I hear your footsteps in the street :: Songs of Our Youth

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Oblivious :: Aztec Camera
from the album, High Land Hard Rain
Songs of Our Youth

Just count me in,
and count me out,
and I’ll be waiting for the shout,
oblivious…

A Little History:

Oblivious is the fourth single by Scottish New Wave band Aztec Camera. It was released as the second single from their 1983 studio album High Land, Hard Rain. The song managed a moderate charting of # 47 on the UK Singles Chart, but a re-release of the song later that same year proved even more successful, entering the top twenty and peaking at # 18.

Aztec Camera was formed by Roddy Frame. Formed in 1980, the band went on to release a total of six albums — although, most of the records were essentially written and played by Frame—High Land, Hard Rain (1983), Knife (1984),Love (1987), Stray (1990), Dreamland (1993) and Frestonia (1995).

Oblivious, Somewhere in My Heart and Good Morning Britain (a duet with former The Clash guitarist Mick Jones) were “hits” for the band.

Aztec Camera’s debut album, High Land, Hard Rain, was produced by John Brand and Bernie Clarke, and was released in April 1983 from Rough Trade. The album was successful, garnering significant critical acclaim, and peaked at # 129 on the Billboard 200.

Roddy Frame was eighteen years old at the time of Oblivious – in retrospect, one can see why so many music writers/reviewers on both sides of the Atlantic deemed him a new pop genius on the basis of this one song.

Roddy Frame returned to this song several times over the course of his career; many remixes and live versions are around, none of them as sweetly perfect as the original.

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A Little Memory:

I remember wearing the long button up shirts, or over-sized tee shirts, that I would wear atop leggings, or rolled up jeans, paired up with lace up boots, the kind my Grandmother would say were “witch boots“. I was never quite one for dresses back then, but I did like the way the long shirts would spin, when I would spin. I was a radio junkie back then, my drug of choice the local “alternative” (before “alternative” was a thing) station where the DJ’s played all the new romantic goodness from across the sea, as well as some unexpected pop-gems, like this one.

This was one of those songs that I would turn up loud and test the spin-ness of those shirts and tees on whilst singing into a hairbrush microphone. This was pre-hair dye and kohl lined eyes, before black became my main fashion choice, and before a first kiss had graced my lips. I was young, not exactly innocent, but naive on so things. Looking back, I see the image of a girl with a lot of hope pinned on both silly and serious things, a girl who felt older than her numbers, but who would never be that young again. I thought love was just a few wishes away, that it would save me from my home life, from my insecurities, from my fears, that it would bring with it the gift of freedom, and laughter, and dancing, and kisses, and all the things pop songs are made of.

I suppose I was “oblivious” to so much of the world then.

Oblivious :: Aztec Camera

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