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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real songs, Real Emotion, Real Genius,
By A Customer
This review is from: High Land, Hard Rain (Audio CD)Roddy Frame had just turned 19 when this album was released and the astonishing maturity and depth of the songs within this collection would have amazed most of his acolytes - were it not for the fact that he had recorded Just Like Gold three years previously. I still remember seeing Roddy perform Oblivious on the Tube in his fringe suede jacket and thinking 'you can't do that!'. But Roddy, touted by Elvis Costello no less as the best songwriter in the world, has suprised and delighted people throughout his career with finely crafted and touching examples of the songwriters art. This is the Aztec's first, and probably best set of songs, culled largely from the Postcard years but they touch the emotional and musical heights reached by the best of Roddy's work. Buy this album now - or you will lose out on the most engaging combination of words and melody this century. And that's no overstatement....
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quietly Outstanding,
This review is from: High Land, Hard Rain (Audio CD)Roddy Frame has released some excellent albums and singles over the years, but this little masterpiece may well be his career highlight - all the more amazing when you consider that he was only 19 when the album was released.
It still sounds great today - minor quibbles over some dated 1980s production touches aside - and heralded the arrival of one of the most literate and thoughtful songwriters of the post punk period. Frame's remarkable maturity and guitar virtuosity appear to best effect on the highlights - Oblivious, We Could Send Letters and, best of all, Walk Out to Winter - but the rest of the album suffers little in comparison.
A great purchase - and one you'll always want to dip into.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still brilliant 30 years on,
This review is from: High Land, Hard Rain (Audio CD)From the opening beats of Oblivious right through to the closing chords of Down The Dip this is a truly brilliant album. A collection of perfect pop songs that are still relevant today. This record has not aged a bit over the last 30 years
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars RODDY DEBUTS ON A HIGH-IT PROVES TO BE HIS PINNICLE,
By A Customer
This review is from: High Land, Hard Rain (Audio CD)Scotland, early eighties. The semi-cult Postcard label was defining a sound with its principal acts, Orange Juice and Aztec Camera. It was no surprise then that at the tender age of 16, Roddy Frame was plucked from school and allowed to cut his debut album, High Land, Hard Rain for major label Warners, and before excessive record company advances and shoulder holder synth-boxes took stock, it was amazing what a young lad could do. Armed with an acoustic guitar, Frame and Aztec Camera took us on a musical trip beyond his years. The singles Pillar to Post and Oblivious created an almost folk beat-pop, yet whilst donning his balladeers hat, Frame proved a dab hand at the slower numbers with tales of yearning (We Could Send Letters), and heart-ache (The Bugle Sounds Again). Finishing with the flurry of Queens Tattoos, in under 40 minutes Roddy Frame had delivered a record of surprising vulnerability and quality. What wasn't surprising was his steady slide into the all encompasing fog of eighties over-production and pap pop. In that one young year of his life however, he produced something that shone.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 years old - and still not a surly teenager,
By A Customer
This review is from: High Land, Hard Rain (Audio CD)Blimey! I dragged this one out on vinyl from the record box last night and was amazed how fresh and charming it sounded 17 years since it came out and I bought it. Classic.
5.0 out of 5 stars "If he wasn't so damn good, you'd hate him",
This review is from: High Land, Hard Rain (Audio CD)I was in a bedsit in Leicester in 1983 when the strains of "Walk Out To Winter" came out of the radio; straight away I knew this boy was a cut above the rest. The album was purchased within days and was played to death - it was perfectly clear that Roddy Frame was a supreme talent. I've just seen his 30th anniversary show at Drury Lane where he revisited the whole album; needless to say the reception was ecstatic for songs which sound just as good today - a clear sign of the album's 'classic' status. The only criticism I have is that he doesn't tour more often, but maybe the critical acclaim following this latest tour will change all that. I certainly hope so as people this gifted don't come along in life very often.
5.0 out of 5 stars And all before he was 20,
This review is from: High Land, Hard Rain (Audio CD)High Land, Hard Rain, the debut album by Aztec Camera, released in 1983 is a well-crafted, multi-layered pop the kind of pop record you were afraid they didn't make anymore. Fear not automatic-pilot drum machines and humorlessly percolating synthesizers, lipstick and gloss. Young singer-songwriter-guitarist Roddy Frame's anxious boyish tenor and shy romantic melodies are instead stirred by the wind-chine strumming of acoustic guitars, gently draped over simple rhythm and keyboard touches., High Land, Hard Rain is radical not only in its musical restraint but in its arrogant rejection of fashion and attitude of the time. Nearly thirty years on it's a nice reminder of how innocent music can be made. But we must remember this boy was on 19 years old at the time of its release and were derived from his schoolboy scribbles on the back of his exercise books.
There is a proud refreshing and confessional glow the songs contained on this album that that amplifies Aztec Camera's folkie charm. Frame can be corny in his adolescent sexual earnestness, awkwardly naive in his poetic ambitions. But the combination of his acoustic daring and exposed lyrical nerves can set off emotional waves amid galloping acoustic guitars and subtle waterfall piano trickles. You can't help but smile when listening to this album the sound is not particularly adventurous, just wide-eyed songs of love and other important things that would plague a young mans mind. The songs are optimistic and offer hope a different steer from the glum rock that was to soon dominate the charts with acts like the smiths.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This album has changed my entire life!!,
This review is from: High Land, Hard Rain (Audio CD)Well, I'm a 30-something Asian musician,guitarist and song-writer.By the time highland,hardrain came out<early 80's>I was a captain of my school football team.<an asian version of David watts possibly>I've never intersested in any kind of music before.I've heard dylan,the beatles,and the velvets etc.from my parents but That was about it.I do remember the first time I've heard "oblivious"on radio.I was absolutely blown away.by the freshness of their sounds plus Roddy frame's naively lost-little-boy vocal.and inevitably his brilliance guitar skills I went to the recordshop the next day to buy this album..I've discovered shortly after that.That he was just 17 or something??And me and him havehad the similarmusical heroes such as Mick jones,dylan and Lou reed.and also I was well surprised by his world-weary point of view and poetic lyrics too.After the whole listening I've retired myself from the football team.and started practicing some tunes on my guitarinstead.eventhough I've been listening to loads great bands until to day,My latest favourite are new tarlents like bloc party,babyshambles,the departure or stuff like that.but none of them are touching me deeply in the heart like Aztec camera did back in those days.tracks like walk out to winter are the pecfect ost.for you-and-yer-Missus holiday by the sea.meanwhile song like we could send letter is some kind of nostalgic heart-felt ballado.Which reminded you of your first kiss at yer scoutday summer camp's campfire.and tunes like The bugle sounds again and Release has portrayed Roddy frame's self-doutbe and Imperfection side.and Back on board and down the dip could easily sung by Bob dylan himeself If he was born and raise in Killburn bride In Glasglow.He has shown me a new perspective of Popular music back the era of O.m.d and a flock of seagulls.He was like a breath of fresh air to me.and for me Roddy is god not Clapton!!.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant,
This review is from: High Land, Hard Rain (Audio CD)roddy frame and aztec camera at their best. it still sounds fresh after all these years. awesome.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest album of all time?,
This review is from: High Land, Hard Rain (Audio CD)I know that is quite a statement, but High Land, Hard Rain is an outstanding album of supreme lyrical and musical skill. Roddy takes the listener on a journey of discovery, from the giddy gipsy heights of Oblivious to the fabulous Walk out to Winter. Surly this is a classic.
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