100 Greatest Songs of the 80’s #41 Orange Juice – Rip It Up

Released : 1983

Speaking in the 2007 documentary The Sound Of Young Scotland, Josef K’s Malcolm Ross described how in the north the main ethos for a new generation of young bands creatively was a freedom to escape the strictures of 1976; ‘There wasn’t anything to punk musically. The board had been wiped clean’.

Orange Juice began life on Glasgow’s ramshackle Postcard label, but their defection to a major effectively brought Alan Horne’s legendary experiment in hipster chutzpah to an end. Instead of the scratchy, impatient guitars and rubber bass of their earlier work, Rip It Up by contrast featured a Roland TB-303 – in a different guise later so central to acid house, a riff so angular you could’ve cut diamonds with it a heavenly sax break precisely where there was no right to be.

It was the hit everyone felt would never happen, despite on release it being famously panned by the NME. Collins deadpanned one of the most famous lines ever uttered of indie wisdom about his favourite song being Boredom, and somehow this funky, pop-tastic gem earwormed it’s way into our affections for eternity.

It’s also of course a handy metaphor for everything to do with 2020.

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