The first the world heard of Edwyn Collins was in February 1980 with the release of Falling And Laughing. The debut single by his band, Orange Juice, it was also the first offering from Postcard Records, the independent label Edwyn co-founded with Alan Horne, run from the latter’s sock drawer in a former Red Light district in Glasgow’s West End. As a record, Falling And Laughing was a cacophony of shrill guitars. As a song, it was a sublime celebration of unfulfilled ardour to a tune that aimed to bridge the chasm between The Velvet Underground and Chic.
It would be another two decades before Edwyn and Horne’s endeavours would be belatedly recognised as a key foundation stone for indie music, particularly in Scotland where Primal Scream, Belle And Sebastian and Franz Ferdinand would all follow, and acknowledge, Orange Juice’s trailblazing example. In the interim, Edwyn took Orange Juice into the Top 10 with 1983’s Rip It Up, perhaps the epitome of their Velvets/Chic punk-funk hybrid, complete with Buzzcocks-homage guitar solo.
Edwyn immediately embarked on a solo career, though it would be ten years before he found himself back on Top Of The Pops with 1995’s A Girl Like You. Better still, the song’s northern soul groove and Isley Brothers guitar frills rewarded Edwyn with a genuine worldwide smash.
On Sunday, February 20, 2005, Edwyn was admitted to hospital after collapsing at home. He was later diagnosed with having suffered two cerebral haemorrhages and underwent a precarious neurological operation. Incredibly, through a combination of surgical brilliance, the heroic support of his family and his own seemingly invincible will power, Edwyn pulled through. Six months after his stroke, he was back at home. But more phenomenal still was his determination to overcome the physical after-effects hindering his movement and speech so he could return to the studio and finish the album he’d already begun.
The result was Home Again, a testament not only to Edwyn Collins the songwriter, but Edwyn the man and his resolute spirit.
Since the release of Home Again, Edwyn has continued to renew himself, one step at a time. In November 2007, he took to the stage again, having painstakingly relearned the lyrics to his songs. Our hearts were in our mouths, but of course, he pulled the performance off with aplomb. He has continued to tour ever since, increasing in confidence with each show.
In October 2008, he quite suddenly reconnected with the songwriter inside him, and has since recorded a whole raft of new songs for an album released in 2010 called ‘Losing Sleep'.
In May 2009, Edwyn was honoured by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, when he was awarded the Ivor Novello Inspiration Award.
Late 2011 and Edwyn takes it back to the beginning. In a changing music business, and in cahoots with well known A&R renegade, James Endeacott, Analogue Enhanced Digital, a true independent label was born. Learning from the Postcard days, AED is handcrafted, hand picked and hand packed and already blossoming.
Edwyn’s eighth solo album, UNDERSTATED, was released in 2013 on his own label AED Records.
2014 brings a film, called ‘The Possibilities Are Endless', conceived and directed by Ed Lovelace and James Hall. Premiering at SXSW Film in Austin, Texas in March 2014, it’s a hymn to happiness, the story of Edwyn’s life, right now.