Tuesday, January 08, 2013
THE SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF EDWYN COLLINS (Parts 17-19)
Part of the reason being that they came on plain brown sleeves, differentiated only by the labels being either bright yellow, green or blue. But the main reason is that they collectively form the story of Edwyn's post-illness and demonstrate how much of a team effort it has become.
I've written before about the grit and determination of Grace Maxwell, Edwyn's wife and manager, without whom he would most likely never have lived never mind been able to mount the astonishing comeback firstly on stage and then with the 2010 release of Losing Sleep. I cannot recommend enough that you buy and read this book.
Edwyn was lucky enough to have loads of friends in the music business who helped him out at the live gigs and on the new records. He soon learned too that he had loads of admirers who were quick to offer their services to assist with new material and in doing so they brought the great man to a new audience. The end result was as strong and consistent an album in his entire career including the Orange Juice era. Don't take my word for it....read the man from the NME:-
To say that Edwyn is fêted by the UK indie community would be an understatement. The former Orange Juice man can barely walk down the street without a member of Franz or The Cribs bursting out of a café door and laying down their cape in front of him.
The problem with having turned mentor to those he inspired is that, overborne by the guest spots, his seventh solo album ‘Losing Sleep’ could have ended up being the British indie version of Santana’s ‘Supernatural’. Thank cripes, then, that Edwyn has worked hard to integrate his studio visitors to fit his own iron-strong vision.
Indeed, he’s struck the perfect balance between musical exploration and delivering the trademark spiky kazoo-ish guitar buzz he forged with Orange Juice. Most notably on the punchy ‘Bored’, on which he offers a taut cleanliness a step up from OJ’s more cut-loose sound, while on ‘In Your Eyes’ he swerves into different territory, yet remains poised, enlisting The Drums’ Jonathan Pierce to stand in front of his insanely classic riff and croon like Robert Smith.
Dreamy and classic, yes, but ‘Losing Sleep’ is still fun – Edwyn knows that Franz Ferdinand work best with a camp wink and a nudge, so Alex Kapranos gives his smiliest, hip-wiggling “Do do do it again”s on ‘Do It Again’.
It’s been a hard road for Edwyn since 2005 – and he doesn’t shirk from this lyrically, telling us he’s been “losing dignity” and wondering ‘What Is My Role?’ with The Cribs’ Ryan Jarman. But ‘… Sleep’’s pedigree makes any suggestion that his reverence is in any way based on reappraisal following his turmoil laughable. He’s made one of the best British albums of the year – that’s why he should be fêted.
Here's all three singles, b-sides (none of which are available other than on the singles) and a couple of promos:-
mp3 : Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep
mp3 : Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep (instrumental)
mp3 : Edwyn Collins - Do It Again
mp3 : Edwyn Collins - You're Gonna Love This One
mp3 : Edwyn Collins - In Your Eyes
mp3 : Edwyn Collins - To Die For
The last of these singles has a joint vocal with Jonathan Pierce of The Drums....and when played live on the last tour the co-vocal was taken on by Will Collins....son of the great man who has done just as much as his mum to help Edwyn get back on top.
Edwyn's new LP is out later this year and there's live UK dates in April. It's all highly recommended.
Thanks to everyone who offered their views and comments throughout this little series.