Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Blue Orchids - The Greatest Hit (Money Mountain) (1982)

The Blue Orchids were a British band who arrived on the scene in 1980 and caught the attention of many prominent musicians and critics alike, including the great John Peel and punk poet John Cooper Clark who christened their name. The band was formed by Martin Bramah and Una Baines of The Fall alongside guitarist Rick Goldstraw, bassist Steve Toyne and drummer Ian Rogers and signed to Rough Trade. They released a couple of 7"s and an EP before Phillip Toby Toman, an ex-member of The Durutti Column replaced Rogers on the drums and recorded with them on their debut, The Greatest Hit (Money Mountain). Their sound was very similar to New Zealand acts such as The Clean and to a lesser extent early Chills and they had a vivacious espirit noted by a combination of post punk and pop that was fluent and progressive. The highlight track here is "Bad Education" with its organ driven melodies and clever lyrics. Overall, the album is an interesting foray into the realm of pop, which at the time was rather stale in the UK outside of what was happening with Cherry Red and a few other independent labels. Una Baines left the group after they split in '82 to form The Fates, who recorded a single rather folky, psychedelic gem, Furia.

Rating: 8.5/10


The moody, polished song in this video sounds nothing like what's on The Greatest Hit (Money Mountain), but its still pretty solid so I figured I'd post it anyways.


  1. One of my favorite albums ever, and to me, surely the greatest band coming from Manchester, UK.

  2. Martin Bramah's new band Factory Star have just released their debut album, 'Enter Castle Perilous' on Occultation Recordings. If you like the Blue Orchids it's worth a look... Here's an album preview

  3. Checked out the preview and it sounds like a mix between The Fall and a modern Blue Orchids. I'll definitely keep an eye out for this, thanks.