[Introducing: Aztec Camera] -- This week's Flashback was released in April 1983 -- maybe on the first of the month, maybe on the 19th. But whether it is this week or in a few weeks, Aztec Camera's debut album turns 40 this very month. A new wave, jangle pop band out of Scotland, Aztec Camera was pretty much a critic's darling in the 80s. They didn't generate many radio hits outside of college stations, but they did have a devoted fanbase. And that devoted fanbase started right here with this album, High Land, Hard Rain. Speaking of devoted fans, AllMusic's Ned Raggett calls this record "a flat-out must-have."
Of the four singles – "Just Like Gold," "Pillar to Post," "Oblivious," and "Walk Out to Winter" – only "Oblivious" got significant chart attention, peaking at #47 on the UK Singles chart. And despite critical acclaim, the album peaked at only #129 on the Billboard 200. Still, there's plenty to like here, particularly if you are fond of jangly guitars and keen turns of a phrase. In particular, I'm fond of "Walk Out to Winter" which, while it has never been released as a Christmas single, and it hasn't appeared on any holiday albums, certainly highlights the hope of the Yule season. A hope, as I've written before, that transcends any one religion's viewpoint.
Flashback: High Land, Hard Rain (April, 1983)
That's all I have for you until next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.
I'll see you in seven!