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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 February 2005, 18:07 GMT
How Collins forged solo pop path
Edwyn Collins
The Edinburgh-born singer has released five solo albums
Renowned for his catchy solo hit A Girl Like You, Edwyn Collins first became known for his part in Scottish pop band Orange Juice.

The band had a top 10 UK hit with the single Rip It Up in 1983, but it would be 12 years before Collins returned to the chart.

Collins was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1959 and began his career in 1976 with school punk band the Nu-Sonics.

Three years later, the band had evolved into Orange Juice, one of the central faces of the Glasgow neo-pop scene which enjoyed a loyal cult fan base.

The band signed to Polydor in 1981 and released four albums but, with the success of Rip It Up aside, their commercial prowess failed to live up to their dutiful following.

After several changes in line-up and a self-titled release in 1984 which failed to chart, Orange Juice disbanded.

Global hit

Collins went on to work as a solo artist but didn't release his first album until 1989, after initially failing to win a contract.

Orange Juice
Orange Juice had a top 10 hit with the single Rip It Up in 1983

His debut album was entitled Hope and Despair and featured Orange Juice drummer Zeke Manyika and Aztec Camera's Roddy Frame.

Hellbent on Compromise came next in 1990 followed by his third and most successful album Gorgeous George in 1994, which was home to the hit A Girl Like You.

The multi-million selling global single would come to define the singer, establishing him as a household name and entering the top 10 in seven countries including the UK, France and Australia.

In the same year that he released Gorgeous George, Collins set up his own studio which allowed him to pursue his own sound production ideas and work with other artists.

Producer credits

He has produced work by long-running friend Paul Quinn, the Rockingbirds, A House and Frank and Walters.

He made a fleeting return to the pop charts in 1997 with The Magic Piper (Of Love) from the soundtrack to hit movie Austin Powers.

The album I'm Not Following You was released on independent label Setanta in 1997 and would not be followed up until 2002 with his fifth solo album Doctor Syntax.

Veering away from music briefly in 1999, Collins created Channel 4 sitcom West Heath Yard and feature-length sequel West Heath House in 2000.

He produced The Proclaimers' 2003 album Born Innocent and his current projects include the debut album from London blues three-piece Little Barrie.


SEE ALSO
Singer Edwyn Collins 'very ill'
24 Feb 05 |  Entertainment

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