BOOK REVIEW: The Orange Flipbook

IK Multimedia's MODO BASS


There’s simply no way to possibly dislike Orange. Their amps sound cool. Their amps look cool. Their amps are reliable. That’s pretty much all you need to know!

Or is it?

It turns out there’s much more to the story than that. One half of The Orange Flipbook, Building The Brand, takes you behind the scenes at Orange, right back to the very formation of the company as a recording studio and musical instrument store, through to later ventures such as music publishing and a record label, all the way up to the brand’s current resurgence in the eyes of the public and in the backlines of bands like Stone Sour and Rush (and innovations like the OPC).

If you’re like me and you have an interest in old-school musical instrument advertisements, you’ll love the original Orange ads presented here. These comic-style ads explain things like the Orange crest and the company’s famous service log books with style and humour. But perhaps the most entertaining part of the book is the stuff about the original Orange shop, with its distinctive facade (and later, equally distinctive dune buggy). There’s also an explanation of how the company grew laterally into areas like PA systems and guitar design and a run-down of the company’s struggle against a musical instrument association that seemed to go out of its way to exclude Orange and other companies like it. The overall impression is that founder Cliff Cooper really seems to have created a lifestyle and a culture around his company that makes you just yearn to have been a part of it, and I find I’m kicking myself that I wasn’t alive back when Orange launched, because it sounds like it’d be a hell of a lot of fun hanging around the Orange shop back in the day. The luxuriously decadent and decadently luxurious velvet cover helps convey the psychedelic vibe, and through it all there are plenty of photos of Orange amps and other gear on stage with legends like Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash and John Lennon.

But it’s not all anecdote and photography. The other half of the book, The Book Of Orange, is more focused on the amplifiers itself, with in-depth specs and details, along with plenty of photos and quotes from notable users. It’s a handy resource to have, especially for gear geeks like me. But even those with no particular interest in guitar but who have a love for psychedelic culture will love the Building The Brand section.

Order the Orange Flipbook here!