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.

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