Orange Juice – about bleedin’ time!


I got a long email today from Domino Records, talking about one of their new releases.

The release in question is Coals To Newcastle, an excellent complete covering of Orange Juice’s career from 1979-1984. It’s out on November 7 in the UK, and consists of 6CDs and a DVD.

One man who has done an excellent post on it is my friend Jim over at the Vinyl Villain who has turned a press release into a labour of love (and whose brains Domino have been picking to put this together, properly).

So read what Jim has to say (you should read this blog every day anyway), and whet your appetite with a couple of OJ tracks. It’s been a crying shame that so much of their back catalogue has been unavailable for so long.

Orange Juice -‘Blue Boy.’ mp3

Orange Juice -‘Consolation Prize.’ mp3

Orange Juice -‘Rip It up.’ mp3

Orange Juice will also be my ‘Gone but not forgotten’ band on my radio show on Fresh Air this Thursday. I won’t be playing one of these three tracks but a different one…

33 1/3 Part 9


Orange Juice -‘You Can’t hide Your Love Forever.’ (Polydor, 1982)

I had heard of Edwyn Collins before 1994, I’m guessing, but ‘A Girl Like You’ was what got me into him and soundtracked the greatest summer of my life, in 1995.* As time went on, though, I felt the urge to investigate his back catalogue and this legendary band, Orange Juice…

This has been easier said than done, however. Not just because I still prefer vinyl to CDs, but because much of the Orange Juice catalogue has been out of print for so long. A shame, because this album is beautifully crafted, and stands as one of the great debut albums, not just from Scotland but in general. IMHO, Psychocandy by Jesus and Mary Chain might be the only album which betters it as a debut.

It’s the not the soundtrack to a childhood growing up in Scotland (I wish!), or Uni days in Scotland, but the second year living in Scotland. I was sharing a flat with my brother, doing whatever jobs came along to pay the rent and spending what little money I had on second hand records. Finding this was a real achievement (finding Rip It Up on vinyl took even longer, and I’ve never really fallen in love with that album of all Edwyn Collins’ records of his thirty year career). It’s like the soundtrack to a wistful dream. Or in my case, working for not much more than the minimum wage in a bookshop/call centre/wherever but grateful for simple pleasures.

I love the anti-macho stance of the record -‘Consolation Prize’ with its’ lines about trying to impress with a Roger McGuinn fringe, failing and ending up camp. ‘Felicty’ – proof that Collins was not the only talent in the band, the cover of ‘L.O.V.E. love…’. Orange Juice were on the seminal c81 album, but so much of what they produced feels like it’s a blueprint for indiepop of the next thirty years.

It’s a travesty that this album isn’t available in the UK at the moment – but get your hands on a copy, even if it’s on an ancient C90. Then tell the world about it.

Orange Juice -‘Felicity.’ mp3

Orange Juice -‘Consolation Prize.’ mp3

*Other singles that would definitely count here would be ‘Common People’ by Pulp, ‘Alright’ by Supergrass’ and ‘Try Try Try.’ Oh yeah and the two obvious songs…

Everybody needs a 303


The latest issue of The Wire arrived today. Maybe it was the appearance of Julian Cope on the front – but my brain suddenly started obsessing about the Roland 303, that legendary squelchy synth, responsible for some of the best bass ever that wasn’t played on a, well, bass.

The Wire does some wonderful primers that have led to me seeking out all manner of wonderful stuff I haven’t really heard before whether it’s been digital reggae or psychedelic folk. So…in honour of one of the most legendary bits of kit ever, and based on some records I tracked down, ladies and gentlemen: fifteen classic cuts featuring the 303:

From the days when it was starting to make its’ presence felt; if only in the background…

Blancmange -‘Living On The ceiling.’ mp3

Paul Haig -‘Justice.’ mp3

Orange Juice -‘Rip It Up.’ mp3

It starts to come to the forefront…

Alexander Robotnik -‘Problemes d’Amour.’ mp3

Heaven 17 -‘Let Me Go.’ mp3

Shannon -‘Let The Music Play.’ mp3

It could’ve been a contender in the Hip-Hop scene, it just seems that (largely) it wasn’t…except for these tracks…

Ice-T -‘Squeeze The Trigger.’ mp3

Mantronix -‘Bassline.’ mp3

However, it really shapes early acid house…including these three tracks, generally recognised as being the first three tracks from that scene in the US…

Sleazy D- ‘ I’ve Lost control.’ mp3

Phuture -‘Acid Trax.’ mp3

Armando -‘Land Of Confusion.’ mp3

…and acid house comes to the UK, becomes the biggest counter-cultural movement since punk and frightens the moral majority.

