ORANGE JUICE-YOU CAN’T HIDE YOUR LOVE FOREVER.

ORANGE JUICE-YOU CAN’T HIDE YOUR LOVE FOREVER.

Bearsden, a leafy suburb of Glasgow, was an unlikely place to form The Nu-Sonics, a  post-punk band. Named after a line of budget guitars, The Nu-Sonics were formed by Edwyn Collins and his school friend Alan Duncan. They were then joined by James Kirk and Steven Daly, who had jut left another band called The Machetes. Three years later, in 1979, The Nu-Sonics became Orange Juice in 1979. A year later, Orange Juice signed to the legendary Postcard Records.

Postcard Records was founded by Alan Horne in Glasgow, in 1979. Originally, Postcard Records was setup as a vehicle to release singles by two bands, Orange Juice and Josef K. In homage to Motown, Postcard Records’ slogan was “The Sound of Young Scotland.” The nascent label’s debut release was Orange Juice’s Falling and Laughing. 

It was jointly financed by Alan Horne along with Orange Juice’s Edwyn Collins and David McClymont. Released in April of 1980, Falling and Laughing reached a respectable number forty-eight in the UK. With that minor hit single, an ionic record label and band had been born. Sadly, by the time Orange Juice released their 1982 debut album You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever, Postcard Records was no more. Before Orange Juice released You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever, which was recently rereleased by Domino Records, they’d release another five singles. By then, Orange Juice were one of Scotland’s most exciting bands.

The followup to Falling and Laughing, was Blue Boy, which was released in September 1980. It reached number fifteen in the UK. Simply Thrilled Honey, which released in December 1980, gave Orange Juice their first top ten UK hit, when it reached number five. Poor Old Soul released in March 1981, also reached number five. In May 1981, Orange Juice recorded Wan Light. However, it was never released.

Despite this, Orange Juice were one of Scotland’s most successful bands. Postcard Records had established a reputation as a label who released exciting and innovative music. However, Orange Juice had released their last single for Postcard Records. They’d sign for a major label.

Polydor Records was Orange Juice’s new label. It was a far cry from Alan Horne’s Postcard Records. Orange Juice were part of the major label machine. For their major label debut, Orange Juice released a cover of Al Green’s classic L.O.V.E. Whether this was the band’s idea, isn’t know. What is known, is the single stalled at number sixty-five in the UK on its release in 1981. This would be Orange Juice’s last single before they released their debut album You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever.

You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever featured the five singles Orange Juice ryas released, It also featured the unreleased Wan Light. Of the thirteen tracks, Edwyn Collins wrote nine and James Kirk three. The exception was L.O.V.E. which had been penned by Al Green, Mabon “Teenie” Holdges and Willie Mitchell. These thirteen tracks became You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever.

Recording of You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever took place at Berwick Street Studios, London. Edwyn sang lead vocals and played, lead, rhythm and twelve-string guitar. James Kirk played, lead, rhythm and twelve-string guitar. David McClymont played bass and Steven Daly drums and percussion. Augmenting Orange Juice were keyboardist Mike McEvoy and backing vocalists Jackie Challenor, Esther Byrd and Lorenza Johnson. Together with the combined talents of Orange Juice, You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever  was ready for release in 1982.

On the release of You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever in March 1982, it reached number twenty-one in the UK. Felicity was released as a single, reaching just number sixty-three. Whilst that was disappointing, You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever had launched Orange Juice’s career at Polydor. However, thirty-two years later, has You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever stood the test of time?

Opening You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever is Falling And Laughing. Orange Juice’s rhythm section and jangling guitars unite before Edwyn’s vocal enters. It’s a paean par excellence. Edwyn’s vocal is a mixture of longing, loathing, confusion and teenage angst. All the time, he’s enveloped by a jaunty arrangement. It’s full of harmonies and chiming guitars. In three minutes, Orange Juice are introduced to a wider audience to their unique fusion of perfect pop and indie rock. 

Untitled Melody features a despondent Edwyn. He delivers lyrics that are variously cerebral, witty and scathing. Proof of this are the lines: “you’re so transparent I can guess without question, you need something or other to cover your expression.” Meanwhile the rest of the band provide a slow, melancholy backdrop. The probing bass and hypnotic drums are key to the arrangement. Playing supporting roles are the keyboards and jangly guitar. Taking centre-stage is Edwyn’s worldweary vocal.

Chiming, jangling guitars open Wan Light.They drive the almost funky arrangement along. Edwyn’s vocal is best described as enigmatic. Like a butterfly, he flits between emotions, wondering: “is this what life is all about?”He veers between thoughtful and joyous. Horns serenade his vocal, while handclaps encourage him, as he plays his part in a hook-laden hidden gem. Why Alan Horne never released this on Postcard Records seems strange?

Strident drums grab your attention, as Tender Object object unfolds. It’s a reminder of Orange Juice’s post punk’s roots. It’s a swashbuckling track, thanks to David’s bass masterclass. He’s part of the funky, pounding backdrop to Edwyn’s tortured vocal. His vocal is full or sadness and regret: at “my fall from grace.”

