BY TIM HINELY
Of course you remember the Orchids, or you should anyway. This terrific Glasgow band, formed in 1986, were the darlings of the Sarah Records stable for a few years in the late 80’s/early 90’s….at least in my house they were. Oh and the thing is, they’re still putting out solid/excellent records (check it 2014’s Beatitude #9 that was released on Spain’s Acuarela label).
This 2-cd compilation (38 songs in all, disc one is the best of while disc two is the rarities) focuses on those early Sarah years and beyond and is pretty damn essential. I mean, just listen to the songs, it’s pretty evident that the band was quite special (and next to unknown on our shores) as cuts like “Apologies,” “It’s Only Obvious” and “Bemused, Confused and Bedraggled” are all ace pop tunes that bear repeated listens. Later on on “Peaches” they go all St. Etienne dance on it (and do it damn well) so the band wasn’t afraid to experiment with different styles (and they still aren’t).
As for the rarities disc (which has lots of demos and acoustic versions), this one has some gems, too. Check out the dreamy “From This Day” as well as the demo versions of “Whitley Bay,” “And When I Wake Up” and “And I Paint a Picture.” Man folks (like me) felt that the band split at the peak of their powers in 1995 so it was certainly a welcome return when they came roarin’ back in 2007 with Good To Be a Stranger (their third record since they’ve come back was 2010’s Lost Star). Ian Carmichael provides some insightful liner notes so purchase this immediately (if not sooner and bask in what was (and still is) jangle pop greatness.
DOWNLOAD: “Apologies,” “It’s Only Obvious,” “Bemused, Confused and Bedraggled,” “Peaches”