THEY WERE ON POSTCARD RECORDS (1)

Postcard Records Collage
Postcard Records.

You might have heard of it. Founded at 185 West Princes Street, Glasgow by Alan Horne.

It had the motto ‘The Sound of Young Scotland’ while its logo was a cat banging a drum.

In April 1980, the first Postcard 45 was released. In August 1981, the eleventh and final Postcard 45 was released.

They are all going to feature this week and at the end I am going to try the impossible by ranking them in preference on the quality of just the A side of the single.  Wish me luck.

mp3 : Orange Juice – Falling and Laughing
mp3 : Orange Juice – Moscow
mp3 : Orange Juice – Moscow Olympics
(Postcard 80-1 : released April 1980)

mp3 : Orange Juice – Blue Boy
mp3 : Orange Juice – Love Sick
(Postcard 80-2 : released September 1980)

mp3 : Orange Juice – Simply Thrilled Honey
mp3 : Orange Juice – Breakfast Time
(Postcard 80-6 : released December 1980)

mp3 : Orange Juice – Poor Old Soul
mp3 : Orange Juice – Poor Old Soul (pt2)
(Postcard 81-2 : released March 1981)

Note for trivia fans. Wan Light was given a catalogue number of 81-6 and scheduled for a June 1981 release. But it never happened.

THE BEST SONG TO PEAK AT #4 IN THE INDIE CHART?

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A lot of the stuff from the C86 movement hasn’t aged well.  In many cases, this will be down to poor production which nowadays grates on the ear while all too often the off-key singing which in its day seemed to be part of the charm now sounds annoying.

But there are still some songs that, almost 30 years on, deserve to be thought of as absolute classics.   It’s a crying shame that so many of the small indie  labels weren’t able to give the records the push they needed to crossover into the conscious of mainstream listeners.  All too often, the label and indeed the band seemed happy enough to settle for a few playings on the John Peel Show, a positive review in the NME and then an appearance somewhere in the indie Top 10.  I’m not saying that was the case with today’s tune, but there is seemingly something seriously wrong when a song as brilliant as this has to settle for #4 on the Indie Chart:-

mp3 : The Chesterfields – Ask Johnny Dee

They were in existence from 84-89 during which time there were two studio LPs and eight singles/EPs.  They toured extensively (I saw them once as support act to Edwyn Collins on one of his earliest solo tours) and like so many bands picked up a decent sized hardcore following. many of whom (according to wiki) referred to them as “The Chesterf!elds”, with an exclamation mark replacing the “i”, following the example of the band’s logo.

Tragically, lead singer and main songwriter Dave Goldsworthy died in November 2003, at the age of 40, from head injuries sustained in a hit & run incident in Oxford.

One thing to mention is that The Chesterfields,  like Orange Juice, did a cover of a great Vic Godway track.  I thought it would be an idea to post all three versions:-

mp3 : Vic Goddard & The Subway Sect – Holiday Hymn
mp3 : Orange Juice – Holiday Hymn
mp3 : The Chesterfields – Holiday Hymn

Enjoy!!

YOU KNOW THE SCENE IS VERY HUMDRUM….

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A very short but interesting e-mail arrived in the inbox on 2 January:-

I heard Rip It Up in a Starbucks of all places this weekend and now they just played it on KCRW. What the what? I live in California. no one here has EVER heard of Orange Juice. I mean it’s cool and all, but I’m scratching my head.

Eric Freeman

I’ve absolutely no idea why Edwyn & co’s biggest hit single has all of a sudden gotten airtime on the west coast of the USA….my  stab in the dark is perhaps that it has somehow made its way on the soundtrack of some movie or other, but as someone who hasn’t darkened a cinema in more than six years (the last time being at the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of Control) I’m probably waaaay out with that guess.  Any thoughts dear readers?

Anyway, Eric’s e-mail got me thinking it was time the song appeared on T(n)VV:-

mp3 : Orange Juice – Rip It Up

Rip It Up was released as a single in the UK in February 1983 and a few weeks it reached #8 in the charts.  It was made available as a standard 7″ single, as part of a double-pack (plus poster) on 7″ and as a 12″ single. The sleeve, which seemingly depicts a  US P-40 Warhawk fighter plane, decorated with eyes and teeth and partially submerged, tail first, in the sea, was drawn by Edwyn Collins.

Here’s the other tracks from the double pack:-

mp3 : Orange Juice – Snake Charmer
mp3 : Orange Juice – Love Sick (live)
mp3 : Orange Juice – A Sad Lament

Snake Charmer is a Malcolm Ross composition. Love Sick is a live studio recording of an old Postcard single while the 12″ version of A Sad Lament would later be included on the Texas Fever LP.

The 12″ version of Rip It Up is only marginally longer (about 10 seconds) than the 7″, with the longest version being reserved for the LP version which extends out to some 90 seconds beyond the 7″:-

mp3 : Orange Juice – Rip It Up (LP Version)

If you listen closely, especially on the LP version, you will hear the wonderful voice of Paul Quinn on backing vocals. It’s a pity that he wasn’t asked to appear with the band on Top of The Pops on either of the two occasions they appeared performing the song, although they did smuggle Jim Thirwell onto the show to play saxophone….

The other great thing about Rip It Up is the nod it gives to Boredom by Buzzcocks.  Not only does Edwyn utilise some of the lyrics and proclaims it be his favourite song but there’s also a tribute to the infamous two-note guitar solo.  Have a listen to see what I mean:-

mp3 : Buzzcocks – Boredom

Enjoy!!

MY ALL TIME TOP 10 SINGLES : FELICITY by ORANGE JUICE

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From January 1982.

It reached the giddy heights of #63 in the UK pop charts.

This is the sound of happiness. On a double A side 7″ single.

I really don’t think I need say anymore….

mp3 : Orange Juice – Felicity
mp3 : Orange Juice – In A Nutshell

PS

The irony here is that my favourite Orange Juice single, while sung by Edwyn Collins was in fact written by fellow band-member James Kirk.

Hence the William Shatner reference in this cover version:-

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Felicity

Many years later, James did his own great version of the song:-

mp3 : James Kirk – Felicity