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Today’s New Favourite Best Song Ever

August 15, 2010

Orange Juice are probably my favourite band ever. I’ll not pretend I listen to them constantly, but out of all the bands on pop’s bountiful planet, they are the one that make the most sense to me. They feel right. They are the band I think of when I trot out my favourite slogan, ‘There’s a Thin Line Between Competence and Greatness’. Orange Juice seemed to will themselves into a passable competence, and once there, their most beautiful pop sensibility shaped one of the richest and under-rated back catalogues. They are definitely an acquired taste, so I’m not surprised most people don’t get them, but they were arguably the first band to combine punk and dance, which was a juxtaposition that would eventually lead to rave culture. I’m a big fan of bands who have a genuinely wide range of influences and are capable of blending all their influences into a cogent sound. The Beatles were great exponents of it, and I’d argue that The Flaming Lips are the contemporary band who are best at it. And Orange Juice were superb at it. They were the most musical band of a generation, they fed that musicality through a sarcasm and wit that was first rate, they were eloquent, literary and even a touch meta – ‘that was supposed to sound very profound – it probably sounds trite’.

So here’s I Can’t Help Myself, name-checking the Four Tops back when it wasn’t fashionable to do that, including a disco beat when it was seriously unfashionable to do that, wonderfully bouncy and witty and fun.

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