I’m reading Simon Reynolds’ TOTALLY WIRED at the moment, a compendium of the interviews he conducted for the highly recommended RIP IT UP AND START AGAIN, a history of post-punk. (At the same time as I’m re-reading Paul Morley’s WORDS AND MUSIC and picking through zttaat.com.) And this morning I read the interview with Green Gartside aka Scritti Politti — who seems to have mellowed significantly, and provides a warm and fascinating memoir of the times — and realise I haven’t listened to "Asylums In Jerusalem" in ages. I still have it on vinyl downstairs somewhere.
I remember that, at the time, it seemed a deeply peculiar thing. Didn’t sound a bit like earlier Scritti Politti. Didn’t sound a bit like the New Pop, to my limited ears, although it bore clear signs of having come from the same places. I’ve always loved this song the best of all Green’s work, much as I admire the perfect pop of his most commercially successful phase. This is the sweetest thing: a song about crazy people.