Orange Juice (band)

Orange Juice was a Scottish jangle pop band founded in the Glasgow suburb of Bearsden as the Nu-Sonics in 1976. They became Orange Juice in 1979, and became perhaps the most important band in the Scottish independent music scene that emerged in the post-punk era, inspired by contemporary punk bands including Subway Sect and Buzzcocks but also 1960s acts, most notably The Byrds and The Velvet Underground.

Orange Juice
OriginBearsden, Scotland, United Kingdom
GenresPost-punk,[1] new wave,[2][3] jangle pop[4]
Years active1979–1985, 2008
LabelsPostcard, Polydor, Domino
Past membersEdwyn Collins
James Kirk
David McClymont
Steven Daly
Chris Gordon
Malcolm Ross
Zeke Manyika
Clare Kenny
Johnny Britten
Paul Heard
Steve Skinner

The band released their first singles during 1980 and 1981 on the independent Postcard Records label founded by Alan Horne, along with fellow Scottish bands Josef K and Aztec Camera. Orange Juice's 'neo acoustic', jangly sound - as evident in singles including "Blue Boy" and "Simply Thrilled Honey" - came to define 'The Postcard Sound' that directly influenced acts as diverse as The Bluebells, Haircut One Hundred and The Smiths.[5]

Despite their association with the independent scene, the band signed to the major label Polydor Records in 1981 and recorded their first album, You Can't Hide Your Love Forever for them. However, internal tensions led to splits in the band in late 1981, with their second album, released in late 1982, showing more pop sensibilities and combining their guitar-based sound with disco influences. The band's only Top 40 hit, "Rip It Up" was achieved with the aid of the synthesizer – it was the first hit to use the Roland TB-303.[6] "Rip It Up", reached number 8 on the UK Singles Chart in February 1983.[7] Subsequent singles failed to chart, but the band continued to be critically acclaimed, finally splitting up in January 1985 after a gig for the UK miners' strike.[8] Their four albums have been subsequently reissued and remastered on several occasions, with a major career-spanning box set "Coals to Newcastle" released in 2010.

Edwyn Collins pursued a successful solo career following the band's split, whilst other members James Kirk, David McClymont, Malcolm Ross and Zeke Manyika have had lower-profile solo releases. The original line-up of the band reunited once in 2008 to be honoured for their influence on Scottish music,[9] but the band has never reformed.


Origins: The Nu SonicsEdit

Orange Juice had their origin in the Nu Sonics, formed by Edwyn Collins with college friend Alan Duncan in 1976: the band was named after the affordable Burns) nu-sonic guitar used by Collins. Two students in the year below them - Steven Daly and James Kirk - were drafted in 1977 and a first gig was held in the Silver Thread in Paisley, November 1977, followed by a more significant gig supporting Steel Pulse at Satellite City in January 1978, alongside Johnny and the Self-Abusers, later to be known as [Simple Minds]].[10]

The Postcard YearsEdit

Shortly after the Nu Sonmics became Orange Juice, Duncan left and David McClymont joined the band, with Collins, Kirk, McLyomont and Daly first gig as Orange Juice occuring in April 1979 in the Glasgow School of Art refectory. Daly left shortly after this gig replaced by Chris Gordon on drums, but Daly was persuaded back to record Falling and Laughing for Alan Horne's Postcard records in 1979 after Gordon suffered from stage fright at a number of gigs. This debut single was followed by a series of well-received releases which garnered considerable interest from the London-based music press, as well as invitations to record two sessions for Radio One DJ's John Peel. Demos for an album on Postcard were completed in a single day at Hellfire Studios in 1981, with the working title Ostrich Churchyard. Seeking better distribution to get the debut album to a wider national audience, Postcard approached Rough Trade Records with these demos, with Rough Trade agreeing to fund recording sessions in London in the summer of 1981, promising to distribute the debut album whilst allowing Postcard to retain artistic freedom. In the event Orange Juice took the tapes from these sessions and signed to Polydor, hastening the demise of Postcard. The Postcard Records-era history of Orange Juice is featured in the 2015 documentary film Big Gold Dream.

