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Monday, 11 September 2017

Absolute


On Friday night I got in from an hour in the pub and watched/fast forwarded through a few backed up episodes of Top Of The Pops, currently repeating episodes from the summer of 1984 (but only those ones without any convicted sex offenders presenting). Apart from The Smiths (Heaven Knows..., my least favourite Smiths song), Frankie (Two Tribes, number one, frighteningly 2017 thematically) and Bananarama (Rough Justice, a good song, the three girls dancing like real people actually dance rather than robo-dancers), the thing that jumped out at me- almost actually leapt from the screen on top of me, honest- was Absolute by Scritti Politti.

It's a long way from Skank Bloc Bologna to Cupid And Psyche '85. Absolute, a song I'd largely missed before, is a beauty, full of mid 80s pop and r'n'b flourishes, drum pads and synths and Green gamely strumming a guitar that I can't hear anywhere in the mix. The tune sounds simple but is pretty complex. Little musical parts appear and disappear, subtly different from ones that have gone before. There's some mid 80s funk in there too and some changes and skips that make the song move about and almost cause you have to pause to catch your breath. On top of it all sits Green's vocal, a falsetto that floats away dreamily but somehow holds the whole thing together. I read the description 'avant-pop' somewhere (which seems like a typically serious way to intellectualise something so joyful- and I've no doubt Green and others did intellectualise it) but 33 years later this just sounds like a fucking great, open minded, inventive pop song. What a way to start my weekend and what a way to start your Monday

Also, Princess Diana hair with Nike Windrunner jacket. Sick.

Absolute

The two Top Of the Pops performances can't be played on Youtube because they are 'blocked in [my] country on copyright grounds'. Top Of The Pops is blocked in the UK. Nope, me either. Here's the video instead.

8 comments:

The Swede said...

Great to hear this again on a windy Monday morning. Has Brian put together a Scritti ICA yet? If not, why not?

Gram Lynch said...

FAB song.

Dirk said...

'Heaven Knows ...' was the first Smiths record I ever owned, still fond of it, I must say ... nothing much to dislike about it if you ask me ...

C said...

I watched that ToTP too. it was so resonant as that was the early days of my working in a record shop so all the songs featured were really wrapped up in all those memories, the impact they had, and what we played in the shop, what people were talking about and buying. As for Scritti Politti, I had forgotten that song until hearing it again and now can't get it out of my head. What struck me most about it though was Green's look. He had such a perfect pop star presence which I had never really noticed before, plus was far more good-looking than I remembered! Incredibly compelling to watch - especially the way he moved his hips...

Swiss Adam said...

Dirk- no, not much to dislike but its just well down my list of favourite Smiths singles. I think it got them saddled with the miserable tag (which they didn't deserve). But you never forget your first.

C- I was talking about Green's look with a friend- very striking, totally cool and in the 2nd episode completely carrying off a very androgynous outfit.

Brian said...

I have had a lot of trouble with that ICA, Swede, but I'm still hopeful. Great selection today, Adam.

Echorich said...

Come on Brian...Tell you what, I'll offer to tag team with ya on a Scritti ICA...I know we intersect in our love of all things Green, but we diverge as well...I think I've even got the A Side plotted out in my mind...

SA - after a very hard day dealing with the needs of people in Houston and across Florida, trying to get part of their lives back in order by just having a car to drive, it was a joy to get the release that is on offer from Scritti Politti's Absolute!

Anonymous said...

Glad to help in a small way. And glad you're safe Ecjorich.
Swiss Adam