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Cupid & Psyche 85 [VINYL] Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Vinyl (23 July 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Jdc
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 462,758 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Jim B on 27 Nov. 2014
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Can't think why it took me so long to get round to Scritti Politti - this grooves along nicely and bears repeated listening. My vinyl copy is a good clean pressing and the album is well-produced. Enjoyed this enough to look out their other stuff.
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Format: Audio CD
Cupid & Psyche 85 was the more polished succesor to 1982's wonderful Songs to Remember; there's a suitably slick production from Arif Mardin (Arcadia, Thompson Twins)with mixing from Howard Gray (Apollo440). Now a trio of Green, David Gamson & Fred Maher, SP, are supplemented by such musicians as BJ Nelson, Allan Murphy, Simon Climie, Gary Langan, Robert Quine, Steve Ferron etc. What might sound "Very 80s" in terms of production, is rather slick and timeless- as great as peak Prince, Blue Nile's Hats or AR Kane's I (1988).
Green's vocals are even more sublime than on the debut album- particularly on the sublime A Little Knowledge, which has the sweet and sweeter trading vocals of Green & BJ Nelson. There are classic pop singles galore- 1984's Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin), the US hit The Perfect Way (later covered by Miles Davis), the pulsing Hypnotize (not far from 80s Cabaret Voltaire)& of course, The Word Girl (Flesh & Blood). This track was a Top Ten hit in the UK and remains a gorgeous blend of lover's rock and the sweetest pop (the album is bookended by a skanky take entitled Flesh & Blood- which precedes the three alternate versions of Absolute, Wood Beez & Hypnotize). The Word Girl, as 1981's The Sweetest Girl, is one frequently quoted by music journalists- Green keeping his side of the entryist pop of 1981/82 with more Derrida-inflected concepts in his lyrics:"A name the girl outgrew/the girl was never real/she stands for your abuse/the girl is no ideal/It's a word for what you do in a world of broken rules..." (soulful semiotics?)
Cupid & Psyche 85 remains the crowning masterpiece of Scritti Politti's career, 1988's Provision was nice (but more of the same), while 1999's Anomie & Bonhomie drifts off into rap/rock territory (to mostly wonderful effect). C&P85 is one of the great albums of the 1980s, though this brand of perfect pop would become less frequent as time marched on...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 57 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just Shy of Perfect 31 Aug. 2005
By J. Brady - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Mainly because the bulk of this album was programmed with the Fairlight Computer and there are very few "live" instruments, some of these tracks have a slightly dated Eighties sound to them. Having said that, the songwriting overcomes that completely. Especially the lyrics. Thankfully the lyric sheet is inside the cd; it elevates these songs to a much higher level. Written off as "one hit wonders" in the US, Scritti Politti had humble beginings in Leeds, a small town in the UK, where they wrote minimalist tunes with rather bitter and cynical lyrics. A few years later, singer/leader/lyricist Green Gartside abandoned his original bandmates and took Scritti Politti to a much more pop/soul place musically, as well as taking on a more soulful approach to his singing, while managing to maintain much of the bite of his lyrics. A few of the songs that ended up on Cupid and Psyche 85 were released as singles and were big hits in the UK. They ended up on this album, along with a few remixes that were on the cassette. Hypnotize barely dented the US singles charts, but it was Perfect Way that was a hit, on radio and MTV. One of the very few albums I have purchased in all three formats ( LP, Cassette, and now on CD ) this I think is Scritti Politti's best album. The cover is absolutely stunning. (I still have my vinyl copy, embossed raised gold lettering and all.) The rear photo of the piece of raw meat wrapped in gauze with a butterfly sitting on top is a telling metaphor for the music and lyrics inside. The music ranges from reggae to dance to pop to soul. There is one beautiful ballad, A Little Knowledge, which is a duet between Green and the amazing BJ Nelson. Robert Quine, of all people, turns up on one track with a crazy guitar solo which, on the surface, would seem totally out of place. But it works. Just like the perfect balance of computerized sounds against the live drumming and gorgeous vocals. One of the best pop albums in my collection and just shy of absolute perfection. Highly recommended.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Most Underrated Bands Ever! 11 Aug. 2005
By T. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I had been a huge fan of Scritti Politi's ever since they made their way onto the U.S pop music scene back in 1985. I first bought this album on cassette when it was released. I later bought it on vinyl. I've yet to own it on CD (which I plan to purchase soon).

