Reason #326 Why The ’80’s Didn’t Suck: Rip It Up

Rip_It_UpThe main charge against Orange Juice, even today, is the supposed ‘twee’ vocals of OJ’s lead singer/songwriter, Edwyn Collins. I can see where they’re coming from, to a point, but since I grew up with the band as they were still releasing albums (I jumped aboard during Texas Fever) I’ll never see them as “twee”. That’s a word I despise, by the way. I don’t care for the connotation, and even the sound of it puts me off. If poetic sensitivity ‘puts you off’, then go no further.

Anyway, Collins was able to shake that shackle with the huge success of A Girl Like You. People were surprised, shocked even; who was this guy and how did he come up with such a unique sound? Yes, A Girl Like You seemed to come straight out of left field to most everybody. Everybody except, of course, the few people who had been following the sonic trajectory of one of the best songwriters of his generation. Start here, with album #2 (Rip It Up) and the title track, along with singles I Can’t Help Myself and Flesh Of My Flesh, if you want to know where it all began to take shape. There are a couple of fillers left over from prior or aborted sessions, remade here to fit the mold, but overall it is a perfect entry point for the neophyte. Here. Let me get you started with a little video of the title track (I always love it when I can find the original video!):