Monday, 21 January 2013

Desert Island Discs 63 Gorgeous George by Edwyn Collins

63 Gorgeous George by Edwyn Collins 1994

I sometimes think I like the idea of Edwyn Collins more than the music itself. If I had to name my top 10 singers he would be there or there abouts, but in truth most of his out put is just too dam patchy.

Every Orange Juice and solo lp I have (and I've got them all) has glorious moments, each of them with at least one track that would up there in my favourite songs chart ... but also at least one or two  which would leave me scratching my head.

Gorgeous George however is top drawer songwriting from start to finish.

Best known for this off course, which turned him for a short time into an international pop star!

He followed it up with this gorgeous bit of pop (check out the interviewers change from Japanese to English!)

The lp starts off with Edwyn's lyrics at their biting best in the campaign for real rock and its "truly detestable summer festival" refrain and the added bonus of having  a pop at the "raggled taggled plastic gyspy Robert Zimmerframe" is a bonus. Goodness knows what people who bought this on the strength of Girl like You made of it all

He is at his best when the assassins knife is hidden in a bouquet of a pretty pop song. Stand out track sees the Gorgeous George Galloway get both barrels. (Strangely I used the think this was all about a Boy George wanting Edwyn to produce a new lp .... I needed to get out more)

Gorgeous George by Edwyn Collins

My other favourite shows that when he strips away the gimmicky production and shifts in style , simple is often best

Low Expectations - Edwyn Collins

Back recording after his illness is remarkable enough but the fact that in Losing Sleep, he produced his strongest work since this lp is a testament to his talent and determination. I do wonder though that in terms of lyrics if anything will hit the heights of the Trojan horse that was Gorgeous George

you can buy the lp here  


  1. I haven't listened to this in ages. I just remember it starts off with a bang, but I thought it kind of faltered near the end. I've still got the CD, so will give it a fresh listen...

    #63 - RODDY FRAME - The North Star (1998)

    - overlap here again... The consensus seems to favour the fragile "Surf" around here, but I prefer a little more meat on the bones...
    Sister Shadow:

  2. Edwyn gloriously inconsistant. I hold fond memories of a ramshackle Orange Juice gig at Sheffield Poly way back when, that was in the 'so bad it's brilliant' category. His songs always seemed on the verge of collapse; you kind of willed him through; which, of course, put you totally in his corner. It was that twinkle and gusto that always pulled him through. That mindset has of course been conflicted/enhanced by his stroke. Admiration at his spirited, feisty fight but (I have to be honest) discomfort whenever I see him perform these days...
    'North Star'? Roddy's so consistent that it really could be any of his albums...

  3. I agree totally that Edwyns output is somewhat patchy, but when he's on fire he's up there with the best. I have a different album from him a little higher.
    Tim - I'm with the 'Surf' lovers but that doesn't mean North Star isn't fantastic. I really like some of the b sides to the North Star singles. Heres a live version of 'Rainy Greys and Blues'
    # 63 Ashby - Power Ballads.If you like Saint Etienne you'll probably like Ashby.Released on the magnificent Marina label.

  4. Any album with Vic Godard on it is a good one in my book! And most with Edwyn are too!

  5. agree phil the b sides from the north star period are fantastic

    the shambolic nature was bought home at what was still one of my best nmuisc nights when i saw Edwyn and Roddy play together. They obviously were great friends and bounced off each otehr fantastically as they played each others songs. One was a great technician and the other like a mischevious younger brother .. it was magical


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