The "Sweetest Girl"

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"The "Sweetest Girl""
The Sweetest Girl.jpg
Single by Scritti Politti
from the album Songs to Remember
  • "Lions after Slumber" (UK, US, Germany)
  • "Confidence" (France, Japan)
Length4:37 (single version) 6:18 (album version)
LabelRough Trade
Songwriter(s)Green Gartside
Scritti Politti singles chronology
"4 A-Sides"
"The "Sweetest Girl""

"The “Sweetest Girl”" (sic) is a song written by Green Gartside. It was originally performed by Gartside's band Scritti Politti, and released in 1981 as a single. The single peaked at number 64 in the UK Singles Chart.[1] The piano is played by Robert Wyatt.

The song became a marginally bigger hit 5 years later, when covered by Madness. Madness' version of the song reached #35 in the UK and #29 in Ireland in early 1986. Madness changed the title of the song slightly, losing both the definite article and the quotation marks around the last two words in "The “Sweetest Girl”", thereby rendering it as "Sweetest Girl"

Scritti Politti version[edit]

Track listing[edit]

The B-side, "Lions After Slumber" takes its title and quotes, in its final lines, from the 1819 political poem The Masque of Anarchy by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

7" and 12" vinyl (UK, US, Germany)[edit]

Side one
1."The "Sweetest Girl""4:34
Side two
1."Lions After Slumber"4:58

7" vinyl (France, Japan)[edit]

Side one
1."The "Sweetest Girl""4:37
Side two

Madness version[edit]

"Sweetest Girl"
Sweetest Girl.jpg
Single by Madness
from the album Mad Not Mad
B-side"Jennie (A Portrait Of)"
Released10 February 1986
Length4:20 (single version)
5:46 (album version)
7:01 (dub mix)
6:34 (extended mix)
Songwriter(s)Green Gartside
Producer(s)Clive Langer
Alan Winstanley
Madness singles chronology
"Uncle Sam"
"Sweetest Girl"
"(Waiting For) The Ghost Train"

The cover of the song by ska-pop band Madness was included on their 1985 album Mad Not Mad and released as a single the following year. The song spent 6 weeks in British charts peaking at number 35.


The song video was featured in the 1986 BBC Omnibus documentary Video Jukebox.[2]

Track listing[edit]

7" vinyl[edit]

Side one
1."Sweetest Girl"Green Gartside4:20
Side two
1."Jennie (A Portrait Of)"Lee Thompson, Daniel Woodgate3:24

12" vinyl[edit]

Side one
1."Sweetest Girl" (Dub Mix)Gartside7:01
Side two
1."Sweetest Girl" (Extended Mix)Gartside6:34
2."Jennie (A Portrait Of)"Thompson, Woodgate3:05

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
UK Singles Chart[3][4] 35
Irish Singles Chart[5] 29


  1. ^ "Chart Stats - Scritti Politti - Sweetest Girl". Retrieved 10 January 2009.
  2. ^ "Collections Search | BFI | British Film Institute". 1986-05-09. Retrieved 2016-10-25.
  3. ^ " search results". Retrieved 10 January 2009.
  4. ^ "Chart Stats - Madness - The Sweetest Girl". Retrieved 10 January 2009.
  5. ^ " search results". Retrieved 10 January 2009.

External links[edit]