We’ll get the confessions, the truth and the cold hard facts out of the way first. I’m too young to appreciate the beauty that was Postcard Records. Way too young. I’m not exactly sure when I first chanced upon the label, but it was certainly long after the last of those few, fey and feisty 7″s had made their way out of Alan Horne’s bedroom and into the world. While it was all going on I was too caught up in the chart music du jour – Madness, Adam & the Ants, Swords Of A Thousand Men, Spurs Are On Their Way To Wembley. Proper stuff like that. Had I actually heard Blue Boy or Just Like Gold I doubt I’d have liked them. And if you’re being honest with yourself as you read this, when you were 11 you wouldnae have liked them either.
Meet The Beatles? Velvet Underground? Byrds?
It was probably an article in the short lived Scottish music publication CUT that first brought Postcard Records to my attention. Being a heady 13 years old, by now I knew my Robert Lloyds from my Lloyd Coles and had an appetite for discovering new things. I knew of Orange Juice of course. Rip It Up had been all over the airwaves, the words ‘One Hit Wonder’ running through it’s jangly core like a stick of sugary sweet confectionary. And I must’ve been aware of Aztec Camera by this point too. Over the years I’ve come to realise that year zero for many of these bands I grew to love began at Postcard. Edwyn and Orange Juice. Roddy and Aztec Camera. The Go Betweens. All began their shiny black plastic lives on the Postcard label. Josef K too, but, eh, we’ll scratch that last lot out. I never gave them a chance/listen until Franz Ferdinand waxed lyrical about them a few years ago. Like I said earlier, we’ll get the confessions, the truth and the cold hard facts outta the way first. I like them now though.
Anyway. The reason for this article is three-fold.
- I’ve been meaning to do a bit about Postcard for a while now.
- It’s just over 30 years since the first Postcard 7″, Orange Juice’s Falling And Laughing, was released – there’s a good wee write up about Orange Juice and the pre-OJ Nu-Sonics here.
- Over at the Vinyl Villain, on 6th April they’re celebrating Paul Haig day. Paul Haig was lead singer with Josef K (below). But you knew that already.
So with regards to the above, I’ve compiled The Best Postcard Records Album In The World…Ever. Every a-side and b-side ever released on the label, from Orange Juice’s rare as funk debut (even Edwyn Collins doesn’t have a copy) to Aztec Camera’s non-album Mattress Of Wire. And everything in between, from Antipodean brothers in arms the Go Betweens to Edinburgh’s answer to the Glasgow Glamsters, Josef K. Every track wrapped in eczema-like scratchy guitars, elastic band basslines and vocals just on the wrong side of tuneful. Well. Almost every track. Roddy Frame uses, gasp! – acoustic guitars! He sings in tune! He’s a precocious 16 year old genius. The fucker! It’s the Sound Of Young Scotland y’know!
Here’s what you get:
Why the small writing? Pain in the arse, man.
Download includes exclusive Plain Or Pan artwork.