Listen to Dying Day and you’ll hear similarities with Edwyn and Morrisey. I’d go further and say Orange Juice must have influenced The Smiths, both stylistically and lyrically. This is another relationship song. Love’s gone wrong again. Gradually, a helper skelter arrangement unfolds. Edwyn’s vocal is rueful, and full of pathos and regret. It’s only with hindsight he realises what he had and lost.

L.O.V.E. Love is a cover of the old Al Green classic. The only problem with covering a classic, is the definitive version of the song has been recorded. Grizzled horns give way to Edwyn’s heartfelt, tender and soulful vocal. Meanwhile, sweeping harmonies accompany him. It’s a case of staying true to the original. By not reinventing the wheel, new life is breathed into an old classic.

Intuition Told Me (Part 1) sees Edwyn take on the role of troubadour. Accompanied by acoustic guitars, piano and harmonies the track takes on a vintage sound. The only problem is the song only lasts a minute. It’s a tantalising taste of what might have been.

Upwards And Onwards features the combination of Edwyn’s literate lyrics and a jaunty, poppy arrangement. As Edwyn delivers the lyrics, it’s obvious he’s putting on a brave face. Especially when he sings: “I can’t suppress the guilt I feel inside.”

Meanwhile, the arrangement  proves Orange Juice have come a long way. They’re a tight, polished band. Slick, rocky riffs are unleashed, while the tight rhythm section provide the track’s heartbeat. Despite who often Edwyn sings “Upwards And Onwards” he can’t rid himself of his guilt.

Satellite City sees Orange Juice return to the funky side. Stabs of horns and an uber funky Orange Juice combine. Edwyn seems to have been listening to some classic Salsoul before the session. The horns are straight out the Salsoul back-catalogue. This seems to inspire him. He vamps his way through the track. Chiming horns and blazing horns then take centre-stage, strutting their funky stuff. The result is one of You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever’s highlights.

Three Cheers For Our Side sees Orange Juice briefly seek inspiration from Motown. The big clues are the stomping beat and la la harmonies. Then all of a sudden the tempo drops, and Edwyn croons. This is fitting given the lyrics. It brings home their beauty and ultimate sadness, given the sting in this song’s tail. Penned by James Kirk, it shows that when it came to songwriting, Orange Juice had more than one talented songwriter.

Briefly, Consolation Prize reminds me of That’ll Be The Day. That’s just the chiming, retro guitar licks. They’re part of the probing, meandering rhythm section that accompanies Edwyn. His lyrics are a mixture of humour and pathos. With tongue in cheek, Edwyn sings: “I’ll be your Consolation Prize.”

Felicity was the single released from You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever. Again, Edwyn sounds not unlike Morrissey. There’s also similarities with Aztec Camera’s Roddy Frame. What unfolds is one of the rockiest tracks on the albums. Orange Juice’s rhythm section power the arrangement along. Swathes of guitars match Edwyn’s emotive, vampish vocal. He sings as if his very life depends on it. Sadly, despite the track’s undeniable quality, it stalled at just number sixty-three in the UK.

Understated and wistful describes In A Nutshell, which closes You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever. Just chiming guitars accompany an heartbroken Edwyn. Drums then provide the heartbeat as Edwyn reflects. His heart’s been broken by “a heartless mercenary.” Accompanied by cooing harmonies, he remembers looking: “behind the iron curtain.” Bitter and heartbroken, it’s as if lashing out verbally will prove cathartic. It won’t and he knows it. Instead, it’s youthful bravado. This youthful bravado resulted in a quite poignant and beautiful song.

As someone who grew up listening to Orange Juice and remembers them from their Postcard Records’ days, the recent rerelease of You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever is well overdue. For too long, Orange Juice’s four albums hadn’t made it to CD. Thankfully, that’s been rectified by Domino Records. They recently released their four albums. Orange Juice’s debut album was You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever/

Earlier, I wonder if You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever would’ve stood the test of time. The answer to that is a resounding yes. Timeless describes You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever. With its combination of perfect pop, rock, funk and soul, You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever is one of the finest albums to come out of Scotland in the last forty years. Quite simply, You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever is a minor classic. No wonder.

Orange Juice had spent six years honing their sound. They’d come a long way since their early years as the post-punk Nu-Sonics. By 1982, they were a slick, polished and tight band. They were fortunate enough to have two talented songwriters. Edwyn Collins and James Kirk. They penned twelve of the thirteen tracks on You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever. They were variously beautiful, cerebral, joyous, literate, melancholy, poignant and wistful. Edwyn’s vocal brings the lyrics to life, breathing life, meaning and emotion into them. Behind him, Orange Juice’s trademark sound provided the perfect accompaniment. Together they were well on their way to becoming one of the most important bands in Scotland’s musical history.

Between 1982 and 1984, Orange Juice released a quartet of albums. Rip It Up followed in September 1982, with Texas Fever released in March 1984. Orange Juice’s swan-song was The Orange Juice, which was released in November 1984. That was their finale. However, Orange Juice’s most successful album, and the album that launched their career was You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever, which introduced the world to Orange Juice’s unique brand of pop perfection. Standout Tracks: Falling and Laughing, L.O.V.E. Love, Felicity and In A Nutshell.

ORANGE JUICE-YOU CAN’T HIDE YOUR LOVE FOREVER.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: