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on 12 September 2012
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? What's better is that this release had Roddy Frame's involvement and consent, and has WAY SUPERIOR SOUND and no sloppy errors. You can now therefore totally avoid the LAZY Edsel reissue, even if you're a huge fan. Let's hope more reissues follow!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 3 September 2012
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 December 2015
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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on 19 September 2012
Have to agree, I'm afraid, with those reviewers who have pointed out the glitch on the Oblivious remix. Didn't anyone notice this before it went to press? Didn't they care?

Sorry, Edsel, but this is not good enough - so when is it going to be repressed properly?
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on 12 September 2012
How many reviews these days need to deal with the fact that the reviewer loves the music but hates the product? This is yet another one of those reviews.
How can a re-issue campaign start with a CD that contains such a bad glitch on one of the tracks? Even if the original master for the single version was not available it would have been easy to simply correct a few samples in the digital file and remove the glitch.
Sloppy job Edsel. These re-issues must compete against a 5 CD boxset of the Aztec Camera albums currently priced at less than £10. If the quality is not there, what is the selling point against the cheaper option?
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on 5 October 2012
I have fixed the stupid glitch in the Oblivious 12" version. It now plays correctly.

If you would like it please drop me a line @wondermouse on twitter or suggest somewhere I can upload it

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on 17 July 2014
2014 Domino remaster is amazing! Sound quality is top notch with a great bass tone.

Extra tracks are high quality and glitch-free on this 2014 version, authorised by Roddy Frame himself.

Standouts: 'Back on Board' and 'We Could Write Letters' but there aint a duff track- if there is an 80s album worthy of its reputation, its this one (along with 'The Queen Is Dead')
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on 18 September 2012
SOrry, but this Edsel remaster sounds amazing. It's WAY better than the orignal US CD issue. The "digital glitch" you refer to in the "Oblivious" 12" mix is on the original master! I have the import and domestic 12" vinyl releases and it's on both of them, so stop whining! All of these Aztec Camera remasters are exellent and it's great to have them all in one place.
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on 16 September 2012
As is pretty obvious, this version was created without any input from Roddy Frame. It's a shoddy thing, but he is unable to prevent it happening. In fact he never knows when some cobbled-together thing will be released. However, next year is 30 years since High Land Hard Rain first appeared and Roddy has things planned for then which will have care and consideration (by him) written all over them, and should especially satisfy his loyal supporters. Follow him on Twitter to keep up with what's happening, it's his personal account and he looks after it himself. [...]
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on 3 October 2015
I literally can't play this record anymore having lived with it on repeat when it first came out.....even so it's packed with great uplifting fine tunes to sing your heart out to and certainly their best with the possible exception of 'Frestonia'
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