By Miranda Diboll.
I love music but I am still naive about collecting it. Editions, re-releases, white labels, err I’m in a spin. So more fool me when I won an eBay auction for Scritti’s Songs To Remember on vinyl.
Excitedly pulling it out of its sleeve I discovered a Virgin label. What? Surely that should be Rough Trade. Panicking I notice no bumble bee embossed on the front. Urgh, this must be the 83 re-release when he went over to Richard Branson’s dark side. Of course, it still sounds wonderful as most vinyl pressings do but I’m now niggled. There’s no bee on the front. Its a cheap knock off, although it isn’t it still feels like it is.
The album, as it should be and the bee, or its absence that set off my panic attack.
Songs To Remember was Scritti shaking off its DIY ethic and going for full blown soul. It was delayed after Green Gartside’s collapse in 1980 which saw the whole project shelved for 2 years. He was not happy with Rough Trade’s promotion of the disk and ran into the arms of Virgin in 1983 who by the looks of it cashed in by re-releasing it themselves. Now I cannot work out if this is an 83 release or a 85, on the back of Cupid and Psyche 85- new fans trying to get hold of the Scritti debut on what may have been a limited original pressing by Rough Trade. Whatever this disc is, its feels second rate in my hands. Am a crazy feeling this way?
What confuses me even more is that the first pressing of it on CD was on Rough Trade in 1986 while they band were still signed to Virgin. The only Virgin release listed on Wikipedia is the 2001 CD remaster.
So time to dig deeper, discogs.com is a good place to do that. Looks like I’ve got myself a copy of the German pressing but no date. Anyone able to shed some more light on this one?
I’d better sign off before end up eating a copy of Record Collector because there’s no food in the house.