Baby Ford -‘Oochy Koochy.’ mp3

Humanoid -‘Stakker Humanoid 12″.’ mp3

Into the nineties, the dance scene pulls in hundreds of different directions, and most people struggle to keep up with what’s what. Especially those of us who got distracted by grunge and britpop. But some classic stuff takes the 303 into the decade…

Hardfloor -‘Acperience.’ mp3

…and the dance music of the Britpop era…big beat!

Fatboy Slim -‘Everybody Needs a 303.’ mp3

17 Seconds Records…an update


So…this is where I blow my own trumpet again…having been the guest on Matthew from Song, By Toad’s guest on his show on Fresh Air FM in Edinburgh this evening, talking about blogging, and music and running record labels etc.. I now come home to do the same.

On March 9, 17SEC3 will be released, the download only (for now!) single from Ex Lion Tamer entitled ‘Neon Hearts.’ You can stream it here. This should be available from iTunes and eMusic, as well as many other download stores. Please buy it and support us.

Last night, the third act to sign to 17 Seconds Records, The Gillyflowers, were playing a support slot at Cabaret Voltaire in Edinburgh and pulled an excellent crowd. They were excellent and I felt particularly proud to have signed ’em.

This is them playing at the Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh, in December 2008, supporting Aberfeldy. Many thanks to Julia for posting this.

The Gillyflowers -‘Hollow.’

Oh, and our first act, Aberfeldy, are playing in Aberdeen on March 9.

Finally there are some 17 Seconds Records related evnts coming up…but you’ll have to keep checking back here or reading our website to find out what they are, as and when they’re announced… : ))

Oh, and the final song Toad played tonight was this. An excellent song with which to finish any show, or a blog post, for that matter.

Orange Juice -‘Felicity.’ mp3

Anyone heard anything about this?!

According to this story, which was mentioned yesterday at NME, Orange Juice are reforming.

Does anyone know anything about this? Couldn’t find out anything at Edwyn’s site, but it would be great. Be interesting to know which members would be rejoining. Edwyn obviously, but what about Malcolm, Zeke, James…?

Orange Juice -‘Blue Boy.’ mp3

Great Scottish-set films

Finally saw Hallam Foe yesterday, an excellent film set in Edinburgh.

It’s quite fun, sitting down watching films and recognising your (adopted) home town in places recognising many of the sights. And as usual, a story that is very different from your own life. Dark in places, but very funny in others. Very much worth checking out. And if you didn’t want to see it, just because the last time you saw Jamie Bell he was in Billy Elliott, then shame on you!

An excellent soundtrack, not all scottish indie, but three fantastic tracks that I think everyone should hear:

Orange Juice – ‘Blue Boy.’ mp3

Franz Ferdinand -‘Hallam Foe Dandelion Blow.’ mp3

Sons & Daughters -‘Broken Bones.’ mp3

Other great scottish set films would include: Restless Natives, Sweet Sixteen, Local Hero, Gregory’s Girl, Shallow Grave, Trainspotting…oh and I’ve never seen Brigadoon or Greyfriar’s Bobby.

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend…

Orange Juice-You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever

For today, I would like to focus on what is my second favourite scottish album of all time, behind the Jesus and Mary Chain’s Psychocandy, and one of the best debut albums ever.
This album was released in 1982, and was Orange Juice’s official debut, although many of the songs had been intended for a debut album on the seminal, legendary Postcard label that would not appear until 1992 as Ostrich Churchyard. With their influence noticeable on many Glasgow bands of now, such as Wake The President and Bricolage it would be great to hope that people would go and investigate and buy the album…if they could get their hands on it.

Unfortunately, this absolute classic of an album is not currently available on any format in the UK, neither CD nor vinyl, nor is it downloadable at iTunes or eMusic. In all seriousness, I think Polydor (or whichever soft drinks company it’s part of now) should make this album available to buy again. It’s like the insanity that prevents many seminal works being out of print be they music, film or the written word. Why? For the meantime, I will post it here for the next two weeks. To me this is a work of art, beautiful songs and something that lovers of ‘indie’ music (and I mean that in as many senses of the word as possible) should hear.

The influence of this album can be heard in The Pastels, The Shop Assistants, Camera Obscura, Belle and Sebastian, The Delgados, Franz Ferdinand…and the Smiths.

Never heard it? Well, now’s your chance, if you don’t have the money to buy a hugely expensive import copy: I have used my USB turntable to transfer it into mp3 format. The vinyl’s in pretty good nick, though there may be the odd crackle here and there. As John Peel used to say ‘life’s got surface noise.’

