Edwyn Collins

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Edwyn Collins
Edwyn Collins portrait.jpg
Background information
Birth name Edwyn Stephen Collins
Born (1959-08-23) 23 August 1959 (age 54)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Genres Alternative rock
Occupations Singer-songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals, electric guitar, bass guitar, 6 and 12-string acoustic guitar, violin, synthesizer, sampling, drums, harmonica
Years active 1976–present
Labels Setanta/Epic Records
Associated acts Nu-Sonics, Orange Juice, The Drums
Website www.edwyncollins.com

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.[1] 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.[2]


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.[1]

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.[citation needed]

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.[3] 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".[4]

Post-cerebral hemorrhage[edit]

Collins released his sixth solo album, entitled Home Again, in September 2007 on Heavenly Records.[1] 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.[5]

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.[6]

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."[7]

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.[8] (Music journalist Stuart Maconie's first NME article had been a review of Collins' 1987 gig at the Manchester International.)[9]

On 30 July 2011, Collins performed at the Indietracks festival that was held at the Midland Railway, Butterley, UK.[citation needed] During the 2012 Kendal Calling event, Collins sang "A Girl Like You", with Frame on guitar and Tim Burgess on backing vocals.[10]

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.[11]

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.[2]

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".[12]

On 21 August 2010 Collins attended the Helmsdale Highland Games as the chieftain, an honour also previously bestowed on his grandfather.[13]

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[14] and have one son, William.[15]

Solo discography[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Ankeny, Jason (23 August 1959). "Allmusic biography". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  2. ^ a b "stv.tv article". Entertainment.stv.tv. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  3. ^ Goddard, Simon (2007-08-17). "'I was dead - and I was resurrected'". London: Music.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  4. ^ Lewis, John (2010-09-12). "Edwyn Collins: Back with a vengeance | Metro News". Metro.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  5. ^ "YouTube - The Candy Twins Edwyn Collins is Back (tribute song)". Uk.youtube.com. 25 February 2007. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  6. ^ "Edwyn Collins' manager blasts MySpace and major labels over 'A Girl Like You'". NME. 2 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  7. ^ "Musician, heal thyself". CBC News. Retrieved 2009-10-20. 
  8. ^ "BBC Radio 2 - The Radcliffe and Maconie Show, 30/09/2010, Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep and What Is My Role". Bbc.co.uk. 2010-09-30. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  9. ^ Maconie, Stuart (2004). Cider With Roadies (1st ed.). London: Random House. p. 182. ISBN 0-09-189115-9. 
  10. ^ tunafishmediavideos (4 August 2012). "Edwyn Collins, Tim Burgess and Roddy Frame- A Girl Like You (At Tim Peaks- Kendal Calling 2012)" (Video upload). tunafishmediavideos on YouTube. Google Inc. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  11. ^ Ben P Scott (2013-03-29). "Review: Edwyn Collins - Understated (AED Records)". Godisinthetvzine.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  12. ^ "University to honour Olympic gold hero (From Bucks Free Press)". Bucksfreepress.co.uk. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  13. ^ "This Years Chieftain 2010" Retrieved 26 September 2010
  14. ^ "Collins faces fight to build Highland recording studio". Herald Scotland. 2013-03-09. Retrieved 2014-04-17. 
  15. ^ "article". London: Blogs.guardian.co.uk. 4 July 2007. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 

External links[edit]