Scritti Politti

Scritti Politti was an English art-pop band from Leeds that cut three EPs on self-press St. Pancras Records in 1978/79. The original trio disbanded in 1980 when vocalist/guitarist Green Gartside was waylaid due to health issues. The following year, he reactivated the nameplate for a trio of 1981/82 singles on Rough Trade that culminated in the album Songs to Remember. A string of 1983–85 singles on Virgin formed the basis of Cupid & Psyche 85, released to global fanfare in 1985. Manhattanite Fred Maher (Massacre, Material) drummed for Scritti Politti during this period. The band’s third album, Provision, appeared in 1988. Gartside issued two further albums under the nameplate between 1999 and 2006.

Members: Green Gartside (vocals, guitar), Tom Morley (drums, 1978-81), Nial Jinks (bass, 1978-80), David Gamson (keyboards, programming, bass, 1983-89, 1997-99, 2010), Fred Maher (drums, 1983-89)

Scritti Politti was the brainchild of Welsh-born singer, musician, and songwriter Green Gartside. In 1976, while studying art at Leeds Polytechnic, he caught wind of punk and formed The Against with college mate Tom Morley (drums) and childhood friend Nial Jinks (bass). After finishing school, they moved into a flat in London’s Camden Town and changed their name to Scritti Politti, a modification of Scritti Politici (Italian for “political writings”).

In November 1978, Scritti Politti issued their debut maxi-single “Skank Bloc Bologna” (b/w “Is and Ought the Western World” and “28/8/78”), on self-press St. Pancras Records. The a-side, aired on John Peel’s BBC Radio 1 program, impressed post-punk indie label Rough Trade, which issued the band’s two 1979 EPs: Work In Progress and 4 A-Sides.


  • “Skank Bloc Bologna” / “Is and Ought the Western World” / “28/8/78” (1978)
  • Work In Progress 2nd Peel Session (EP, 1979)
  • 4 A-Sides (EP, 1979)
  • Songs to Remember (1982)
  • Cupid & Psyche 85 (1985)
  • Provision (1988)
  • Anomie & Bonhomie (1999)
  • White Bread Black Beer (2006)


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