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High Land, Hard Rain [VINYL]

4.1 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Vinyl (9 Dec. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Republic of Music
  • ASIN: B00GEAFUUK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 379,157 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Oblivious
  2. The Boy Wonders
  3. Walk Out To Winter
  4. The Bugle Sounds Again
  5. We Could Send Letters
  6. Pillar To Post
  7. Release
  8. Lost Outside The Tunnel
  9. Back On Board
  10. Down The Dip.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Andy Sweeney TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 April 2017
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was born in 1975 and Aztec Camera's High Land, Hard Rain was released in 1983 so I can't claim that this album had a huge impact on my life at that point in time. In fact, the first time I believe I was aware of their existence was a few years later, when Somewhere In My Heart was released and, without knowing who it was or ever finding out, I simply loved the song. It was many years later, in 1999, when the Aztec Camera “Best Of” was released, did I hear Somewhere In My Heart again and a hundred fireworks exploded in my head as I heard the song I'd loved so much as a kid. I was a bit cash strapped at the time, so my wife (at the time) bought me the Aztec Camera best of as a Christmas present and I was well and truly introduced to the music of Roddy Frame. In fact, I was so blown away by this sixteen track collection, I took it out one evening to lend to a friend, so he could hear just how good they were. Unfortunately, owing to a short-notice train cancellation that resulted in me making a quick dash for an alternative service, I managed to leave my beloved Aztec Camera compilation on the first train, along with a Waterboys album my friend had loaned me.

At this point, you may be thinking, “Nice anecdote, but what does that have to do with High Land, Hard Rain?”. Well, in the days after losing that album, I went back into HMV to re-buy the album I'd lost and saw that it was nearly fifteen quid for a single disc. However, at a fiver each, were copies of Love, Stray and High Land, Hard Rain. Three albums for the price of one? There really wasn't much to think about. That day, when I got home and played Aztec Camera's debut album for the first time and heard nineteen year old Roddy Frame's first long-player in its entirety, I just couldn't believe how wonderful it was.
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Format: Audio CD
Josef K, Orange Juice and Aztec Camera were the mainstays of early 80's Scottish indie label Postcard records, and arguably Aztec Camera were the most succesful once they's moved on to major label success, and this is again arguably, their finest hour (and a bit). I know that every generation will say this, but those of us who were around when this album first came out were truly spoiled for choice and if you missed out then, then make up for it now. If you were too young to have heard this band before then do so now as you will not find a better, more perfect collection of guitar based pop/rock out there. Think Vaccines with tunes.
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Format: Audio CD
Hardly anyone was as excited about these long-overdue Aztec Camera remasters as I was. Until I heard this one, and realized that the thought and care that went into the same label's Everything But The Girl reissues is lacking here. The extended version of "Oblivious" has a horrible digital glitch (and yes, this is on everyone's copy, not just mine) that shows they simply dubbed it off an earlier compilation CD on which the same error appeared. And now, reports are coming out about a wide series of similar gaffes on other CDs in this series, with many commentators asking "Doesn't anyone actually LISTEN to these CDs before they're manufactured en masse?" and comparing the label's handling of the series to the disastrous, error-ridden New Order reissues a couple of years back. The label in question then went back and did the right thing - replacing the troubled discs with fixed one - but one doubts Edsel will do the same, or even respond to the many complaints about these. The music here is great, and the idea of expanded this fab run of albums with all relevant b-sides and rarities is fantastic. But unlike the EBTG or (English) Beat reissues, Edsel seems to have never consulted Roddy Frame. Stick with your originals, unless something unexpectedly changes.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Domino US is releasing a double CD version of this album. It contains EVERYTHING here, PLUS the "original single version" of "Pillar To Post," the 7" version of "Walk Out To Winter," two "live on CFNY" tracks ("Back On Board" and "We Could Send Letters"), a four-song Kid Jensen radio session ("Walk Out To Winter," "Down The Dip," "Back On Board" and "Release"), an *unreleased* single version of "Walk Out To Winter" and a SECOND remix of "Oblivious." That's what, ten extra tracks?
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By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Dec. 2015
Format: Audio CD
I have to acknowledge the influence of my other half in introducing me (properly) to the prodigious talents of Roddy Frame, and this 1983 Aztec Camera debut album provides a prime example of the man’s ear for an irresistible melody, a poignant, reflective lyric and a good dose of dextrous guitar playing. In fact, I’ve (well, we’ve) just returned from the man’s recent London solo gig (at the ornate and recommended venue of the Cadogan Hall near Sloane Square), at which Frame, as well as delivering a remarkably energetic performance for a man approaching middle age (we all, hopefully, get there in the end!) – including even striking a backlit 'guitar hero’ pose during the outro of Down The Dip! – also demonstrated, via some amusing anecdotes, that he has not completely lost his dry, Glaswegian sense of humour, despite having spent the last 30 (or so) years living in the smoke.

Here, the (then) youngster (18 years old at the time of recording?) peppers his songs with poetic tales of lost love, adolescent uncertainty, just a hint of politics and the odd reference to past influences/heroes ('Faces of Strummer’), but, most obviously, a sharp pop sensibility which has rarely been matched since (perhaps only by his contemporary, compatriot and friend, Edwyn Collins). It’s also interesting to note that, despite the fact that Aztec Camera were often described as a 'new wave’ band (probably due to this debut album being recorded under the auspices of Rough Trade), this music is what I would call timeless pop, it simply doesn’t date. So, even if a couple of the ballads here don’t quite cut it, these are minor blemishes among the many gems, namely the intoxicating single Oblivious, (the album title song) The Boy Wonders, We Could Send Letters, Pillar To Post, Back On Board, Down The Dip and, perhaps best of all, the song which apparently had Johnny Marr dumbfounded by its brilliance (given that it was written by a 16-year old Frame), Walk Out To Winter.
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