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 Everett True

Song of the day – 93: Aztec Camera

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A few days back, I had me a hankering to hear some old school Roddy Frame.

I can’t remember why now, shame. Anyway, we’ve been playing his Scots band’s debut album, 1983’s High Land Hard Rain consistently every morning since: it doesn’t intrude too much on the children’s mayhem, but also soothes, the sweetness of the voice and melodies. I recall that at the time of High Land‘s release I was mad with Frame for re-recording several previously released tracks. In this, Aztec Camera shared a dubious honour with The Teardrop Explodes in my mind. Both bands had released debut albums that contained several much-loved singles, and neither of which I liked too much because of the tampering.

Fortunately, both sound better with the distance of time and the lessening of passion.

Charlotte wanted to know whether Aztec Camera or Orange Juice came first: well, Edwyn first (by dint of being a few years older than boy wonder Roddy) but both bands were releasing their debut singles within months of each other – and alongside The Go-Betweens’ UK debut – on Scotland’s still peerless Postcard Records.

It’d be a crime if I directed you to the album version of the following song, so instead I’ve embedded the video to the version that appeared on the NME‘s still fucking incredible state-of-the-nation C81 cassette tape (way, way better than the C86 version that followed, that was but a pale echo). If someone would care to send me an MP3 of C81 so I can wallow in nostalgia for the days when “good music was popular and popular music was good” then please do. (Kevin?)

Anyway. Here. Roddy Frame as a 16-year-old, performing ‘We Could Send Letters’, and pre-dating twee by a good few years, or decades, depending on your take on it.

One Response to Song of the day – 93: Aztec Camera

  1. EverettTrue June 7, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    2 COMMENTS:

    Jerry said…
    (from Facebook)

    Sarah Guinevere Heald likes this.

    Didier Becu
    Adore that but never thought that you would like ’em, Everett 🙂
    02 June at 20:36 ·

    Keir Hardie
    Wow – I saw Aztec Camera and thought ‘I love the C81 version of “We Could Send Letters”‘ pleasantly surprised that’s exactly what you’ve picked! Brilliant! C81 is indeed amazing, as I recall there are two slightly different versions, one you sent off for and one in the shops or something like that, I think they are one track different, one has The Specials and on has the Buzzcocks or something? I got the shops one, which had the Buzzcocks, secondhand in the late 80s (I was ten in 1981 and yet to be sold on the appeal of James Blood Ulmer etc).
    02 June at 22:30 ·

    Sarah Guinevere Heald
    AC have always, in my opinion, oft been grossly under-valued for their lyrics…as well as under-valued per se. Noice work.
    02 June at 22:40 ·

    Tae Won Yu
    One of my favorite records ever. But after this—how did it go so horribly wrong?
    03 June at 01:15 ·

    Everett True
    i completely agree Tae. It’s just plain weird
    03 June at 18:58 ·

    JUNE 7, 2010 3:35 PM
    Jerry said…
    (from Facebook)

    Andrew Hitchcock, Samantha Veal and Ren Scurville like this.

    Ren Scurville
    High Land, Hard Rain = ♥ Especially Oblivious.
    03 June at 19:00 ·

    JUNE 7, 2010 3:37 PM

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