review

Scritti Politti

Cupid & Psyche ‘85

Released: 1st April 2022 (reissue)
Label: Rough Trade
Genre: Pop
1985 was a big year for music. Wham! became the first Western pop group to perform in China, the legendary Live Aid benefit concert took place at Wembley Stadium, and Madonna embarked on her first ever tour. And in the midst of it all, a magnificent, yet highly underrated, pop masterpiece was released.
The masterpiece in question is Cupid & Psyche ’85, the second album from British group Scritti Politti – an album bursting to the seams with buttery smooth vocal melodies, funky guitar riffs and some of the most catchy lyrical hooks of the decade.
The record starts with The Word Girl, a lively reggae pop track that pulls influences from Dub and Soul to create their highest charting single to date. As the album flows on, we are welcomed by the beautiful ballad A Little Knowledge, the bouncy Perfect Way (which was to be covered by legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis on his 1986 album Tutu), and finally concludes with the infectiously funky Hypnotize.
The album has its fair share of celebrity fans too. Elton John believes it to be the “best produced electronic album of the 80s” – he purchases a copy whenever he sees it, so he can share it with others! And Matthew Healy from The 1975 adores the band, citing them as a major influence on songs like UGH! and She’s American from their second album I Like It When You Sleep for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It.
If you have never heard of the group before, or haven’t listened to them in a while, I highly recommend picking up this new reissue – not only does it contain the original album’s classic 9 tracks, it also comes with the 12” single edits of their main singles, so you get the full bundle of Scritti goodness!

 

Listen to: A Little Knowledge, Absolute, Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin)
For fans of: China Crisis, ABC, Heaven 17

 

Joe Richardson, Fopp Cambridge

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