I loved the Scrittis back in the eighties, mostly for that beautifully pure falsetto Green used (and which is about the only recognisable element in this track) and the lush orchestration underpinning everything. Which is strange for a bunch of ex-communist punks on Rough Trade, but this song is even stranger.
How do you go from Wood Beez and Absolute to getting in Mos Def and friends to take over the song, relegating yourself to the background of a rap track, as beautiful as it was? I guess if you can if create something as perfect as this, you don’t really care about where you slot in, as long it’s for the greater good. You can’t take the socialism out of old socialists after all.
I saw them play in Brixton a while ago, supporting someone else (I think it was Placebo? There’s a sort of symmetry to that, if it was) and they were great, but as a support no one was really paying any attention to them. But it was gratifying that someone still remembered them enough to bring them back into the public realm, particularly as they didn’t really tour when they were famous, because of Green’s crippling stage fright. Mos Def didn’t make an appearance though, sadly enough: I hope because he was busy making Be Kind, Rewind 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7fnyFOlCmI