For anyone that has not listened to this album, you are in for a treat. Green Gartside is truly a musical/lyrical genius. His usage of big words and his references to philosophy and psychology will leave you deciphering many of the lyrics, but in my opinion, he's written some of the best love songs ever made. Whether slow, or a danceable tune, this songs are the stuff love songs are made of.

You have to appreciate the quality of this album. The group used the best and most sought-after session musicians of the time. As mentioned by another reviewer, the backup singers are top-notch and were the highest-paid and most-used New York session singers of that era. B.J. Nelson and Tawatha Agee who are found on this album (and Provision) can also be found on the best Albums of Duran Duran and Bryan Ferry during the 80's (B.J. Nelson and Tawatha Agee were the two backup singers on Duran Duran's Arena tour. Drummer Steve Ferrone also became the new drummer for Duran Duran some time after Roger Taylor left the band).

Green's voice, his lyrics (and his beautiful blue eyes) make you fall in love with him and his songs. His songs make you reflect on the pain of love lost, they make you want to fall in love, they make you want to hold on to the love you've got, they make you want to make love. ;-) When you listen these songs, you can feel the emotion behind the words.

I love the whole album, but my favorite songs are:

Perfect Way (A great song about compromising for the one you love even when they don't deserve it.)


Absolute (Sounds to me like he was drinking away his love pains. Although it's a great dance tune, it's also a touching love song and the 12" remix of this song is great.)

Lover to Fall

Wood Beez

Just get the CD and give it a listen. It's well worth the money spent. I just wished the group received more credit than it did. They were truly one of the best.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the 80's best underrated pop/funk/r&b albums 22 Oct. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I've listened to this album over and over again and never get tired of each tune. Not only are the songs catchy and infectiously tappable, but Green Gartside pays ode to Aretha Franklin (Wood Beez),and has a selection of jazz and funk musicians to back him up (Paul Jackson, David Frank, Marcus Miller). Some of the songs, (Perfect Way, Wood Beez, and Hynotize) borrow funk rhythms from another 80's group called The System (which David Frank is the keyboard wizard from that group). However this does not take away from the well crafted writing, production and engineering of this album. Green Gartsides lyrics (although complex) are as deep as the music heard here. Almost every song on this album is moveable if not danceable. The songs, The Word Girl and its alternative (Flesh & Blood) still gives me chills, especially when it goes into the flesh and blood chorus. The bass line and guitar riffs in that song are too catchy to pass up because it screams reggae. My favorite of course is Wood Beez. But then its hard to say what's a favorite on the album because the songs on the album are all gems. With Scritti Polliti maybe it was hard to repeat that pattern for the big shots in the music business. But this album needs a good listen to or just re-released.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars smooth classic 80s soul from the UK! 29 July 2003
By D. H. Richards - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Perfect Way, with it's killer piano break, broke Scritti politti in the US. However long before that the band was releasing a series of brilliant singles, which end up collected in a nice neat package that is Cupid and Psyche.
-Wood Beez- catchy, funky, as good as anything Alexander O'Neil was doing, if not better.
- The Word Girl - reggae lite in a time where reggae was considered DOA.
- Hypnotize - the lesser of the singles, but still a great little song.
-Absolute - better than Hyponotize, smooth.
The great thing is that you also get some nifty remixes, including some like The Word Girl that are almost different songs, but still obviously from the same group of folks.
Green and company explore mid 80s US Black music with a keen ear and even sharper sense of style and wit. Essential 80s album.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the Memories Came Back! 24 April 2002
By Po - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I relived the 80s college years when I recently picked this one up. Green's memorable voice, the fantastic lyrics, and the spritely lively melodies are engaging, a bit wacky, and resoundingly memorable.
Perfect Way was the big hit, and I still crank it up each time. But Wood Beez is the one that lives on for all my friends.
'Each night I go to bed...
I...pray like Aretha Franklin...'
love it...
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