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