Orange Juice

The Glasgow School

Without Orange Juice, Belle & Sebastian, Franz Ferdinand, and Teenage Fanclub wouldn't exist. Hyperbole? Sure. But those later bands would certainly sound markedly less exciting if it weren't for the genre- (and gender-) bending post-punk soul of this seminal Scottish outfit. On this compilation -- which collects the band's early-'80s Postcard Records singles and the original version of its proposed debut LP, Ostrich Churchyard, which was later slicked up for a major label -- Orange Juice bravely combines jangly, careening guitars, jittery disco rhythms, and ambiguous sexuality. The band's unique sound scored a couple of hits in the U.K. but was probably hindered in the long run by Edwyn Collins' vocals, which approximated a '40s crooner with a head cold. (That said, the singer did have a solo hit, "A Girl Like You," in 1994.) Listening now, though, the caffeinated spunk and verbal peculiarities of songs like "Falling and Laughing" and "Blue Boy" seem destined to inspire a whole new generation of unorthodox pop.

 
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