside had made outlandish leaps, but recognition was too much for him and he shrank from it, holing himself up in his native Wales for the next decade or so.

Absolute’s odd sequencing jumps straight to his re-emergence in 1999 with the hip hop/delicate pop-soul hybrid of Anomie & Bonhomie, here represented by four tracks that have aged far better than low-key approval at the time might have suggested. It’s strange too that it should have greater presence than 1982’s Songs to Remember, which makes do with three tracks, including the deathless, Robert Wyatt-assisted dub-pop of The ‘Sweetest Girl’ and signature Scritti tune Jacques Derrida, finding romance in philosophical tract.

Absolute has extras to offer the completists, including meaty sleeve-notes from pop scholar Simon Reynolds, who’d already lovingly chronicled Scritti’s formative years in his Rip It Up And Start Again. Two new tracks are worked up with classic-period partner David Gamson: A Place We Both Belong and Day Late and a Dollar Short are a lush ballad and spry funk bounce respectively, and ample proof there’s life in the impossibly youthful old dog yet. As he averages seven years between albums, you should grab any Gartside you can get.

--Matthew Horton

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CD Description

Absolute is the first ever, career-spanning collection of works and music by Scritti Politti – including two new and exclusive tracks. This collection includes tracks from all four albums, Songs to Remember, Cupid & Psyche, Provision, and Anomie and Bonhomie.

The two new, exclusive tracks are “A Day Late and a Dollar Short” and “A Place We Both Belong” – the first to be released/co-written with long-time collaborator, David Gamson, since Anomie and Bonhomie.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Fans like myself have been waiting for a compilation for years and when it finally arrives it's such an anti-climax.

To it's credit it includes the 7" versions of the Cupid and Psyche 85 singles and two 'new' tracks but overall it's a wasted opportunity.

Surely the main group that would buy a Scritti Politti compilation would be fans so to limit it to one CD to lower it's cost is a redundant argument since the fan would fork out much more to get what they really want which is all singles including even the 'early' ones. A large chunk of 'early' stuff, the beautiful 'Faithless', the poptastic 'First Boy In This Town (Lovesick), 'Take Me In Your Arms And Love Me' and 'The Boom Boom Bap' or anything else from the Mercury Music Prize nominated 'White Bread, Black Beer' for that matter are omitted. Perhaps Rough Trade or Virgin didn't want to put any from the last album on it for financial reasons. Lastly, perhaps it would have been best to leave 'Skank Bloc Bologna' off completely because it sticks out like a sore limb let alone a thumb!

The genius that is Green Gartside deserves a 2CD compilation.

Not very well put together.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Paradigm Shift 9 Mar 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It's not a 'Greatest Hits' nor a 'Best Of''s 'A Collection Of The Words & Music Of Scritti Politti.'

What's good is getting the 7" versions of the 'Cupid & Psyche '85' hits and it makes sense to start the album with these. What is not so good is the way it unfolds from then on. Not including 'First Boy...' from 'Provision' is ridiculous. Not including the stand alone 1991 single 'Take Me In Your Arms' is a mistake. Bothering with the diabolical 'Skank Bloc Bologna' does nothing more than show how important it is for artists to be given the chance to develop. The inclusion of 'Umm' & 'Die Alone' from the 'A & B' album and 'Jacques Derrida' from 'Songs To Remember' is a waste of CD space that could have been better utilized by some 'White Bread, Black Beer.' As for the two 'new' (2007) tracks, 'A Day Late And A Dollar Short' is a worthy addition while 'A Place We Both Belong' is pleasant but unremarkable.

Obviously this is a Virgin Records-only release and no deal was struck with Rough Trade to include songs from White Bread, Black Beer (my assumption) even though Songs To Remember was originally a Rough Trade release (now through Virgin) and such a deal could have resulted in added sales for Rough Trade.

Why not a thicker booklet with a photo montage really taking us down memory lane?

Why no liner notes from Green?

Why not an accompanying DVD of the videos?

