Girish Mahajan (Editor)

The "Sweetest Girl"

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Released  1981
Genre  Synthpop
Format  7" vinyl 12" vinyl
Label  Rough Trade
B-side  "Lions after Slumber" (UK, US, Germany) "Confidence" (France, Japan)
Length  4:37 (single version) 6:18 (album version)

"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. 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"

Track listing

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.

Madness version

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.

7" vinyl

  • Horns:- Gary Barnacle
  • Backing Vocals:- Afrodiziak
  • References

    The "Sweetest Girl" Wikipedia

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