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Sunday, 25 September 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 269 - Aztec Camera

Love - Aztec Camera
Produced by Tommy LiPuma, Russ Titelman, Roddy Frame, David Frank, Michael Jonzun, Rob Mounsey
Released November 1987
UK Chart #10
US Chart #193

A1 Deep & Wide & Tall    
A2 How Men Are    
A3 Everybody Is A Number One    
A4 More Than A Law    
A5 Somewhere In My Heart    
B1 Working In A Goldmine    
B2 One & One    
B3 Paradise
B4 Killermont Street

Singles from Love

September 1987
UK Chart #79

Reissue October 1988
UK Chart #55

January 1988
 UK Chart #25

Somewhere In My Heart / Everybody Is A Number One (Boston '86 Version)
April 1988
UK Chart #3

July 1988
UK Chart #31

Three years after the Mark Knopfler Produced album Knife, where Roddy Frame had said that he intentionally wrote songs with a sound that he thought the Dire Straits frontman could work with, Roddy Frame was back in the spotlight with a new album.

Still under the banner of Aztec Camera (Frame being the only member of the band) the third album Love was an interesting little beast. Written with a clear aim of breaking America (the album was recorded in America against the wishes of his label) and with big name Producers, it was Frame's take on R&B/Pop.

The first single that arrived a month before the album - Deep & Wide & Tall - was an almost funky tune and at first I wasn't too taken with it. The B-Side was of far greater interest to me - Bad Eduction - a song that was originally performed by Manchester band The Blue Orchids

The second How Men Are is one of those quality songs that only Roddy Frame could write. If the B-Side on the previous single was an interesting one then a rendition of The Red Flag was a very strange choice indeed!

The next single and the one that propelled the album up the charts - Somewhere In My Heart - Frame said in 2014 that the song has been "great" for him, but at the time of creating the album, the song was not "in keeping" with the rest of Love. Frame revealed in a radio interview with the "Soho Social" program, presented by Dan Gray, that he considered "Somewhere In My Heart" an odd song and initially thought it would be best as a B-side. Frame concluded, "I can't pick them [the successful songs]." It would become Aztec Camera's most successful single peaking at #3 on the UK Chart.

Working On A Goldmine was the final single from the album to appear in July 1988 (discounting a Reissue of Deep & Wide & Tall in October 1988) and was one of the first songs to be recorded for the Love album. It's another one that I really have grown to like over the years.

What about the rest of the songs on the Love album? Everybody is a Number One is a cheesy sound pop tune that still to this day doesn't impress me much. More Than A Law to me sounds a bit like Aztec Camera of old. One & One is an all out attempt at funk, there's elements of the song I like but overall it's not one my favourite Roddy Frame songs (though I do have to say that live in concert it sounded really good). Paradise is one of my favourite tracks on the album, love the little nod at the end to one of my favourite songs (If Paradise is) Half As Nice, a song that Roddy had actually recorded with Andy Fairweather Low. Lastly but in no way least, the majestic Killermont Street. Even recording in America Scotland was not far from the heart of Roddy Frame and this is one of my favourite of all his songs.

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!
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