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Boomkat Product Review:
Green Gartside and co’s addictively sugary turning point album crops up for a masterclass in blue-eyed soul styles.
Upon its release in 1985, ‘Cupid & Psyche 85’ marked a radical leap for the once squat dwelling communists from new wave dreamers to chart-worthy pop pucker. Prior to this record they had markedly political and philosophical leanings set to a mix of almost folksy whims, disco and reggae lite, as found on a handful of Rough Trade releases, but with ‘Cupid & Psyche 85’ they mounted a sly assault on the charts, drawing on Green Gartside’s love of Aretha Franklin’s aching soul for a far more polished sound that would parallel the likes of Prefab Sprout’s entry to the US billboard charts.
In many ways its not hard to draw lines between Gartside and the Sprout’s Paddy McAloon; both are reclusive genius types who saw the other side of the pop machine and disliked it, and both made some of the ‘80s greatest power moves, as Scritti Politti did with the likes of ‘Absolute,’ which now uncannily reminds us of trotting around Co-Op during early lockdown (it was on their in-store radio A-list), and the natty funk of ‘Wood Beez,’ their seminal prayer for Aretha Franklin, which is coincidentally co-produced by Arif Mardin.