Back in 1994 sometime I was lazing at home with MTV on (in those long-lost, far-off days when MTV actually played music) and on came this amazing song. The band were called Orange and the song was “Judy Over The Rainbow”. I rushed out the very next day and bought a copy and to this day it remains a huge favourite and one of the great lost singles of the 1990’s. If only “the kids” had picked up on Orange and not some other band beginning with O around then the musical world of the 90’s could have been a very different and consequently better place. “Judy Over The Rainbow” was to be Orange’s only release and they promptly disappeared.
Thanx to the development of the Internet since then I would occasionally look for any other shred of info about them and eventually turned up that Orange was basically songwriter Rick Corcoran from Sheffield. I also found out he had formed another band called The Orgone Box who released a CD in Japan in 1996 that was almost impossible to find. Then, very recently, I discovered that a small Indie label in Tunbridge Wells had re-issued it on Green vinyl and here it is.
I dropped the needle for the first time with great trepidation thinking “this is either gonna be majestic or shite”. Well, it’s neither. It’s certainly no “Judy Over The Rainbow” (even though there is a version of that song on here) but it is a million miles from being shite. Imagine if you would that prime ’67 Syd Barrettt had made a collaboration album with Jellyfish while all of them had spent a lot of time listening to the Dukes of Stratosphear while living in a flat in Liverpool and you’ll be somewhere close to where The Orgone Box are coming from.
Opener “Hello Central...Give Me Ganymede” and final track “Ticket With No Return” both fit that last paragraph’s description perfectly (while also being the best two songs on the record), a twangy 60’s guitar riff, strange lyrics and an overall pop-psyche feel that naggingly feels like it should come from Liverpool but doesn’t. It’s all less than perfectly recorded, a lot of the tracks have the feel of demo’s about them, in fact if you played me this albums version of “Judy Over The Rainbow” and told me it was a demo by Orange, I’d believe that. Rick Corcoran seemingly hated the major label experience and the recording processes that came with it. After recording “Judy Over The Rainbow” with Orange I’ve read he walked away from his major deal, borrowed some basic recording equipment and that’s where these recordings spring from.
I can’t help but feel that we all missed out on something of a talent when Rick Corcoran walked away from Orange and the music biz but so long as he was happy making these low key/low-fi-ish recordings then who am I to question him ? Have a listen to the two versions of “Judy Over The Rainbow” and forever wonder why it wasn’t a huge success…
Judy Over The Rainbow (Orgone Box) - https://youtu.be/L5nl8aW1v4s?si=NdJRSp1yg1zbRs4L
Judy Over The Rainbow (Orange) - https://youtu.be/UjRzr7p0reU?si=J200GbBYb2a2KS8F