Ask most people to name an Aztec Camera record, and I imagine the responses would be split pretty evenly between two singles: “Oblivious” and “Somewhere in My Heart”.
The rest of us will go all dewy-eyed, gaze off into space and whisper the words “High Land, Hard Rain.”
Released in 1983, “High Land, Hard Rain” is one of those albums: the sort that it’s impossible to find fault with, the sort that stays with you throughout a lifetime, the sort that when asked (as I often have been) to name your favourite albums will always feature somewhere in the top ten, the sort that I have probably recommended to friends more than any other.
The sort of album that, when it’s your debut album, sets the bar so high, anything that follows is bound to pale in comparison.
And sure enough, whilst what followed had its’ moments, nothing, but nothing, comes anywhere close to the majesty of “High Land…”.
(Have I bigged this record up enough yet…? No….?)
The sort that it’s almost impossible for me to choose which songs to post from it. There are ten songs on “High Land…” and each is utterly flawless.
But choose I must, for I’m not really one for posting whole albums; I’d much rather you went out and bought a copy yourself and fell in love with it in the same way as I did when I first heard it.
So I figured the best way to decide which ones to feature was this: firstly, remove “Oblivious” from the running, as you will all already know that one. And secondly, play the four that I’ve played the most, according to my iTunes account. That way, if you do the smart thing and seek out a copy of the album yourself, you’ll still have 50% of the album to discover for yourself.
Oh, and thirdly, hope to God that “This Boy Wonders”, my favourite track, is one of the four I get to post features, or I’ll have to change the rules, and that never looks good:
Aztec Camera – The Boy Wonders (Phew!)
Aztec Camera – The Bugle Sounds Again
Aztec Camera – Pillar To Post
Aztec Camera – Back On Board
Go on, give your ears a treat.