Founded by a group of Leeds, England-based art students in 1978, by the time of their first single, Skank Bloc Bologna, the nucleus of Scritti Politti was Green Gartside (Paul Julian Strohmeyer, 22 June 1956, Cardiff, Wales; vocals/guitar), Matthew Kay (keyboards) and Tom Morley (drums) and Nial Jinks (bass, departed 1980). At this stage, the band was explicitly political (Green had been a Young Communist and the bands Italian-derived name translates roughly as political writings), encouraging listeners to create their own music in the face of the corporate record industry. Gartside also gained a reputation for convoluted wordplay within his lyrics. This early avant garde phase gave way to a smooth sound that brought together elements of pop, jazz, soul and reggae on songs such as The Sweetest Girl (with Robert Wyatt on piano) and Asylums In Jerusalem/Jacques Derrida, which appeared on their debut...
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