The answer/s? Virgin Records "don't work that hard, not for love..." and so we Scritti fans are left "drowning in (our) teardrops."
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
As a lifelong Scritti Politti fan I've been waiting for this collection to be released and here it is. Almost a full career retrospective - a few highlights missing - but all of the commercial highlights are here.
Starting with the singles from Cupid & Psyche 85, the nice thing is that they are presented as the single versions which is great as I know all Scritti fans know the album versions backwards!
Provision's singles are up next although First Boy In This Town is not here for some reason which is a bit of a shame as it's one of my personal favourites.
Then we are served up several tracks from 1999's Anomie and Bonhomie, two of which were never singles (Die Alone and Brushed With Oil) but still sound great.
Next up are the early singles from Songs to Remember followed by the duet with Shabba Ranks (She's A Woman) and finally the two new tracks. Day Late & A Dollar Short is very current but also at the same time very reminiscent of a Cupid & Psyche era Scritti track. A Place We Both Belong is more mellow but still a welcome addition.
Overall the album demonstrates the versatility of Green Gartside and remind us of what an under appreciated genius he is/was.

My one criticism is a few gems were omitted: First Boy In This Town, Take Me In Your Arms And Love Me and I Don't Know Why I Love You.

Buy the album and search for the other tracks!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice but shame no DVD 14 April 2011
Format:Audio CD
Scritti Politti made some great songs. Having finally getting a greatest hits it's a shame they didnt decide to place a DVD with their videos with the CD. Would have let true fans see videos that are maybe hard to find.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The track running order looked a little odd, and when you hear it this is proven to be the case. It probably would have been better if "Skank" era had been left well alone, as these two indie 7" EPs sit perfectly on "Early", and not on an album including Green's polished pop moments from "Cupid". The liner notes are not by Green, although they are well conceived, and the 'booklet' is a little thin (one double-page just includes a close up of the cover shot, there being no pics of Green through the ages in sight - bit odd for a 'best of').
I am also disappointed they did not include "Boom Boom Bap" from his 2006 comeback, as that is a real corker, or the classic "Faithless", but resorted to too many tracks from "BonHomie" for my taste.

Finally "Perfect Way" seems very loud compared to its surroundings, as if the compiler hadn't listened to the full album.

That all seems very negative, but I guess you can reprogram the tracks chronologically if you want (with or without "Skank"), and none of this really detracts from the brilliance of the man when on form! Hence 4 stars.

I really hope Green does some more albums, whether more poppy (like the two newer 'demo' tracks with David from 2007) or acoustic like his last album, as he still knows how to write and sing a good toon.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Summers in Richmond
Reliving the 80's again in Richmond
Published 2 months ago by Mike
4.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute collection of the best
A great collection of theirs song on here. Several upto date ones I haven't heard of before. They've still got a great sound. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Justin D. Rumsby
3.0 out of 5 stars Scritti Politti - a sort of Best of CD album
Culled from five original studio albums this is a comprehensive retrospective album containing the best tracks from all albums the finest being the first album with most of the hit... Read more
Published 23 months ago by a.m.hardwick
4.0 out of 5 stars An Oddly Incomplete Trip to Scritti Land
I was first turned on to Scritti not by Peel or Jensen (that would have been too cool), rather by Peter Powell who played Jacques Derrida one afternoon after I had got back from... Read more
Published on 22 Mar 2012 by robotfish
5.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotizing!
Great career-spanning collection of the cleverest lyrics and catchiest tunes since Roxy Music's first Greatest Hits collection. Read more
Published on 19 Dec 2011 by Carl Hubbard
3.0 out of 5 stars Ouch My Ears !!
Firstly, you can't fault the songs.

An uneven tracklisting is frankly bizarre including notable omissions & it's running order is all over the place. Read more
Published on 5 Dec 2011 by Paul Chapman
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to the 80's
The album is fab, the hits sound as good as when they came out and the ones I didn't know I've easily warmed too, great album, great bargain.
Published on 23 July 2011 by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Could do better
I agree with several of the other reviews. Whilst I love every track here, the album makes no sense without any contributions from White Bread, Black Beer. Read more
Published on 8 Jun 2011 by Mr. William B. Lavin
3.0 out of 5 stars Arrgh! 80's
This is a very subjective review by someone who thought sequencers were very clever when they were a new thing but then went,
'too much plinky plonky plastic man, my ears- my... Read more
Published on 14 April 2011 by Captain Nemo
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Overdue!
Listening to this album reminds me why I always seem to come back to old Scritti Politti stuff more than most other bands who have been around for similar timespans: the quality of... Read more
Published on 8 Mar 2011 by Jackster
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