100 Greatest Songs of the 80’s #8 Aztec Camera – Oblivious

Released : 1983

Was Roddy Frame, as the strapline of Glasgow’s Postcard label so often trumpeted, the sound of young Scotland? It seemed hard to believe, not because the prodigously talented guitarist lacked credentials – he was from rockin’ East Kilbride, the same Glaswegian overspill town as the Reid brothers – but because the songs he wrote for Aztec Camera were nothing like the gritty post punk of many of his contemporaries.

Wisely, Frame gave High Land, Hard Rain to the burgeoning, London based Rough Trade label instead, a collection which gathered up singles formerly tethered to his alma mater but then finessed them until the light and shade in which he specialised was gorgeously presented.

Oblivious, with it’s lavish Flamenco touches, sun-dappled brightness and Frame’s loquacious poetry seemed like it belonged somewhere in a Mediterranean village than a dour sink estate. Complete with a guitar solo that would’ve made a beginner feel like they needed a dozen fingers, this was the sound of a happy place, the precise location a mere detail. Momentarily, Aztec Camera were the sound of a young everywhere.