22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
'Early' Scritti Politti,
This review is from: Early (Audio CD)
This release is so long overdue. Scritti Politti, to me, encompass everything that was right and good about 'post-punk' in the UK at the time - the DIY ethic, exemplified by the hand-stamped labels on the first Peel session release, and the detailed sleeve notes regarding the 'means of production'. A fine and unique voice has Mr Gartside, and also a genius for improvised tunes, and innovative production tricks on a shoestring. I love this band like no other, and I glory in their intelligence and musical ability.
This scratchy, intense yet spare music, nodding at dub reggae, nodding at punk at such a tangent...is so fragile, yet it holds together. Lyrically dense, and of course dealing with Marxist themes, related to late '70s Britain - just listen to 'Hegemony'- music, voice, words melded in a unique and intoxicating melange of sonic brilliance. This 'early' Scritti are nothing like the intelligent and uber-slick pure-and-perfect-pop of later Scritti, and all the better for that.
I own all the songs included here on the original vinyl, they are rare apparently, so it's a shame it seems to me that Rough Trade couldn't source and include the second Peel session which featured 'The Humours of Spitalfields', 'Knowledge and Interest', a different version of 'Doubt Beat' (as featured on the 4 'A' sides ep) and '5.12.78' a new version of the instrumental featured on the Skank Bloc Bologna ep. It would have completed the collection. I wonder if this second session was ever released?