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Stray

6 customer reviews

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Stray + Love + Knife [Expanded Edition]
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Product details

  • Audio CD (6 Sept. 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner
  • ASIN: B000026HBA
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,955 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Product Description

CD WEA, 9031-71694-2, 1990, 9 Track

Amazon.co.uk review

Stray is the fourth album that Roddy Frame recorded as Aztec Camera. Having been accepted into the pop mainstream with the polished soul confections of the 1987 hit album Love, a lesser act would have hurriedly knocked together a variation on the same theme. Not Roddy Frame, a talent rarely any easier to pin down than a hyperactive housefly. He took three years out before re-appearing with Stray, a Paul Weller crop, leather trousers and an apparent determination to pick up where the Clash left off--even to the point of drafting Mick Jones in to duet on the state-of-the-nation address "Good Morning Britain".

Stray almost sounds like the work of a man who has only just realised that you can plug in a guitar and is determined to make up for lost time. "That's How It Is" remains Frame's most explicitly rock & roll moment, and "The Crying Scene" was a deftly executed summation of everything that had made previous Aztec Camera records great--a way with melody, lyric, vocal and guitar apparently as effortless as it was unarguably peerless. --Andrew Mueller

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Neil on 13 Dec. 2000
Format: Audio CD
The first time I heard this - coming as it did a couple of years on from the classic High-land Hard Rain I was dissappointed but I was amazed to find that it sneaks in under your radar and before I knew it I realised that at least half the tracks here are as compelling as Roddy has wrote.
The obvious favourite is the Crying Scene with its 'You only get one hit' chorus and lyrics bursting with life, but before you know it you are rocked by Get Outta London, smooched by Over my Head, moved by Notting Hill Blues and charmed by the final sucker punch of Song for a Friend [hear Roddy and Eddi Reader's [Fairground Attraction] version if you can].
Deceptively charming, eclectic and, as always lyrically fascinating - it's very good value at the price - even if you aren't already a Roddy convert.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 May 2013
Format: Audio CD
This 1990 album by Roddy Frame's Aztec Camera is a well-constructed and diverse set of songs and, whilst it is often unfavourably compared by band aficionados with the band's first three (arguably more obviously commercial) albums, it is an album which, for me, has grown in stature over the years to rank close to their High Land, Hard Rain debut.

Almost as if to challenge the listener's perceptions, Frame opens the album with (arguably) one of its least commercial songs, but the title song's extended ballad format proves to be a real grower, revealing a hauntingly laid-back love song (and with some nice piano to boot). This opener certainly provides a stark contrast with next up (and one of my favourites), The Crying Scene, something of a rocker, but also featuring a tinkling opening guitar riff that Johnny Marr would be proud of (for me, calling to mind the apocryphal story of the young Marr seeking inspiration to try to recreate something as good as Frame's Walk Out To Winter). The Crying Scene also features a great guitar break (of the type you probably wouldn't hear from Marr) and lyrically provides an interesting take on 'life impersonates the movies'.

The other main contender for top 'rocking' number here (and a contender for album opener I would have thought) is Good Morning Britain with its vibrant throbbing beat, and as profound a set of lyrics as I've read from Frame, providing a succinct summary of Britain's ineffective policies on diversity and racial equality (I guess the question is has anything changed in the intervening 23 years?). The song also features a nice moment of duelling guitars between Frame and guest Mick Jones, as well as their infectious vocal sparring throughout.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. J. McDONALD on 4 April 2015
Format: Audio CD
Doesn't write a lot of happy songs, does he? With all due respect to the other musicians who did spells in Aztec Camera, few would disagree that the name usually meant 'Roddy Frame Band' and 'though his solo effort 'Surf' is as close to perfect as he's ever come ( a true solo effort - just him and an acoustic guitar), 'Stray' isn't far behind. His best under the band name. Aztec Camera fans will argue with that, I'm sure. That's fair enough, we're all entitled to our favourites. And the paths he went down while making this album just happily coincided with my biases. There are a couple of excursions into the Blues - 'Over My Head' is a gorgeous, slow, jazzy-blues thing (you can imagine Billie Holiday approving) and 'Notting Hill Blues', another slow tempo'd tune, takes its time to get to the point where he shows off what he's capable of on guitar, but when he does, it's terrific. The title track is another song of simple beauty, and worth the price on its own. He rocks up his bluesy influences on the track 'How It Is', a better than average Stones impression. Actually, for me, the weakest point of the album was the substantial hit 'Good Morning Britain'. There's another point to enrage the Camera buffs!
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