Sunday, 21 April 2013

Five Star Songs: Orange Juice- Rip It Up

Record Store Day is always a frustrating ordeal, especially for someone who shops for vinyl every other weekend of the year. My Saturday mornings are made for sleeping in and even know there is some rare vinyl to be had during RSD , it is not worth waking up at dawn to go stand in line on a freezing cold morning.

In prior years, I have always gone Record Store Day shopping in the afternoon only to find that all of the good records have been snatched up. Further frustrating is that these stores would bring in live bands to play for further promotion.  I love live music but when I am shopping for records I want to be able to search the aisles trouble free, without a crowd standing in the way watching a band play. So this year I compromised and made my way down to Sonic Boom records at Bloor & Bathurst in Toronto at 10 AM in the morning hoping that I could find most of the RSD releases on my wish list. 

This included The Flaming Lips Zareeika reissue, The White Stripes Elephant reissue, PIL debut single reissue of "Public Image", Bat for Lashes "Laura/Marilyn" 7 inch, David Bowie's "The Stars Are Out Tonight"7 inch, Foals special edition Holy Fire LP, Orange Juice's reissue of Rip It Up and a heck of lot more. The only three releases I was able to find were the Orange Juice, Bowie and Foals records. Everything else was either already taken by early birds or Sonic Boom did not have them in stock. 

I got lucky with the Bowie single as it was the last one on the shelf. Then when I was standing in line some guy saw it in my hands and offered to buy it from me straight up. Unfortunately for him, I was not going to sell it, whatever the price. (He did call Kops Records and they have it in stock. Hope he was able to get there before they ran out).

Surprisingly, some records that were not snatched up for some reason were the Domino Orange Juice reissues. All four original records from the seminal Scottish indie pop band were still in abundance by the time I got there. I only grabbed one of them, that being their 1982 classic Rip it Up.

If you are not familiar with Orange Juice, you are missing out on one of the great Scottish bands of the eighties. Led by Edwyn Collins (famous for his hit "A Girl Like You" from the Empire Records soundtrack), the group was formed in the late seventies. They didn't start releasing singles until 1980 and their first album, You Can't Hide Your Love Forever, came out two years later.

After that album, Collins fired a couple of members of the band, hired drummer Zeke Manyika and let him write a few afro beat inspired songs for a new LP.  The result was Rip it Up, a mixed record full of reworked reggae influenced B Sides, leftovers and the aforementioned Manyika tracks. It may have been a mess but it was great sounding mess and included the band's biggest hit, the title track and first single off of the album, "Rip it Up".

The song charted at Number 8 in the UK pop charts and the sound was miles away from the post punk of the band's first album. The production of the track was exceptionally professional and the music was dance oriented with disco drums and funky guitar. The song's sly lyrics hint at the group's reinvention and the earlier firings of original band members. Watch the video for the song below:

Unfortunately Collins suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in 2005, had to have brain surgery and was not able to perform again until 2008. Thankfully, he recovered enough to release three solo LPs including the album Understated which came out last month.

Check your local record store to find the vinyl reissues of You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever (1982), Rip It Up (1982), Texas Fever (1984) and The Orange Juice (1984) or check out a 6 CD w/DVD box set available at Amazon

No comments:

Post a Comment