Aztec Camera were formed by Roddy Frame
in East Kilbride
, in the late 1970's.
No stranger to the limelight, Frame performed on-stage from age 12 onwards, notably at Liverpool
's famous Eric
Quite simply a genius
on guitar, Frame's first recorded release appeared on Scotland
's legendary Postcard
record label-"The Sound of Young Scotland
". "Just like Gold/ We could send letters
" was a promising beginning to a pop career; all chiming guitars and blue-boy lyrics, Frame immediately stood head and shoulders above fellow plank-spankers as the pre-eminent king of jangle-pop.
The subsequent album, "High Land, Hard Rain
", released in 1983, was liberally studded with pop gems too numerous to list, but rest assured that "Oblivious
", "Walk out to Winter
" and "Down the Dip
" still glitter nearly 20 years later.
1984 launched the album "Knife
" directly upwards, a big-hearted jewel-box of pop classics produced by Mark Knopfler
; Frame shows off his utter, utter virtuousity with hints of country picking casually dropped in in almost throwaway fashion on the runout to "Just like the USA
". The single "All I need is Everything
" thrilled those not too shallow to listen. Still totally priceless and well worth a listen if only for a succinct definition of what the word "Songwriter
" used to mean.
", released in 1987, marked a change in style for an AC album. Out went the guitars we used to love and in came the synths we...weren't so sure about. Drum programming on an AC album? That can't be right, surely? Tired of living in pop's hinterland, Frame stormed in with the chart-friendly single "Somewhere in my heart
", which, I suppose, still had fairly big guitars...
Suddenly waking up 3 years later, Frame got introspective and gave us "Stray
", luckily far less polished than it's predecessor, and sounds to me like an angry, disaffected Roddy who had tasted poplife and found it all so sweet that it was sour: viz the single "Good Morning Britain
"; a duet with Mick Jones
, which is just bitterness and 6 strings and weird, sea-shanty overtones...
Frame's released "Dreamland
" and "The North Star
" since then, the latter coming out in 1998, but I was somehow too old to listen by then. For those who doubt, yet wish to believe, "The Best of Aztec Camera
", 1999, is as good a place to start as any.