I’ve said many good things about Aztec Camera over the years. But I can’t bring myself to be positive about what was the biggest ever hit single (and it’s even more insipid b-side) that reached #3 in April 1988:-
mp3 : Aztec Camera – Somewhere In My Heart
mp3 : Aztec Camera – Everybody Is A Number One (Boston 86 version)
OK, by 1988 Aztec Camera weren’t really a band – more a name under which Roddy Frame recorded and toured. And as much as I had little time for the sound of the hugely over-produced Love LP, and the singles that it spawned, I was secretly pleased that Roddy was at last enjoying some long overdue commercial success and a wee bit of fortune. Oh and it’s not as if one producer was to blame for the sound of Love – there were a multitude of them. The hand on the buttons for this single and this version of the song that made it to the b-side was Michael Jonzun, best known in part for radio-friendly electro-funk stuff and for working with his brother Maurice Starr, who to intent and purposes, invented the boy-band phenomena of the 80s thanks to New Edition and New Kids On The Block (and there’s two acts I bet you never thought would get name checked on T(n)VV).
Incidentally, there’s an ever bigger abomination to be found on the 12″:-
mp3 : Aztec Camera – Somewhere In My Heart (12″ remix)
Stretching out to a tortuous seven minutes, it’s precisely what was wrong with so much music in the late 80s.
It was interesting that having tasted pop stardom, and all that it entailed in terms of promotion (daytime TV, kids shows, miming on Top of The Pops and similar shows across Europe), Roddy seemed to go out of his way to make a follow-up called Stray that was mostly downbeat and lovely, albeit it also had contained a massive hit with the ultra-catchy Good Morning Britain.
Somewhere In My Heart is of course a great crowd-pleaser and Roddy still performs it whenever he takes to the stage. I do prefer his fresh take on it:-
mp3 : Roddy Frame – Somewhere In My Heart (live in Osaka, 2007)