The Debut AlbumEdit

Debut album You Can't Hide Your Love Forever was not released until February 1982, and received mixed reviews, with the use of backing singers and synthesizers anathema to some of the band's long-term fans. By the stage the album was released, the band in any case had a new line-up: in August 1981, Josef K split up, with Collins asking Malcolm Ross to join the band, making it a five-piece. This caused some ructions, with Daly and Kirk reportedly feeling the band was losing its original sound (Daly in particularly having publicly objected to the first Polydor single L-O-V-E (Love), a cover of the Al Green classic, released in October 1981). Collins was reported as siding with Kirk and Daly before deciding to leave with Malcolm Ross and bass player David McLymont. Collins, Ross and McLymont performed only on handful of occasions as a three-piece, with stand-in drummers, before Zeke Manyika made his live debut in January 1982. As such, the line-up that promoted You Can't Hide Your Love Forever on tour in early 1982 was not the line-up that recorded it, often using dates to debut new material that was overtly more pop in style, including future single "I Can't Help Myself", with its telling reference to The Four Tops, and "In spite of it all", later renamed and issued as the single "Two Hearts Together".

Rip It Up and Chart SuccessEdit

Despite increasing exposure on TV and media, both of Orange Juice's 1982 singles failed to deliver the anticipated hit. However. the album Rip It Up issued in November 1982 was to spawn the eponymous single "Rip It Up", which reached number 8 on the UK Singles Chart in February 1983. Referencing both Chic and the Buzzcocks, the single cemented Orange Juice as one of the brightest bands in the so-called 'new pop' scene. However, follow-up single "Flesh of My Flesh" narrowly failed to chart, and though the following mini-album Texas Fever issued in March 1984 was critically feted, it failed to spawn a hit with its only single Bridge.

Later YearsEdit

By the time third album Texas Fever was released, Ross and McClymont had left the group because of 'musical differences', leaving a core line-up of Collins and Manyika who proceeded to record Orange Juice's final album, The Orange Juice, with Clare Kenny and Johnny Britten. Produced by Dennis Bovell, and named with reference to the third album by The Velvet Underground, the album's lead single "What Presence!?" was notable for a video by Derak Jarman but failed to break the Top 40, peaking at 47, while prophetic single "Lean Period" just crept into the top 75. The album was promoted via 'The Artisans' tour in the Autumn of 1984, with Steve Skinner replacing Britten on guitar, but by this stage venues and crowds were becoming smaller, and relations with Polydor strained by the fact the band could not tour internationally because of Zeke Manyika's immigration status. At the same time, Collins' decision to released material with Paul Quinn on Alan Horne's new Swampland Records record further soured the relationhip with Polydor. The band's final show was in January 1985 at a gig for the UK miners' strike,[8] where they came on as the first act (before Aztec Camera and Everything But The Girl) announcing it was their last gig to a half-empty venue. Their final song was Rock and Roll (I Gave You the Best Years of My Life), a cover of a Kevin Johnson song. Following the split, Manyika recorded a solo LP for Polydor, and Collins signed for Creation Records, with his solo career launched in 1986 with the single "Don't Shilly Shally" on the Creation offshoot Elevation Records.


While never enjoying prolonged commercial success, Orange Juice were to exercise considerable influence over the indie pop and indie rock scenes that followed in the UK. Most notably, commentators often noted the debt that The Smiths played to Collins' lyrics, while a number of other later 80s bands were to cite Orange Juice and other Postcard records acts as an influence, with the C86 scene featuring acts who either covered Orange Juice songs (e.g. The Wedding Present) or who borrowed elements of their sound (e.g. Mighty Mighty, The June Brides, The Bodines). Internationally, Orange Juice also inspired the neo-acoustic movement in Japan, with the band Flipper's Guitar naming their 1989 debut LP after one of James Kirk's compositions, "Three Cheers for Our Side". In the 1990s, the rejuvenated Postcard Records issued a collection of the band's early singles and in 1993 finally released the demos for the first album 'Ostrich Churchyard' alongside a reissue of 'Poor Old Soul', while Polydor collected the best of their major releases on a 'best of' compilation, the Esteemed Orange Juice. In the 2000s, guitar bands including Franz Ferdinand, Hatcham Social, The Drums, and The Cribs proclaimed Orange Juice as an influence, triggering renewed interest in the band. Franz Ferdinand's label, the Domnino Recording Company responded by issuing re-releases of all four Polydor albums on vinyl and CD, with a major 6 CD / DVD collection Coals to Newcastle released in 2010. Edwyn Collins continues to perform Orange Juice songs at his live shows: though Kirk, Manyika, Ross and McLymont also continue to record and perform, the band has never reformed. To date, the original line-up of the band has reunited just once, in 2008, when they were honoured for their influence on Scottish music by the Nordoff Robbins musical trust [11].


