Scritti Politti/Sweetie Irie: Take Me In Your Arms And Love Me – UK – 7″ 
- Take Me In Your Arms And Love Me
- Take Me In Your Arms And Love Me [instrumental]
Wow. Last summer I wondered when I was going to ever find a copy of this single and in May I finally got my mitts on a über clean copy of the 7″ single. I’d have preferred a 12″ [or especially the CD5] but I would have still wanted the 7″ for the pop mixes of this non-LP single. And a 7″ in the hand is worth a 12″ in the bush.
This was another pop song covered by Green Gartside with a Dancehall Reggae toaster adding counterpoint to the shimmering candyfloss that flows out of Green Gartside’s tonsils as naturally as breathing. I have to admit that I was not familiar with this Gladys Knight + The Pips song but did that really matter? This was another of the covers that Green had recorded with British Electric Foundation producing, presumably for the 2nd “Music Of Quality + Distinction” album, with the Stevie Wonder cover winning a berth on the actual album. Virgin issued the this single and a similar cover of The Beatles “She’s A Woman” as non-LP singles [not associated with either a Scritti Politti or B.E.F. album] in the absence of any Scritti Politti material in the long lulls known to occur between their albums.
The synthetic backing was built from drum machines and swooping synths with a devilishly funky clavinet dancing amid the snare tattoos and bass programming. It had quite a sunny Carribbean bounce to it, and the gossamer multi-tracked vocals of Green were contrasted mightily by Sweetie Irie’s gruff toasting. In that aspect, he filled exactly the same function as did Shabba Ranks on “She’s A Woman.” Hearing this now puts me in the mood for Tom Tom Club and the mind boggles at the notion of a Tom Tom Club/Scritti Politti crossover. But tracks like this one would fit right in with their aesthetic, I think. The arrangement by Green and B.E.F. had all of the complex melody and countermelody structure that always made Scritti Politti records so stimulating. The B-side was simply an instrumental mix but playing the two cuts back to back with zero gap made it really seem like a 12″ mix with a long coda.
Looking back, I can imagine that records like this and “She’s a Woman” definitely pointed the way forward for Green Gartside, and maybe we should not have been so taken aback at him sharing the “Anomie + Bonhomie” album with rappers taking the spotlight. I have to admit, in 1999, I was entirely uninterested in the notion and when I got the “Tinseltown To The Boogiedown” US CD5, it spent an all-time briefest stay in my Record Cell before being recycled. Now, I look back on such knee-jerk reactions as hasty and ill informed, so I will be buying the fourth Scritti Politti album as well and any and all remixes of the singles. With the goal of the all-encompassing Scritti Politti BSOG⇓ eventually in my sights. Obtaining this fine single was yet another step on that path.
– 30 –
⇓ BSOG – boxed set of god: a collection of everything not on the albums by an artist
To this day, the cover of She’s A Woman just grates on me. It’s Shabba. It’s all the very trendy remixes. It’s the feeling that the song was stretching Green’s credibility (admittedly, with me). Time hasn’t really healed the wound the track opened in my love of all things Scritti Politti/Green, but new skin eventually grew over the scar. I can appreciate the William Orbit remix for it’s chaotic charms.
Having made the above statements, I don’t have the same negative reaction to Take Me In Your Arms And Love Me. I think there is more of the B.E.F. magic going on – this is certainly true on the Marble Hill remix – which is kinda retro-epic – and the Nice Up The Area remix.
Echorich – I’ve yet to get any remixes of this so that day is still somewhere in the future for me. I never had a problem with “She’s A Woman” in that I saw it as a rehabilitation of a Beatles song which I’ve never heard (and plan to keep it that way). My only experience of Shabba Ranks is on that single so I know nothing about him. Both singles sound of a piece to me.
This seems to be a good time as any to ask a question that I always want to ask in reading this blog: Why do you HATE the Beatles? Please understand that I don’t want to attack or disparage you in any way. I don’t want to convert you or get into a online tussle. I’m just generally perplexed why someone around my age (I’m 58) not just hates, but HATES the Beatles. I was the last US born child of a Polish immigrant family whose 11 years older than me sister became a big fan in 1964 & their music seeped into my young brain. I’ve been listening to them ever since. I don’t listen to them all the time, even though I do have all their albums. I do think that they were influential in popular music, going to most of what you have in your Record Cell. I bet the majority of the artists that you highlight in this blog were Beatles fans & got involved in music because they wanted to be as big as them. They were also highly influential in graphic design from their very first album, changing the way music has been packaged. Again, I don’t want to attack you or call you a no goodnick or anything like that. I’m just curious.
diskojoe – Maybe hate is too strong a word. I find The Beatles mediocre. I was born at the time the conquered America and grew up on their sounds but they never had much pull with me. I consider them massively popular but I hear the songs and just don’t see the reason for any passion. Not the worst songs, but far from my picks for best. They were groundbreaking in many ways. The first Rock band to do basically everything. They led the Rock industry for most of their existence, but not where I was interested in following. They are the most overrated band for me. But I like the Rolling Stones! But they are overrated too.
Thanks for your answer. I appreciate it. I was just curious, that’s all.
I was familiar with the original GK&TP version, but I’m really intrigued to hear what Green and Sweetie (the latter of whom I’m not familiar with) do with this, particularly in the skilled hands of Martyn Ware!
Hi Post-Punk Monk, my first comment on your blog, which I discovered recently while digging around for Japan commentary. Definitely get Anomie + Bonhomie — I think it’s wildly underrated. “Here Come July” should be in the Power Pop canon.
caviartothegeneral – Welcome to the comments and thanks for your vote of confidence in my notion. At this point I’m all in on Scritti Politti. There’s such a relatively tight canon that I want to hear it all.