Stage 2: SUNDAY 11
The first the world heard of Edwyn Collins was in February 1980 with the release of Falling And Laughing. The debut single by his band, Orange Juice, it was also the first offering from Postcard Records, the independent label Edwyn cofounded with Alan Horne. As a record, Falling And Laughing was a cacophony of shrill guitars. As a song, it was a sublime celebration of unfulfilled ardour to a tune that aimed to bridge the chasm between The Velvet Underground and Chic.
After ten more records, including three increasingly inventive Orange Juice singles, Postcard closed in late 1981. It would be another two decades before Edwyn and Horne’s endeavours would be belatedly recognised as a key foundation stone for indie music, particularly in Scotland where Primal Scream, Belle And Sebastian and Franz Ferdinand would all follow, and acknowledge, Orange Juice’s trailblazing example.
In the interim, Edwyn took Orange Juice into the Top 10 with 1983’s Rip It Up, perhaps the epitome of their Velvets/Chic punk-funk hybrid, complete with Buzzcocks-homage guitar solo.
Edwyn immediately embarked on a solo career, though it would be ten years before he found himself back on Top Of The Pops with 1995’s A Girl Like You. Better still, the song’s northern soul groove and Isley Brothers guitar frills rewarded Edwyn with a genuine worldwide smash.
In February 2005, Edwyn was admitted to hospital after collapsing at home – he was later diagnosed with having suffered two cerebral haemorrhages. Incredibly, Edwyn pulled through. Six months after his stroke, he was back at home. But more phenomenal still was his determination to overcome the physical after-effects hindering his movement and speech so he could return to the studio and finish the album he’d already begun.
Edwyn’s eigth solo album, Understated, was released in 2013 on his own label AED Records, Edwyn’s latest venture and his response to the challenges of the new music business. Truly independent, small, careful attention to detail. The template hasn’t really changed since he established his first label, Postcard, 30 odd years ago. 2014 brought a film, called ‘The Possibilities Are Endless,’ conceived and directed by Ed Lovelace and James Hall. Premiering at SXSW Film in Austin, Texas in March 2014, it’s a hymn to happiness, the story of Edwyn’s life, right now. Edwyn is responsible for the soundtrack, released in late 2014.