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Edwyn Collins

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  • Born: Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Years Active: 1980s, 1990s, 2000s
  • Website: http://www.edwyncollins.com/
  • Recent Activity: 04.18.14 RT @colorama_sound: #RSD14 Tomorrow / @recordstoreday!!! Carwyn and David will be accompanying Mr. @EdwynCollins at @RoughTrade West and @S…
  • Edwyn Collins


Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

Best known for his tenure fronting the Scottish pop revivalists Orange Juice as well as his international solo hit "A Girl Like You," singer Edwyn Collins was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1959. In 1976, he formed the Nu-Sonics, who resurfaced three years later as Orange Juice; the leading proponent of the Glasgow neo-pop scene, the band earned a devoted cult following but little commercial success, and by the early '80s Collins was the only remaining founding member. After a self-titled 1984 release failed to chart, Orange Juice disbanded, and Collins was freed from his contract with the group's label, Polydor.

A solo career seemed imminent, but the singer struggled; dogged by a reputation as a stubborn, difficult perfectionist unmoved by prevailing commercial attitudes, Collins found no one willing to offer him a contract, and only after a pair of sold-out London performances did Creation's Alan McGee sign him to the label's Elevation subsidiary in 1986. The singles "Don't Shilly Shally" (produced by Cocteau Twin Robin Guthrie) and "My Beloved Girl" followed, but both failed to chart; in 1987, Elevation folded, and after Collins and McGee had a falling out, the singer was again left without a contract.

Some months later, Collins accepted the opportunity to record at a small German studio run by a group of devoted Orange Juice fans; cut with the aid of producer Dennis Bovell as well as Aztec Camera frontman Roddy Frame, the resulting LP, Hope and Despair, a brooding, ambitious collection spotlighting Collins' smooth, soulful baritone, was eventually picked up by the Demon label and issued in 1989. The album proved quite successful on the independent charts, and soon Collins returned to the studio to record 1990's Spartan Hellbent on Compromise; when the LP failed to repeat its predecessor's good fortune, Demon dropped him from their ranks, and another long sabbatical followed.

After spending much of the decade's first half in the producer's seat, overseeing sessions from artists including longtime pal Paul Quinn, the Rockingbirds, A House, and the Frank and Walters, Collins finally earned another shot as a performer: after signing with the tiny U.K. indie Setanta, he recorded 1994's Gorgeous George, a scathing, shimmering set of retro-pop highlighted by the single "A Girl Like You." Slowly, the song became a massive hit throughout Europe as well as the U.S. and returned Collins to the charts for the first time since the 1983 Orange Juice smash "Rip It Up," finally establishing the longstanding cult hero as something of a household name.

In 2005, Collins was rushed to the hospital after suffering a severe cerebral hemorrhage; he would eventually spend six months recovering from brain surgery. The album that Collins had been recording prior to his illness was mixed after he was discharged from the hospital. Entitled Home Again, it was released on Heavenly Recordings in September 2007. In 2010 Collins released Losing Sleep, his first new collection of songs since his illness. The album featured guest appearances from a wide range of friends and admirers and showed that Collins was well along the road to recovery.

As Collins continued to get stronger, he and James Endeacott, a former A&R man at Rough Trade, formed a new record label, Analogue Enhanced Digital, to release further records by Edwyn and also new artists the duo discovered. He also maintained a regular schedule of playing live shows, and in March of 2013 released a new album for AED, Understated.


Edwyn Stephen Collins (born 23 August 1959) is a Scottish alternative rock musician, known principally for his 1994 song "A Girl Like You". Collins formed the musical group Nu-Sonics in 1976, which later became Orange Juice. He has since pursued a solo career as a musician, in addition to work as an illustrator, television actor and producer, and as a record producer. Collins has won an Ivor Novello Award.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).


Career1.1 Orange Juice1.2 Solo career to 20051.3 Cerebral hemorrhage1.4 Post-cerebral hemorrhage


Orange Juice[edit]

Orange Juice had a No. 8 hit single with "Rip It Up", their only UK Top 40 single and biggest commercial success. In 1985, Orange Juice disbanded; after some difficulty finding a record label with which to sign, Collins began his solo career a year later after signing with the Elevation subsidiary of Creation Records.

Solo career to 2005[edit]

Collins released a 1994 single, "A Girl Like You", which was a hit in both the UK and the U.S. and was featured in the films Empire Records, The Secretary and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. "The Magic Piper (of Love)", a 1997 single that featured on the soundtrack of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, was also released.

Collins built his own recording studio in 1994 that was used to record his third solo album, Gorgeous George, which he also produced.

Cerebral hemorrhage[edit]

In a BBC 6 Music radio interview on 18 February 2005, Collins said he felt unwell, but ascribed the nausea and vertigo to food poisoning. Two days later, he was admitted to intensive care in London's Royal Free Hospital after apparently suffering a major cerebral hemorrhage. After suffering a second haemorrhage he had an operation on 25 February 2005, which was followed by a lengthy programme of neurological rehabilitation owing to right-sided weakness and difficulty with speech. The aphasia he suffered allowed him to repeat only four phrases, over and over again: "yes", "no", "Grace Maxwell" (his wife's name) and "the possibilities are endless".

Post-cerebral hemorrhage[edit]

Collins released his sixth solo album, entitled Home Again, in September 2007 on Heavenly Records. The album was recorded before his illness but mixed after his discharge from hospital. While still recovering, Collins returned to singing live, including playing a gig at The Arts Theatre in London, UK. A tribute song celebrating his return was recorded by the indie pop band The Candy Twins.

