I made passing reference yesterday to Somewhere In My Heart, which peaked at #3 in the summer of 1988 and easily provided the most commercially successful moment in the long career of Roddy Frame.
It had been the third single lifted from Love, following on from Deep & Wide and Tall (#79) and How Men Are (#25). Record label bosses can never resist the temptation to cash-in, especially on the back of an unpredicted success, and so the decision was taken to lift a fourth single from the album, despite it only having nine tracks all told:-
mp3: Aztec Camera – Working In A Goldmine
There’s actually quite a lot to like about Working In A Goldmine from a Smooth Radio/Easy Listening perspective. Indeed, if it had been recorded by one of the singers associated with soulful ballads, it could well have become an instant classic and beloved today by those who take part on TV talent shows. BUT, and it’s a huge but, it just doesn’t sound like an Aztec Camera song in any shape or form. It did the job, however, as far as the label was concerned, getting to #31 and helping boost further the sales of the parent album.
Despite the fact that the song came in at just under 6 minutes in length, it wasn’t edited down in any shape or form when committed to 7″ vinyl.
The fact there were just nine songs on Love is evidence that Roddy was struggling a bit for material, and it is no surprise that the b-sides to the various singles consisted of cover versions:-
mp3: Aztec Camera – Bad Education
mp3: Aztec Camera – The Red Flag
mp3: Aztec Camera – I Threw It All Away (live)
The first, which is on the flip side to Deep, Wide & Tall, is a cover of a track to be found on the 1982 debut album by Blue Orchids, the band founded by Martin Bramah when he took his leave of The Fall and whose other members included Una Baines, another musician who had taken her leave of MES and crew.
The middle track sees Roddy offer his take on the famous socialist anthem, whose words were written in 1889 by Jim Connell and is set to the tune of the German carol O Tannenbaum, which we in the English-speaking parts of the world know as O Christmas Tree. It was offered up as the b-side to How Men Are.
The final song is the flip-side of Working In A Goldmine. It’s a cover of a song released by Bob Dylan on his 1969 album Nashville Skyline. It’s taken straight from the vinyl of the single and is a tad rough’n’ready….it also, judging by the ‘Cheers…..Goodnight’ shout at the end of the recording, the song that closed off either the main set or an encore.
It’s from the show at Colston Hall, Bristol on 23 June 1988, right at the time when Somewhere In My Heart was at its peak in the singles charts which perhaps is a pointer as to why some of the crowd who are screaming are perhaps not atypical of the sort of audience Roddy attracted before, or since. Worth mentioning too that it’s a venue which will most likely see a name change quite soon as there’s been a fair bit of controversy in recent times about the bloke whose name is attached to it.
The b-side to Somewhere In My Heart wasn’t a cover, and instead was a remix of one of the album’s other tracks:-
mp3: Aztec Camera – Everybody Is A Number One (Boston ’86 Version)
I’ve said before that I’ve little time for this particular offering. Nor its a-side…….