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That [B]Roddy Frame[/B] was blessed with a precocious talent is normally accepted without question....

That Roddy Frame was blessed with a precocious talent is normally accepted without question. In 1981, by the age of 16, he'd released two singles on the fledgling Postcard label and an album, 'High Land, Hard Rain', on Rough Trade, which prompted most critics to fall to their knees in awe.

With hindsight, those early records - particularly the subsequent hits 'Oblivious' and 'Pillar To Post' - suffered from a chronic case of '80s Syndrome. Like The Pale Fountains and Orange Juice, Aztec Camera were rocking that indie wine-bar swingbeat chic, which meant you never knew when they were going to break into a funky bass solo or samba rumble next.

By the time Frame came to record his second album - 1984's highly successful 'Knife'- he'd lost it completely, right down to enlisting Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler as producer. From here, it was a short stumble into the last stage of '80s Syndrome: cod-soul. Although, this period produced 'Somewhere In My Heart' - Frame's most successful single to date - it also gave us 'Good Morning Britain', a collaboration with Mick Jones and one of the worst records made.

This compilation includes all of this, and - to make up the numbers - 'Reason For Living', a solo single from last year where Frame attempted to reinvent himself as Ian McCulloch. Some people still think he was a genius. They should try listening to this.
4 / 10

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