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Scritti Politti – Cupid & Psyche (1985)

March 15, 2018

[Album 600/1001]

“The Pendulum Swings, For the Horse Like a Man”
– The Tragically Hip, Gift Shop

I’m not sure if the mythological tale of Cupid & Psyche involves a horse in any way.

But when listening to Scritti Politti’s Cupid & Psyche, I kept hearing a musical pendulum swinging between two men.

On any given track, I found myself wondering: does this song remind me of Peter Gabriel or Phil Collins?




Pendulum Swing #1: Music

Cupid & Psyche sounds like the mid-80s.

More specifically, several of the tracks feel like they would fit seamlessly into the opening credits of a mid-80s movie.

Likely a film where a character is moving to a big city, chasing some sort of dream, be it artistic/academic/athletic.

Surely Peter Gabriel’s Big Time has been used in such a context?

And several of the tunes here would do the trick as well.




Pendulum Swing #2: Vocals

Ever wondered what it would be like for Phil Collins to sing on a Peter Gabriel-esque song, without it necessarily sounding like Genesis?

Lead singer Green Gartside often sounds quite Phil-ish to me…so I suppose, wonder no more!




Pendulum Swing #3: Lyrics

To determine whether the album is tilted in a Phil or Peter direction overall, I thought the lyrics might be the tie-breaker.

The band generously included the lyrics with the LP.

However, despite the gentle, well-paced vocal delivery on the record itself, they opted to relentlessly shout the lyrics in ALL CAPS on the insert!

So alas, a final pendulum swing could not be officially documented.




So where does the pendulum swing in terms of quality?

Given that its release date is in between Collins’s No Jacket Required and Gabriel’s So, imagine the narrative convenience if I could say the quality of the songs was also right in the middle of Phil & Peter!

But if given the choice of mid-80s records, I’d probably still gravitate towards So first, followed by No Jacket Required, creepily quoting American Psycho of course, “this is Sussudio, great great song.”

Though if Cupid & Psyche is in that mix, that’s pretty good company, regardless of which way any pendulums may be swinging.



Verbalize the Positive

Any time I get to quote The Hip in a post, life is good!

From → 1980s

  1. I have this and have never payed it, now I am intrigued…

    • As long as the Phil/Peter of the mid-80s appeals Neil, this should be relatively inoffensive too!

  2. I’m pretty sure I like this album and think it’s 1001 worthy, but need a few more listens.

    • I’ve only had a few listens so far – and I’m not sure if it is on the list for any other reason other than the music itself. But if it’s purely based on the music, I’m not complaining about its inclusion!

  3. Another brilliant post! Never heard of these guys but enjoyed the Collins/Gabriel comparisons.

  4. Cupid & Psyche is a great LP. Genuinely some wonderful moments on there… and although I never really considered it before, I can hear some comparisons to Gabriel. And the artwork is great too.

  5. Yep the comparison between Phil and Peter is a job well done. The name Scritti Politti I had heard in Highschool but what should come as no surprise to you I was immersed in Metal at that time and ahem still now!
    That whole Gabriel So album was not to shabby which led to me dabbling with that Robbie Robertson album the time which I can’t seem to recall the title of it…

    • Cheers Deke – and I think this album would have been from right around the time that group in TBay was covering Walk this Way!

  6. I know people who rate the band, but I’ve not heard them. Your ex-Genesis personnel comparison is intriguing, though.

    Congratulations on hitting 600!

  7. Green Gartside was a hell of a talented guy – yet another Welsh genius! How do we manufacture so many?!

    I would add that Cupid was given to me recently by a wonderful fellow blogger and proper gentleman.

    • I hadn’t realized he was Welsh – perhaps that’s why I enjoyed the LP so!
      And that sounds like a fine COMMUNITY gift!

  8. I had the Hip in my head throughout reading this post.

  9. Here I was thinking the pendulum should have ultimately swung a different way altogether, towards them making a sound that was ultimately their own. Alas, this seems not to be the case.

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