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4.1 out of 5 stars30
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 6 March 2011
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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on 9 March 2011
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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on 28 February 2011
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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on 1 May 2016
Marvellous collection of Greens work .

Such variety in the songs chosen here which gives anyone a good starting point to seek out more Scritti loveliness

Shame nothing off White Bread Black Beer made it on here but that criticism aside this is a fine compilation
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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 school. I was hooked. The debut album (Songs To Remember) is one of my all-time most played. It is a perfect pop/soul album and I used to sing the songs from it to giggling girls on the bus home. 3 of those songs make it on here: JD, Asylums in Jerusalem & The "Sweetest" Girl. The seemingly long wait to Cupid & Psyche (long? what was I thinking?) saw Scritti morph into a glossy pop machine. I loved it and loathed it at the same time! With hindsight that album is a work of genius, an unstoppable finely tuned masterpiece. However as a student and into The Smiths, it was a bit too shiny for me at the time. You get 5 from that album. Provision was the slightly "will this do" follow up. Oh Patti was a gorgeous lead-off single, and BOOM There She Was is great fun, but the rest of the album paled a little next to C&P.
During the 90s me & Scritti had a trial separation. The singles released (of which She's A Woman appears on this) were not for me. However at the end of the decade came Anomie & Bonhomie. That album has 4 tracks on here. It was a strange album - alternating Hip Hop and ballads with the odd rocky song thrown in. It is also an album that over the years I have loved more fervently. The tracks on here represent the finest on the album with Brushed With Oil possibly my favourite of all Green's songs.
Then... White Bread, Black Beer. briliant but unrepresented on here.
Then... some new songs with David Gamson, exclusive to this album. They are both terrific. Can I stop playing Day Late & A Dollar Short? No.

I don't think Green, as others reviewing this album do, deserves a double CD retrospective yet. We should be able to condense 5 albums onto one best of - the idea is to titillate & encourage further investigation not to repackage the most famous album with a bit of the rest of a career. Which is why I find it mystifying that:

(a) Over half of Cupid & Psyche is on here
(b) None of Black Bread White Beer is on here
(c) Skank Bloc Bologna is on here

The latter is a curio from the time before "Green Went Pop!" But it belongs on the other Scritti compilation of independent releases "Early". Not on here.

Finally the running order is just wrong. Its a dislocated chronological order. Like a cut and paste gone wrong.

The music is faultless throughout however. Even SBB.
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on 2 March 2011
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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on 10 April 2016
This is an excellent compilation of material from four Scritti Politti albums together with a selection of stand alone singles. The sublime synth-soul of 'Cupid and Psyche '85' and 'Provision' still sounds timeless while the transitional post-punk pop of 'Songs to Remember' is also impressive. I was never a big fan of the hip-hop influenced 'Anhomie and Bonhomie', however, which I found to be a bit uninspired. Also included here is the Shabba Ranks collaboration 'She's a Woman' which is pleasant enough and two songs from 2011 which show Green utilizing contemporary production techniques to stunning effect.
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on 5 January 2015
When the definitive history of 80s pop is written, surely there will be place for Scritti Polliti in the pantheon of the greats
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on 7 March 2011
Presumably Green had some input into the compilation, but as the earlier 4 reviews have hinted, this is not quite the compilation it could have been.

I expect that if it had purely been singles then it would have exceeded 80 minutes of one disc, and if compiling a 'best of' Scritti, then 160 minutes of music would have been a stretch (there are only 6 full length albums to select from).

Frustratingly, as it is biased towards the hit singles, the one most obvious omission is 'Absolute' - the version on this disc is the remastered ALBUM track not the single version (the single is 3.53 long - I tried a vinyl to digital transfer a long time ago). Presumably the single version has been lost in Virgin's archives. Also, the various non-album singles could have been here (presumably those tapes are lost too?) except the ghastly cover version 'She's A Woman' which has dated very badly.

Enough of the negativity - this is still a wonderful collection of many of the highlights of Green's writing, from the punky-reggae collision to the smooth pop and cerebral 1980's, to the logical progession of rap for the Anomie album, and two new tracks finding Green's higher register maturing into a soothing near-crooner voice. Sadly no contributions from White Bread Black Beer though.
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on 8 March 2011
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 their music is superb. This compilation is, I think, a fair slice of the best of their music - OK a few notable tracks are missing as some other reviewers have pointed out - particularly a couple of the best offerings from 'Provision', but the stand out tracks are all included here. The two new songs are both top notch - particularly 'A Day Late and a Dollar Short' - Green, if you are reading this, record some more tracks with Dave Gamson - you know it makes sense!!...and for anyone who is not familiar with Scritti Politti, but enjoys beautiful, soulful pop music: give this album a whirl - I think you'll be in for a pleasant surprise....
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