A BBC Scotland documentary, Edwyn Collins: Home Again, narrated by Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos, was broadcast on 19 May 2008. Filmed during 2007, it followed Collins's progress in recovering from his illness, and his first return to live performance at the BBC Electric Proms. Collins then performed at the Glastonbury Festival, broadcast on 28 June 2008 on BBC Two and at T in the Park on 10 July 2009.

On 2 October 2009, Collins's wife and manager Maxwell detailed her "running battle" with Warner Music Group and MySpace over his right to allow fans to listen to "A Girl Like You" for free on his MySpace page.

In November 2009, at a gig in London's Bloomsbury Ballroom, following a tour of the Scottish Highlands, Collins' singing was contrasted with his slow speech: "[W]hen he started to sing, his baritone proved as powerful as ever."

On 20 February 2010 he joined The Maccabees onstage at Brixton Academy for their encore, performing vocals on a rendition of "Rip It Up". Losing Sleep was released on 13 September 2010 in the UK. It was Collins' first written and recorded album since his 2005 illness. It was recorded at his own West Heath Studios between November 2008 and May 2010 and produced by Collins and Sebastian Lewsley. For the album, he collaborated with The Cribs' Ryan Jarman and Johnny Marr, Kapranos and Nick McCarthy, The Magic Numbers singer Romeo Stodart, The Drums and Roddy Frame.

On 30 September 2010, Collins and his band broadcast three numbers live from the Royal Beacon Hotel in Exmouth for BBC Radio 2's Radcliffe and Maconie Show. (Music journalist Stuart Maconie's first NME article had been a review of Collins' 1987 gig at the Manchester International.)

On 30 July 2011, Collins performed at the Indietracks festival that was held at the Midland Railway, Butterley, UK. During the 2012 Kendal Calling event, Collins sang "A Girl Like You", with Frame on guitar and Tim Burgess on backing vocals.

Collins's eighth solo album Understated was released in March 2013 on his own AED Records label and was critically well received, with God Is In The TV stating:

Understated is more than just another step to recovery, it is indeed a fine record in its own right, and utterly life-affirming. It’s also perhaps the ultimate testament to the healing power of music. He lost the ability to read, write, and lost movement in half of his body, but what he didn’t lose was his gift for coming up with an ear-catching tune, as is proved here. It will make you smile, it may even make you cry, and its an album that reminds you how good it is to be alive.

Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Production work[edit]

Collins has also worked extensively as a record producer with other artists, including The Proclaimers, Vic Godard, A House, Space, Robert Forster, The Cribs, and Little Barrie. In 2005, Collins produced the album The New Fellas recorded by The Cribs.

Other projects[edit]

In addition to his music career, Collins has also produced and starred in the Channel 4 sitcom, West Heath Yard. Collins released his first book of illustrations with Morel Books in 2009.

Awards and honours[edit]

In May 2009, Collins won the Ivors Inspiration Award in recognition of his struggles following his 2005 brain haemorrhage.

In 2010, he received an honorary masters degree from the Buckinghamshire New University in recognition of his "strong influences and contribution to the national and international music industry over the last three decades".

On 21 August 2010 Collins attended the Helmsdale Highland Games as the chieftain, an honour also previously bestowed on his grandfather.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Personal life[edit]

Collins was born in Edinburgh. He is married to Grace Maxwell, who is also his manager. The couple live in London and Helmsdale and have one son, William.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Solo discography[edit]

Hope and Despair - Demon, 1989Hellbent on Compromise - Diablo, 1990Gorgeous George - Setanta, 1994, UK #8, US #183I'm Not Following You - Epic, 1997, UK #55Doctor Syntax - Setanta, 2002A Casual Introduction 1981/2001 - Setanta, 2002 (collection of Orange Juice and solo work)Home Again - Heavenly Records, 2007, UK #90Losing Sleep - Heavenly Records, 2010, UK #54Understated - AED Records, 2013
more »more »

Tour Dates All Dates Dates In My Area

Date Venue Location Tickets
06.13.14 Royal Festival Hall London, London UK
06.15.14 Oran Mor Glasgow, Dby UK
06.16.14 Manchester The Deaf Institute Manchester, Lan UK
06.17.14 Queen Elizabeth Hall London, Lnd UK

eMusic Features


Jukebox Jury: Edwyn Collins

By J. Edward Keyes, Editor-in-Chief

On Feb. 20, 2005, after two days of intermittent headaches and nausea, Edwyn Collins collapsed at his home in London, felled by a pair of cerebral hemorrhages that rendered him comatose and — for a few brief moments — inches from death. Shortly after the operation that saved his life, he suffered an infection, forcing his doctors first to remove and then, when the infection had dissipated, to reinstate a titanium plate in his skull.… more »

Video from YouTube

  • thumbnail from Edwyn Collins - "In Your Eyes" Edwyn Collins - "In Your Eyes"
  • thumbnail from Edwyn Collins - "Losing Sleep" Edwyn Collins - "Losing Sleep"
  • thumbnail from Edwyn Collins - A Girl Like You Edwyn Collins - A Girl Like You


  • 04.18.14 RT @colorama_sound: #RSD14 Tomorrow / @recordstoreday!!! Carwyn and David will be accompanying Mr. @EdwynCollins at @RoughTrade West and @S…
  • 04.18.14 Just One Look by Doris Troy: http://t.co/lY5rKIhJHw via @YouTube little bit Ska, Soul & R&B, The Hollies covered it too,back in the day-EC
  • 04.18.14 Hello Punks, Today I'm practicing with Carwyn ,David, & ME,!!!@!!! Brilliant!!@!!!!!-Edwyn,
  • 04.17.14 Traffic - Paper Sun: http://t.co/DiUP8nJLZd via @YouTube 1967, I like the Taxidermy vibe!!!@!! Steve W' on Vox, I think, nice!!!@@!!!!-Edwyn