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A Song That Makes Me Happy

May 8, 2014

Hmm, a song that makes me happy. Well, let’s see.

Oddly enough, I don’t reach to music to make me happy or when I feel happy. I’m a ‘wallow in misery’ type of pop fan. I like sadness and tragedy in music. I love death and heartbreak. Happiness is alien to my listening habits. So it’s tough to nail down a song that regularly triggers happiness in me.

There were a few contenders. I thought about Sonique It Feels So Good, which is a lovely song. And Groove is the Heart by Deee-lite, which always makes me want to dance. And even Do You Realize by The Flaming Lips, (which might seem pretty counter-intuitive, if you know the song). But in the end it boiled down to Orange Juice, my favourite band, and Rip It Up.

I believe Rip It Up was the first chart hit to feature a Roland TR-303 bass line. (I read that – I haven’t been through every UK chart song and analysed them!)

Last week, I finished reading Simply Thrilled: The Preposterous Story of Postcard Records, which, as part of the tale, documents Orange Juice’s early years. I love books about record labels. I love the investment in other people, the faith that they are making something important, the sheer nerve involved in spending money they didn’t have on something that might fall flat. In the case of Postcard, they released some great singles but, though they were seeking a hit record, it didn’t happen till the bands left the label and went with a major. As well as Orange Juice, Postcard let Aztec Camera, the Bluebells and Strawberry Switchblade slip through their fingers. But somehow, through it all, Postcard became legendary.

I never feel Orange Juice get the credit they deserve, and frankly, I kind of like that. I like them being a secret for those that know. They were always a band labouring against the odds and, when I stick up for them, it feels like I’m helping make a case for them taking their place in the rock pantheon.

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