‘Orange Juice – Falling And Laughing.’ mp3

Orange Juice -‘Untitled Melody.’ mp3

Orange Juice -‘Wan Light.’ mp3

Orange Juice – Tender Object.’ mp3

Orange Juice -‘Dying Day.’ mp3

Orange Juice -‘L.O.V.E. Love.’ mp3

Orange Juice -‘Intuition Told Me (Part 1).’ mp3

Orange Juice -‘Upwards And Onwards.’ mp3

Orange Juice -‘Satellite City.’ mp3

Orange Juice -‘Three Cheers For Our Side.’ mp3

Orange Juice -‘Consolation Prize.’ mp3

Orange Juice -‘Felicity.’ mp3

Orange Juice -‘In A Nutshell.’ mp3

DISCLAIMER: I freely state here and now that I do not own the copyright to this recording, so if you download this in a country WHERE YOU ARE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO BUY IT, THEN SHAME ON YOU. If you download this and like it, please buy the album if it becomes available again.

UPDATE: Since I did this post, JC over at the Vinyl Villain has put together a post which has the opportunity to acquire everything Orange Juice ever did, pretty much, with money going to charity. You have therefore, twenty four hours to get the mp3s off here without giving any money, but I’d rather you went to this post and found out how you can help.

Ed, March 2, 2008

Links now removed -get thee to the Vinyl Villain’s blogspot!

Ed, March 3, 2008

Scots indie! Part 2

The Vaselines

Just a quick post, but felt like posting some classic eighties scottish indie.

From Perhaps, which may be the most underrated scottish record of the eighties.

Associates -‘Breakfast 12″.’ mp3

The Fire Engines were a big influence on many scots bands, perhaps most notably Franz Ferdinand. I will post the split single that both bands did here at some point…

Fire Engines -‘Candyskin.’ mp3

OK so Psychocandy is the definitive scottish record of the eighties, but let’s not forget that there were some fantastic records afterwards too.

Jesus and Mary Chain -‘April Skies.’ mp3

I’ve posted this before, but it had to be part of this post. Just sheer class. Post-punk meets indie. Oh yes, oh yay…

Josef K -‘Sorry For Laughing.’ mp3

Their second single on the legendary Postcard label, and my favourite song of Edwyn Collins’ ultra-cool scottish heroes.

Orange Juice -‘Blue Boy.’ mp3

Later covered by Teenage Fanclub, the Pastels, still going in 2007, are fantastic. I met Stephen Pastel earlier this year, the most down to earth and shy musician I have ever met.

The Pastels -‘Nothing To Be Done.’ mp3

A huge influence on Nirvana, who covered this and two of their other songs, the Vaselines might well be Scotland’s answer to the Velvet Underground.
The Vaselines -‘Son Of A Gun.’ mp3

If you like these tracks, seek ’em out, goddamit!

150th post!

Hi there.

well, it’s continuing to be a journey as I get my head around the technology, but I thought I would give you ten great tracks from five great bands, to celebrate my 150th post here at 17 Seconds.

First of all, what better way to start than the song that gave this blog its title and the first hit for my favourite ever group The Cure

The Cure-‘Seventeen Seconds.’ mp3

The Cure-‘A Forest.’ mp3

Buy Seventeen Seconds here

Next up, rumours have been flying across the blogs that these guys might reform. Having missed them thr first time round, it would be kinda cool… The first track is from their debut ep Ride, and the second is from their debut album Nowhere. The coda on Vapour Trail is just gorgeous.

Ride-‘Drive Blind.’ mp3

Ride-‘Vapour Trail.’ mp3

Buy OX4-the Best Of Ride here

These guys have gone from squat punks to post-punk visionaries to new pop to hip-hop to…still bloody amazing. This is their first single, from 1978 and their excellent 1981 single, which features the keyboards of one Robert Wyatt. bear in mind, if you haven’t heard any Scritti pre-‘Wood Beez’ you may be takken aback.

Scritti Politti -‘Skank Bloc Bologna.’ mp3

Scritti Politti-‘The ‘Sweetest Girl.’.’ mp3

Buy Early by Scritti Politti here

You can never have too much Scottish indie (certainly not as far as this block’s concerned!), so the next brace is the first two Orange Juice singles, released on the seminal Postcard label:

Orange Juice-‘Falling And Laughing.’ mp3

Orange Juice-‘Blue Boy.’ mp3

buy The Glasgow School here

Finally, one recent purchase was the first two, re-issued Ian McCulloch albums, now re-issued on CD with bonus tracks. The first track here is the album Candleland‘s first single, and the second is a re-recording featuring none other than Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins. Enjoy!

Ian McCulloch-‘Proud To Fall.’ mp3

Ian McCulloch featuring Elizabeth Fraser -‘Candleland (The Second Coming).’ mp3

Buy Candleland here

As always, support the artists involved. These links will be up for one week only. Cake, anyone?