The first major releases of 1982 were the challenging, sophisticated soundscapes of XTC’s English Settlement and The Fall’s similarly lengthy, gnarly Hex Enduction Hour. Orange Juice seemed on the surface much lighter fare, but the hidden depths of their music made for the best album released so far by mid-February 1982. After a string of brilliant singles from 1980 to 1981 on the Postcard label (collected on The Sound Of Young Scotland along with Josef K, The Go-Betweens and Aztec Camera), Edwyn Collins’ Orange Juice released their debut album. It didn’t seem to make much of an impact at first, with a couple snide, withering reviews in music weeklies like NME. But their exuberant, seemingly naive love songs packed with hidden piss-takes would soon be credited or blamed for influencing The Smiths, who would gain a million times more acclaim and popularity without actually surpassing the consistency of either Orange Juice’s debut, or the follow-up Rip It Up released that same year. Their love of soul was reflected in the somewhat awkward take of “L.O.V.E.,” the lone weak moment in an otherwise flawless album. They would be much more successful with the soulful disco of the Chic-influenced “Rip It Up” later in ’82. Their Buzzcocks influences gave them some edge and had them somewhat awkwardly stuffed into the post-punk bucket, but they were also progenitors of twee pop and the C86 scene with Blueboy, The Field Mice, Shop Assistants, The Pastels and The Flatmates, along with the sophisticated, bookish pop of Lloyd Cole & the Commotions, The Jazz Butcher and Prefab Sprout.