Rip it Up and START again

In six tumultuous years, Orange Juice, led by Edwyn Collins, blazed a trail of self-reliance with the legendary Postcard label, ran in conjunction with then-manager Alan Horne, and greatly expanded the palette of independent music at the start of the ‘80s with their brand of literate pop songwriting that both pre-saged the coming of The Smiths and kickstarted a renaissance in Scottish pop music that continues to this day.  After an embryonic start as the punk-influenced Nu-Sonics, Orange Juice came into being in 1979 as unfashionable pre-Year Zero punk influences such as The Byrds, Chic, Motown and The Velvet Underground began to make their presence known in the band’s developing sound. Over the next year, the group recorded four landmark 7” singles on Postcard (as well as putting out early releases from Aztec Camera, The Go-Betweens and Josef K). Though each single proved more successful than its predecessor, greater commercial aspirations led the band to sign to Polydor in the midst of making their first album in a prescient deal in which the band retained ownership of their material.  The original lineup abruptly fell apart shortly after the release of the debut album, You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever, and, as quickly, the band’s future was decidedly unassured. However, with the addition of Malcolm Ross, formerly of Postcard labelmates Josef K, and Zimbabwe-by-way-of-Glasgow drummer Zeke Manyika, the group proceeded to make their commercial mark with the timeless funk and soul-inflected Rip It Up, whose title track was to be the group’s biggest UK hit, peaking at #8 in February of 1983. During the recording of a follow-up, the group had decided to head in a more rock direction, but creative tensions arose again and the group fell apart during the recording sessions from which theTexas Fever mini-LP was culled. With Polydor’s support of the group withdrawing, Collins, joined in the studio by Manyika, persevered to make the bittersweet swan song album, The Orange Juice, a collection that telegraphed the group’s impending demise amidst some of their finest recordings. Collins made it official in March of 1985 announcing mid-performance at a miner’s benefit at the Brixton Academy that it would be Orange Juice’s last performance.  Last November Domino Records released an incredible seven disc anthology entitled Coals to Castles.