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.
*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…