A Grievous Omission: Orange Juice

Orange Juice in the high holy year of 1981

Orange Juice in the high holy year of 1981

Since I am but a monk, I’m far from infallible. That’s for the Post-Punk Pope. Though it pains me to say so, I have never heard the Seminal Scot Post-Punk band Orange Juice! Still!!! And yet, I own “Hope And Despair,” “Hellbent On Compromise,” Gorgeous George,” I’m Not Following You,” and “Doctor Syntax.” I have since the late 90s. On my behalf, I can only say that exotica like Orange Juice were simply not on my cultural radar at the time of their full flowering. Like another [brilliant] Scot band I could point to – The Associates, Orange Juice were a band I had only read about but never had the fortune to actually hear.  As I was still an impoverished student at the time, music purchases happened after hearing a sample of the band in question, unless the artist had an extant pedigree with me beforehand.

I never heard them on the radio. Never saw a video either on MTV or anywhere else for that matter. Without that spark to ignite the desire, the likelihood of spending $10 [and up] on an import LP was seriously unlikely to happen. I blame my environment. Central Florida was, and still is, a cultural backwater best suited to sucking dollars out of tourist pockets; not enlightening listeners with the progenitors of modern indie-pop. So the whole of fifteen years passed before I chanced to hear the dulcet tones of Edywn Collins and therefore became a fan.

To whom do I owe this pleasure? To my wife, of course! She has been exposed to a plethora of musical artists in our time together, but it is not just a boring one-way street. She, in turn, has led me to appreciate many fine artists that were news to me. More embarrassingly, she has even pointed out artists like The Nits, or John Cale, of whom I had trace amounts of in my Record Cell, and after she bought further albums of them on her own, I became a huge fan through hearing them anew through her ears! She happened to have heard the radio hit “A Girl Like You” on the FM dial and it caught her ear to the degree where when we were browsing the bins at a record store in Ft. Lauderdale in 1998 [seeing Bowie in a club!], she picked up “Gorgeous George” and we hit the ground running from that point onward.

Quickly afterward, all Edwyn Collins CDs were purchased. I kept up until the time of his stroke, but I’ve never seen his three post-stroke albums [“Home Again,” “Losing Sleep,” “Understated”] so that I could buy them, and the money for mail order is thin on the ground in these times. As for Orange Juice, apart from import LPs at the time of their initial release, they have also been thin on the ground. I once saw the luxurious “Coals To Newcastle” BSOG® in Harvest Records once, when $70 to buy it was just not possible, so that has stood in my way ever since.

2014 has seen the four Orange Juice CDs back in print individually on Domino, but they are straight non-DLX RM issues, missing the cornucopia of bonus tracks that made “Newcastle” so attractive to my monastic disposition. Simply knowing that there is a single package with everything [including a DVD!] out there, will now serve to stay my purchasing hand even though the box is OOP and invading three figure territory. I may have to knuckle down and buy the darned thing before it hits the $150 price range. Until then, I exist in Orange Juice limbo, as I have for nearly 35 years.

– 30 –


About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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3 Responses to A Grievous Omission: Orange Juice

  1. zoo says:

    I rank OJ’s albums (thought there were only three?) from best to worst chronologically. Start with “You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever” and if you like it, move on to the next one…which isn’t as good. I’ve heard the different comps and non-album recordings of the same songs, and I prefer the proper studio albums. Those are good enough for me, but I’m not a B-side hoarder (for the most part…only for very few artists).


    • postpunkmonk says:

      zoo – Apparently “The Glasgow School” comp is now canonical. It is the first of the four CDs in print at Domino. My collector’s sickness is strong! It takes a rare group that I can casually “collect” without wanting everything. My esteem of Edwyn Collins is such that knowledge of the “Newcastle” box [a project that I would have done in an eerie, parallel universe] is enough to stay my hand, even if I ever run into a copy of “You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever” in a store. At least with the catalog in print and recent, this may happen! especially in October when I’ll be shopping in Amoeba for the first time.


      • echorich says:

        Orange Juice was the band that provided Postcard records with an arty-er side. Yes they subscribed to the jangle-guitar sound that permeated much of Postcard, but their influences ran deeper than label mates such as The Go-Betweens and Josef K. Stax soul, Talking Heads disjointed pop, the irony of Velvet Underground and even Jonathan Richman and a bit of disco/funk all seasoned OJ’s very singular sound. Collin’s yearning – strained/adenoidal- vocals were very endearing to these ears as well. They were pop; they were Post Punk.
        You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever is a massive debut album and Falling And Laughing a sharp, confident debut single. Even when they jumped to a major, they didn’t compromise to my mind.


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