In 1983, Orange Juice released this great ode to moving on called Rip it Up. Over an insanely catchy guitar rhythm (lightly lifted from Chic’s Good Times) and a Roland TB-303 bass synth track, Edwyn Collins in his most erudite voice details, through his own unique way, the need to get over one’s cynical/conservative self. The first time I heard this track, I casually dismissed this song as being the opposite of this. I mean, a chorus that states: “I hope to God you’re not as dumb as you make out” and “And I hope to God I’m not as numb as you make out” at face value brings to mind those overly serious Morrissey lyrics every mopey teen would quote in the 80s. But man, on second listen I got gobsmacked by the deepness of the song.
How many times are we told to turn the page on life? I mean if our life is a book, and we’re writing it, what kind of saying is that? Sometimes you got to rip parts out and start again. Its always better to excise certain parts of our book that don’t make sense. Edwyn got this thing down pat: cynicism is the worst. It makes us think that being above it all will make us happy. Sometimes you got to reach out, wisen up, and wake up. The hardest thing, which he even acknowledges, is knowing where the story you’re going to write will go next. However, the worst you can do is stay in the doldrums of a back page and think boredom is your lot in life. It feels like even today, nature is starting warm up to that fact and this deceptively upbeat song slots in perfectly for the day.
Youtube has a great official video of this track, see doesn’t even the hardest punk look so welcoming when they smile?