The discography of the Scottish band Orange Juice consists of three studio albums, a mini-album, seven compilations, a box-set album, and fourteen singles (including an unreleased "Wan Light" single).

Studio albumsEdit

Year Title Chart positions
1982 You Can't Hide Your Love Forever
  • Released: March 1982
  • Label: Polydor
Rip It Up
  • Released: November 1982
  • Label: Polydor
1984 Texas Fever (mini-album)
  • Released: March 1984
  • Label: Polydor
The Orange Juice
  • Released: November 1984
  • Label: Polydor

Compilation albumsEdit

Year Title Notes
1984 In a Nutshell
  • Label: Polydor
1991 The Orange Juice/You Can't Hide Your Love Forever
  • Label: Polydor
  • 2 LP albums on 1 CD compilation.
1992 The Esteemed – The Very Best of Orange Juice (featuring Edwyn Collins)
  • Label: Polydor
Ostrich Churchyard
  • Label: Postcard
  • The CD release of the previously unreleased debut Orange Juice album for Postcard Records ('The Sound of Young Scotland')
  • Also includes a John Peel Session, and, on the Japanese issue, a bonus BBC Radio 1 session track, "Wan Light".
1993 The Heather's on Fire
  • Label: Postcard
  • The other CD release by Orange Juice on Postcard Records
  • This collection brings the first four singles together with some more radio sessions and, on the Scottish version, a NuSonics (pre-Orange Juice) cover of the New York Dolls song "Who Are The Mystery Girls?".
2002 A Casual Introduction 1981/2001 (Edwyn Collins & Orange Juice)
  • Compilation of Collins' solo work and Orange Juice
2005 The Glasgow School
  • Compilation of Postcard-era tracks
  • Named "Reissue of the Year" for 2005 by Uncut magazine in the UK.[12]
2010 Coals to Newcastle
  • Label: Domino
  • 6 CD and 1 DVD box-set anthology of all Orange Juice's previously released and unreleased output[13]


Year Title Chart positions Album
UK Indie NZ
1980 "Falling and Laughing" 48
"Blue Boy" 15
"Simply Thrilled Honey" 5
1981 "Poor Old Soul" 5
"Wan Light" (scheduled on Postcard Records but never released) n/a n/a n/a
"L.O.V.E. Love" 65 n/a You Can't Hide Your Love Forever
1982 "Felicity" 63 n/a
"Two Hearts Together" 60 n/a
"I Can't Help Myself" 42 n/a Rip It Up
1983 "Rip It Up" 8 n/a 42
"Flesh of My Flesh" 41 n/a
1984 "Bridge" 67 n/a Texas Fever
"What Presence" 47 n/a The Orange Juice
"Lean Period" 74 n/a


  1. ^ "Pop/Rock » Punk/New Wave » Post-Punk". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Orange Juice, Aztec Camera Reissued by Domino - Pitchfork". Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  3. ^ Petridis, Alexis (21 July 2005). "Orange Juice, The Glasgow School". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  4. ^ Harvel, Jess. "Now That's What I Call New Pop!". Pitchfork Media. 12 September 2005.
  5. ^ Jack, Malcolm (20 July 2016). "Orange Juice and Edwyn Collins – 10 of the best". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Buzzcocks: Boredom / Orange Juice: Rip It Up - Seconds - Stylus Magazine". Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 408. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  8. ^ a b "Pop bands put on miners' benefit show".
  9. ^ "Music Legends Orange Juice Together".
  10. ^ Gilbert, Pat, 'Orange Juice' Record Collector no 193, Sept 1995
  11. ^ "Music Legends Orange Juice Together".
  12. ^ "UNCUT - The spiritual home of great rock music". Uncut. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Announcing the Orange Juice Boxset - Coals To Newcastle". Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  14. ^ "Orange Juice - Rip It Up (Song)". Retrieved 26 May 2013.

External linksEdit