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Friday, 23 December 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 358 - Aztec Camera

 The Best of Aztec Camera - Aztec Camera
Warner ESP
Released 1999
UK Chart #36

Notes on Singles
Pillar To Post / Queen's Tatoos
Rough Trade
August 1982

Was also released as a 7" Picture Disc.

A-Side: Oblivious 
B-Side: Orchid Girl
Rough Trade
January 1983
UK Chart #47

Was also released on 12" with Haywire as an extra track on the B-Side.

Was Reissued in October 1983 after they signed to a major label.
A1 Oblivious    
A2 Orchid Girl    
B1 Back On Board    
B2 We Could Send Letters

UK Chart #18

A-Side: Walk Out To Winter
B-Side: Set The Killing Free
Rough Trade
April 1983
UK Chart #64 

The 12" included an extended mix of Walk Out To Winter.

A-Side: All I Need Is Everything
B-Side: Jump
August 1984
UK Chart #36

12" Version
A-Side: All I Need Is Everything (Remix)
B-Side: Jump (Loaded Version)

A-Side: Deep & Wide & Tall
B-Side: Bad Education
September 1987
UK Chart #79

Was reissued in October 1988 in 12", 10", 7", 3" CD versions and peaked at #55 in the charts.
On the 3" Mini CD Deep & Wide & Tall (Breakdown Mix) and More Than A Law were included. 
The 12" led with the Breakdown Mix on the A-Side and the normal single version and Bad Education on the B-Side.
The 10" included on the B-Side live versions of Working In A Goldmine and Somewhere In My Heart.

A1 How Men Are    
A2 The Red Flag    
B1 Killermont Street (Live)   
B2 Pillar To Post (Live)

January 1988
UK Chart #25

Tracks B1 and B2 recorded live in Los Angeles December 8, 1987.

(10" Picture Sleeve)

10" Tracklisting
A Somewhere In My Heart (The Alternate Mix)    
B1 Everybody Is A Number One (Boston '86 Version)    
B2 Down The Dip (Live)    
B3 Jump (Live)
April 1988
UK Chart #3


Down The Dip and Jump recorded live at Barrowlands Ballroom, Glasgow on Jan. 30th, 1988 by Radio Clyde's Mobile Two.

Also released on 7" - featuring only Somewhere In My Heart and Everybody is A Number One (Boston '86 Version) and 12" which was the same as the 10" except for a Remix of Somewhere In My Heart.

A-Side: Working In A Goldmine
B-Side: I Threw It All Away
July 1988
UK Chart #31

A-Side: The Crying Scene
B-Side: True Colours
June 1990
UK Chart #70

Also released as a 10" Limited Edition EP that included the tracks Salvation and I Threw It All Away (Live).

A Good Morning Britain (Remix)    
B Good Morning Britain (Live Glasgow Barrowlands 4th August 1990)

September 1990
UK Chart #19

CD Single version featured Consolation Prize (Live) with Roddy Frame & Edwyn Collins also recorded at the Barrowlands on 4th August 1990. Other tracks on it were Good Morning Britain (Mendelsohn Single Mix) and Good Morning Britain (Morning Acid Mix) as well as the live version.

The 12" featured three mixes of Good Morning Britain - Kitsch 'n' Sync Mix, Instrumental, and Vocal Remix.

 Spanish Horses / Just Like The USA (Live)
July 1982
UK Chart #52

B side recorded live from Sala Apollo Barcelona May 5th, 1992.

It was also released as CD Single in Two Parts containing:
1 Spanish Horses    
2 Birth Of The True (Live)    
3 Song For A Friend (Live)    
4 Killermont Street (Live)

1 Spanish Horses (Live)    
2 Stray (Live)
3 The Bugle Sounds Again (Live)    
4 Dolphins (Live)

Tracks 2, 3 & 4 on CD1 Performed Live At Ronnie Scott's Club June 23 1991 and all tracks on CD2 are from the same concert.

Also included on The Best of Aztec Camera is Roddy's first solo single Reason For Living. Aztec Camera had really been for a number of years just Roddy Frame so after six studio albums under that banner he launched out bearing his own name.

1 Reason For Living    
2 Winter Haven High    
3 Rainy Greys And Blues

 1 Reason For Living    
2 Biba Nova    
3 The Sea Is Wide


There has been a few Aztec Camera compilations over the years since their demise in 1995. I thought I would spotlight the main one released by their label WEA (Warners ESP).

Though technically Covers & Rare released in 1994 was really the first one. That one features a number of B-Sides, Remixes, and a few Cover Versions - the title is actually quite misleading I think.

In 2005 there was also Deep And Wide And Tall - The Platinum Collection, a 14 track affair that included a few singles, some album tracks and one single in particular that didn't make the WEA album: Still On Fire.

Then there was also Walk Out To Winter: The Best Of Aztec Camera released on Music Club Deluxe/Rhino in 2011. It was a kind of Mid-Price collection that was good but didn't run in chronological order and also includes 14 singles, various B-Sides a smattering of album tracks drawn from all five studio albums. This one is value for money at under £10.

The Best of Aztec Camera album released in 1998 drew the line under the life of the band as Roddy Frame had already begun charting his course using his own name rather reliance upon the band name. He's never really sought to escape his previous history with Aztec Camera as he regularly plays a number of songs in his live sets (and rightly so because they are great songs and surely not worth burying and forgotten about).

There's a few absences from the album when it comes to the singles, the two singles on Postcard Records: Just Like Gold (April 1981) and Mattress of Wire (May 1981. We Could Send Letters the B-Side is included but it is the album version rather than the Single version),  Still On Fire as I mentioned above already, and the US released EP title track Backwards and Forwards (10" EP Sire Records 1985 US Chart #181), Dreams Sweet Dreams (UK Chart - April 1993 #67) and the final Aztec Camera single Sun (1995).

Apart from that it's a great collection and reminder what a brilliant craftsman Roddy Frame is when it comes to writing pop songs.

I did see this album recently on Amazon for the crazy price of £60.90 (though you could get a used copy for under £7.50)! I'm guessing the reason for that is due to not being available for sometime now.

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