The Belle Jar- Union Station
Mar 5, 2014
Orange Juice was a Scottish post-punk band. They originally formed in 1976 as Nu-Sonics and later became Orange Juice in 1979. Orange Juice is best known for their hit single “Rip It Up,” which reached #8 in the U.K. singles chart in February 1983. Their musical style was one that combined post-punk guitars with disco and funk rhythms similar to the Clash and Gang of Four. During the bands short-lived career between 1979 and 1984, they released four albums. Their first, You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever, began the slippery slope of internal strife within the band that caused the lineup to change extensively and eventually led to the bands demise.
The box set, Coals to New Castle, provides an extensive look at the band's career and is a great introduction for those who are new to the band. "Rip It Up" starts out with disco rhythm synthesizer then moves into its post punk guitar rhythms, followed by a steady free-flowing disco beat. Singer Edwyn Collins’ vocals are a mix between Mick Jones’ of the Clash and Morrissey, while his lyrics are very campy but fit together with the intricate musical style. "Blue Boy" on the other hand is straight post-punk from the band's musical archive.
"Scaremonger" is a powerful post-punk ballad that features disco and funk rhythms. The song tells of a failed marriage and features the repetitive phrase of “It didn't always be that way.” The musical style is similar to the Clash's "Lost in The Supermarket."
For whatever it’s worth, Coals to Newcastle is a very impressive box set that encompasses the band's career by giving long-time listeners new bonus material to complete their Orange Juice library and provides the essentials for new listeners to become acclimated with a band that has been long forgotten. What makes Orange Juice a great band is that these songs still feel as though they are brand new and will continue to remain brand new.
Check out the classic "Rip It Up":