Rip It Up

Album: Rip It Up (1983)
Charted: 8
Play Video


  • Formed in 1976 as the Nu-Sonics (named after a cheap brand of guitar), this Glasgow band were galvanized into Orange Juice by impresario Alan Horne at the end of the decade. In the early 1980s they were part of the scene that their original label, Postcard, celebrated as "The Sound of Young Scotland" along with fellow bands Josef K and Aztec Camera.

    Orange Juice are best known for this song, which reached #8 on the UK Singles Chart in February 1983, the group's only UK Top 40 hit. Frontman Edwyn Collins went on to experience some solo success, particularly with his 1994 transatlantic hit "A Girl Like You."
  • The song signaled a departure from the sound of the band's earlier post-punk singles, revealing a white-boy funk influence with Chic influenced guitars and a synthesizer. It was the first UK chart hit to feature the Rowland TB – 303 synth, which eventually became synonymous with the Acid House scene.
  • The backing vocals were provided by Paul Quinn, a classmate of Collins between the ages of 11 and 15. Quinn went on to front Bourgie Bourgie, a Scottish band who had a #48 UK hit with "Breaking Point" in 1984. He also collaborated with Edwyn Collins on a version of The Velvet Underground's "Pale Blue Eyes," which reached #72 in the UK the same year.
  • The lyric, "you know the scene and it's very humdrum. And my favorite songs entitled boredom," is a dig at the state of early 1980s Pop, but also a reference to the Buzzcocks, whose debut EP Spiral Scratch was a huge influence on Orange Juice's DIY ethos. A snatch of the guitar riff from the EP's track "Boredom" briefly chimes in after that line.
  • An NME review at the time said of the Rip it Up album: "Orange Juice are a minor group trying hard to be bigger and more significant than a really ought to be." The negative appraisal upset Edwin Collins who recalled in 2013: "When Rip It Up got slagged off by the NME, I would refuse to go on the tour bus because I was depressed! You can laugh about it now, but back then it was life and death."
  • Rip it Up's saxophone parts were provided by British jazz performer Dick Morrisey, who also featured on material by Paul McCartney, Gary Numan, Peter Gabriel and Vangelis. (He played the haunting saxophone solo on the Vangelis composition "Love Theme" for the 1982 film Blade Runner).

Comments: 1

  • Tom from Gibraltar1980-1985 were the greatest years of music.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Jack Tempchin - "Peaceful Easy Feeling"

Jack Tempchin - "Peaceful Easy Feeling"They're Playing My Song

When a waitress wouldn't take him home, Jack wrote what would become one of the Eagles most enduring hits.

Janis Ian: Married in London, but not in New York

Janis Ian: Married in London, but not in New YorkSong Writing

Can you be married in one country but not another? Only if you're part of a gay couple. One of the first famous singers to come out as a lesbian, Janis wrote a song about it.

Why Does Everybody Hate Nu-Metal? Your Metal Questions Answered

Why Does Everybody Hate Nu-Metal? Your Metal Questions AnsweredSong Writing

10 Questions for the author of Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces

Album Cover Inspirations

Album Cover InspirationsSong Writing

Some album art was at least "inspired" by others. A look at some very similar covers.

Chris Isaak

Chris IsaakSongwriter Interviews

Chris tells the story of "Wicked Game," talks milkshakes and moonpies at Sun Records, and explains why women always get their way.

John Kay of Steppenwolf

John Kay of SteppenwolfSongwriter Interviews

Steppenwolf frontman John Kay talks about "Magic Carpet Ride," "Born To Be Wild," and what he values more than awards and accolades.