BACK IN EARLY 1983, Edwyn Collins – who celebrates his 55th birthday on August 23 – was enjoying cult success with Scottish ‘new pop’ pioneers Orange Juice, but a Top 40 UK hit was proving elusive. That changed in March when Rip It Up, the title track of their second LP, climbed to Number 8 in the UK chart.
The single marked a move away from their lopsided, post-punk pop sound towards funkier territory, though Edwyn’s impish humour prevailed in the lyrical reference to the Buzzcocks’ punk classic Boredom, whose eccentric three-note guitar solo the song borrows. Rip It Up also claims the distinction of being the first UK hit to feature a Roland TB-303 bass synthesizer.
Orange Juice wouldn’t trouble the Top 40 again, and split in 1985, but this appearance on the short-lived UK music show Switch captures the group at their zenith, performing their big hit plus The Day I Went Down To Texas, which would appear on the 1984 mini-LP Texas Fever.