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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > May-18 > The accidental Pop Star

The accidental Pop Star

GREEN GARTSIDE, THE CREATIVE FORCE BEHIND SCRITTI POLITTI, DISCUSSES THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY AND REVEALS HOW HE OVERCAME CRIPPLING ANXIETY TO FALL BACK IN LOVE WITH POP

In the great pantheon of unlikely pop stars during the 80s, of which let’s face it there were many, Green Gartside stood out. It wasn’t that he didn’t have the good looks or musical chops, he most certainly did, but it was more that his songs were so fiercely, unapologetically clever. Here was a musician whose Scritti Politti project was originally run as a kind of collective and played improvised live shows. A lapsed Marxist whose band name was mangled Italian for “political writing” and who named a song Jacques Derrida after the French philosopher.

Yet for a while, following the release of their second album Cupid & Psyche 85 in 1985, Scritti Politti were bona fide mainstream pop stars around the world. “It’s a period I remember with absolute dread and fondness,” he says, before bursting out with laughter.

In truth, as becomes clear during Classic Pop’s two-hour conversation, Gartside is a man subject to bouts of self-doubt and anxiety. It is not unreasonable to suggest that he really wasn’t cut out to be a pop star, a status he found to be a kind of “exquisite agony”. But, as Gartside himself acknowledges, it was a fame he courted, albeit indirectly. “It was not the success that I was going for, it was an attempt to make a certain kind of music that interested me,” he says. “I liked the idea of pop music. Along with that came an obvious recognition that there would be a kind of ‘playing the pop person’ as well.”

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About Classic Pop

In the new Classic Pop we celebrate 30 years of Kylie Minogue – from the PWL early days through to the iconic noughties classics and her new No.1 album, Golden. We also take an in-depth look at Kylie’s Fever for our Classic Album feature. As a special treat for Kylie fans, we have an exclusive limited edition special fan pack issue of the magazine available with four fantastic A4 glossy art cards of the star. Subscribers will receive an exclusive version of the issue with a collectable cover. Elsewhere, we are granted a rare audience with Scritti Politti's Green Gartside, we serve up our Top 15 sophisti-pop albums of all time and Prefab Sprout feature in The Lowdown. We chat to Kim Appleby about her new TV show and the prospect of new music; Sophie Ellis-Bextor talks to us about her new album of orchestral reworkings of her back catalogue and Daphne & Celeste return to the pop fray. Our album reviews section features Sting and Shaggy, CHVRCHES and Alison Moyet. This month’s reissues section includes John Foxx, The Human League and Brian Eno. On the live front, we check out gigs by Erasure, Morrissey, Paul Weller and Lloyd Cole.