Album Review
by SashaS

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Orange Juice: glorious noise of the past
Orange Juice: 'The Glasgow School'
Orange Juice: echo of the sounds of pop to come

Orange Juice’s ‘The Glasgow School’ contains 22 tracks from a period when even London scene paled in comparison with the legendary Postcard label’s utput. Orange Juice were one of the main exponents [although we are very partial to Josef K’s one and only album] and herewith is a collection of their material for the label, dating between 1980 and 1981.

It includes their first four singles and their original, unreleased debut album, ‘Ostrich Churchyard’; some of these tracks - ‘Falling And Laughing’ [maiden single], ‘Wan Light’, ‘Consolation City’ and several more, with ‘Louise Louise’ only surfacing on the second disc, ‘Rip It Up’, in Nov. ’82] - reappeared on their debut Polydor album nine months earlier [Feb. 1982], as well.

Anyhow, listening to this is like stepping back into some more innocent, innovative and eclectic period: their influences were as varied as to include Velvet Underground, Vic Goddard’s ‘Northern Soul’ period [a cover of his ‘Holiday Hymn’ is included here], post-New Wave, New York art-punk and disco bassing well mixed with irresistible pop sensibility.

Edwyn Collin's music story began with a Glasgow schoolboy punk band called the Nu-Sonics which evolved into Orange Juice; with the self financed label Postcard Records, OJ blazed a trail and established a new genre at the start of the Eighties. It took them just four singles to establish some serious perimeters, like defining ‘indie’ before the concept existed, or ‘alternative’ before it meant jack sugar!

After this quartet of gem-like singles, the band moved to Polydor Records. Four albums, starting with the classic 'You Can't Hide Your Love Forever', and a couple of hit singles later, Orange Juice were no more. Mr Collins continued respectful solo career but his legacy to the history of music is indubitably - OJ!

And, their sonic legacy has inspired many a band, such as The Smiths, but mainly Scottish outfits - The Jesus and Mary Chain, Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai, Franz Ferdinand and Sons & Daughters, plus many more.

As Stuart Murdock [of B&S] has rightfully put it: “… Still very cool round our way. They’ve been picked up by the next generation of hipsters.”

Artistic, drastically different, individualistic, resounding songs of timelessness are some modest things to say about it. Alas, the fate was cruel to them and their short existence was only awarded with a limited, no further than London fame. [None of their music was issued in the States, for instance. That’s been rectified now…]

‘The Glasgow School’ easily illustrates that Orange Juice have always been extra special.


Orange Juice’s compilation ‘The Glasgow School’ is released 25 July 2005 by Domino