High Land, Hard Rain

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High Land, Hard Rain
High Land, Hard Rain.jpg
Studio album by Aztec Camera
Released April 1983
Recorded ICC Studios, Eastbourne
Genre Jangle pop, alternative rock, new wave
Length 45:25
Label Rough Trade
Producer John Brand, Bernie Clarke
Aztec Camera chronology
High Land, Hard Rain
(1983)
Knife
(1984)Knife1984
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic5/5 stars[1]
American Songwriter4/5 stars[2]
Christgau's Record GuideA−[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[4]
Pitchfork8.3/10[5]
PopMatters9/10[6]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[7]
Select5/5[8]
Spin Alternative Record Guide9/10[9]
Uncut9/10[10]

High Land, Hard Rain is the debut album by jangle pop band Aztec Camera, released in 1983. Three tracks from the album originally appeared on the Oblivious EP which reached number 18 on the UK Singles Chart in November 1983.[11] The album itself reached number 22 on the UK Albums Chart.[11] The majority of the album was recorded at the ICC Studios in Eastbourne.[citation needed] "Down the Dip" was inspired by a local East Kilbride pub located close to Duncanrig Secondary School, Roddy Frame's high school. Originally called "The Diplomat" ("The Dip" for short), it is now called Gardenhall Inn.[12]

Aztec Camera's debut album, High Land, Hard Rain, was produced by John Brand and Bernie Clarke for the Rough Trade record label. The album was released in April 1983 and was distributed in different formats on Domino Recording Co. Ltd. in the US (in addition to Sire); WEA and Celluloid in France; Nuevos Medios, Nuevos Medios in Spain; Powderworks in Australia; MVM Records in Portugal; and WEA for a general European release.[1][11] The album was successful, garnering significant critical acclaim, and peaked at number 129 on the Billboard 200.[12] Frame later revealed that the song "Oblivious" was consciously written as a Top of the Pops-type pop song and received a corresponding degree of popularity.[13]

During the recording process for the album, Frame used a different guitar for every song. For the song "Orchid Girl", Frame explained in 2013—during the 30th anniversary tour—that he was attempting to merge the influences of his favorite guitarist at the time, Wes Montgomery, and punk rock icon Joe Strummer.[14] In a late 1990s television interview, Frame explained that a "boy" image was associated with him during this era, and that he was annoyed by it at the time, as he was taking his music very seriously—"you don't want to be called 'boy'; especially when you're listening to Joy Division"—but he eventually stopped caring about it.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Roddy Frame.

  1. "Oblivious" 3:05
  2. "The Boy Wonders" 3:10
  3. "Walk Out to Winter" 3:20
  4. "The Bugle Sounds Again" 2:50
  5. "We Could Send Letters" 5:40
  6. "Pillar to Post" 3:55
  7. "Release" 3:38
  8. "Lost Outside the Tunnel" 3:35
  9. "Back on Board" 4:50
  10. "Down the Dip" 2:10


reissue CD Bonus Tracks (1991)
  1. "Haywire" (from Rough Trade release 12" single RT122T "Oblivious")
  2. "Orchid Girl" (from Rough Trade release 12" single RT122T "Oblivious")
  3. "Queen's Tattoos" (from Rough Trade release 7" single RT112T "Pillar to Post")


EDSEL reissue CD Bonus Tracks (2012)
  1. "Queen's Tattoos"
  2. "Haywire"
  3. "Orchid Girl"
  4. "Set the Killing Free"
  5. "Oblivious" [12" mix]
  6. "Walk Out To Winter" [12" extended version]
  7. "Oblivious" [12" extended remix]


AED reissue Bonus 7" (2013)
  1. "Boy Wonders" (Capitol Radio session)
  2. "Release" (Capitol Radio session)
  3. "We Could Send Letters" (C81 Version) (from the cassette tape NME/Rough Trade C81)
  4. "The Bugle Sounds Again" (Bedroom Demo)


Domino reissue 30th Anniversary Edition Bonus Tracks (2014)

  1. "Pillar to Post" (original single version)
  2. "Queen's Tattoos"
  3. "Orchid Girl"
  4. "Haywire"
  5. "Walk Out to Winter" (7") (Tony Mansfield version)
  6. "Set the Killing Free"
  7. "Back on Board" (live on CFNY)
  8. "We Could Send Letters" (live on CFNY)
  9. "Walk Out to Winter" (Kid Jensen session)
  10. "Down the Dip" (Kid Jensen session)
  11. "Back on Board" (Kid Jensen session)
  12. "Release" (Kid Jensen session)
  13. "Walk Out to Winter" (John Brand unreleased single mix)
  14. "Walk Out to Winter" (12") (Tony Mansfield version)
  15. "Oblivious" (Colin Fairley remix)
  16. "Oblivious" (Langer/Winstanley remix)

Personnel[edit]

  • Roddy Frame – vocals, guitar, harmonica
  • Bernie Clark – piano, organ
  • Campbell Owens – bass
  • Dave Ruffy – drums, percussion

References[edit]

  1. ^ Raggett, Ned. "High Land, Hard Rain – Aztec Camera". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  2. ^ Horowitz, Hal (19 February 2014). "Aztec Camera: High Land, Hard Rain". American Songwriter. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (1990). "Aztec Camera: High Land, Hard Rain". Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s. Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-679-73015-X. Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  4. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8. 
  5. ^ Heller, Jason (4 February 2014). "Aztec Camera: High Land, Hard Rain". Pitchfork. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Folland, Richard (21 February 2014). "Aztec Camera: High Land Hard Rain (Deluxe Edition)". PopMatters. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Fricke, David (15 September 1983). "Aztec Camera: High Land, Hard Rain". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 9 May 2006. Retrieved 22 May 2016. 
  8. ^ Collins, Andrew (November 1993). "Aztec Camera: High Land, Hard Rain". Select (41): 96. 
  9. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8. 
  10. ^ McKay, Alastair (2 January 2013). "Aztec Camera – reissues". Uncut. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 35. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  12. ^ "ecosse19" (Richard). "AZTEC CAMERA-DOWN THE DIP" (Web site). 

External links[edit]