17
Jan 02

TANYA’S RAINBOW OF RUBBISH (BONUS ENTRY!): Shitti Politti

I Hate Music1 comment • 687 views

TANYA’S RAINBOW OF RUBBISH (BONUS ENTRY!): Shitti Politti

Clever pun, eh readers? And every bit as clever was Green Gartside, singer, songwriter and eventually (his comrades having fled) sole member of Scritti Politti, the 1980s foremost deconstructionist pop pin-ups. Rather like a turd, Scritti Politti emerged from a squat: they brought with them radical new do-it-yourself music – though where most DIY resulted in sore thumbs, Green’s resulted in sore ears. Their first single showed their Marxist credentials by listing the costs of production on its sleeve. (Their second single was set to show the income side of the balance sheets, but ran into entirely predictable problems). Soon though fame and fortune were to come calling, with yet worse results.

What do you think of when you hear the word Green? Trees, grass, yes – but less tangible qualities too. Perhaps you think of nature itself, bursting with life and energy? Not words applicable to Mr.Gartside, whose music even at its peak sounded like bored employees playing marbles in the biscuit tin factory, and was sung by a man who’d had his lungs replaced by meringue. In fact had Scritti sounded any tinnier and oilier they’d have been mistaken for tuna (more likely that than being mistaken for a tune, mind).

Green is also the colour of envy, of course. Green Gartside woke up in his lice-infested pit one day to find to his horror that the Thomson Twins, at that point the only squatter band crustier, ranker, more incompetent and generally useless than his own, had got a record deal and were now on top of the pops. “I’m having some of that” he thought, and the rest is pop history (footnotes thereof). You might think, reader, that envying a band who lived on the same page of pop’s great chronicle as Howard Jones and Sal Solo would lead one to make some of the most insipid and wearying music ever pressed to disc, and you would be entirely right.

But Green had a great advantage over his peers – he’d read a book or two and so he called his songs clever things like “Jacques Derrida” and “Philosophy Now!”. How much did the songs have to do with Jacques Derrida and the current state of philosophy? As much as “Venus And Mars” by Wings has to do with astrophysics. Green’s idea was to subvert the pop public by charting with these post-modern trifles, and a track or two got through the net. Having heard them, though, the pop public swiftly told him to Fouc Aulff.

Comments

  1. 1
    Jon on 12 Apr 2007 #

    Utter twaddle…

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