Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Top 100 Songs From the 1990s (No. 66)

66. "Reason for Living"
Artist: Roddy Frame
Year: 1998

There was no reason for it to have been so jarring, especially since most of those later albums with the name Aztec Camera on it were basically solo jobs anyway, but I have to admit that even now I hesitate for a moment when I see the name Roddy Frame on a cover. 'The North Star' is technically the only solo album Frame released in the '90s. Some of you may know he's very nearly my favorite musician. Given my self-imposed rules of one song per artist for this countdown, this is all a not-so-clever way for me to get him on the list twice. So, yes, I'm letting the cat out of the bag. Aztec Camera will be coming up soon.

I'm not so sure I felt this way at the time, but today I enjoy the toned-down 'North Star' better than any of the Aztec Camera albums from the '90s. It all sounds less polished and adult contemporary than 'Dreamland' and, especially, 'Frestonia.' There are a number of songs from it that could have occupied this spot, including the title song, "Here Comes the Ocean" and "Sister Shadow," but I went with the safe bet of the optimistic "Reason for Living," Frame's first solo single. It would be about four years before we would get another Frame album, but 'Surf' turned out to be the best to bear his name.

Note: Just in time for spring break, our household finally seems free of illness. So, we are taking the kids to see a certain mouse with big ears. I'm out for the rest of the week, but I will be checking in to see if you think I'm nuts about 'Surf,' '90s Aztec Camera and the like.


friend of rachel worth said...

Cant go wrong with Roddy - not sure this is my fav of the 90s but I am certain I couldn't land on one - or if I did it would change every day

drew said...

I have always loved the North Star, so many good songs. It is quite ironic the price the vinyl commands these days as I remember seeing loads of copies in Fopp that they couldn't shift and were heavily discounted.

There is a melancholic feel of Reason For Living to me, no bad thing and it does get me reaching for Absolute Beginners by Bowie when I play it, there is a similar vibe there.

The Swede said...

Shocked to hear that you're 'bending' your self-imposed rules! A fine selection though!

Brian said...

FORW, I thought I might hear from you. I remember from your old place you liked Frestonia. Was expecting a little jab. Probably deserved too. It is tough to pick just one, as you say.

Drew, Completely different here in America. I had never seen a Frame solo album in the bins before Seven Dials. The first three have been heard from a precious few over here, I'm afraid. I listened to this song and Absolute Beginners back to back in the car this morning. May not be able to keep those two apart from here on out.

Swede, I'm finding my way around the rules in a couple of places, such as Marine Research and another one from Amelia Fletcher a little later on. You'll see.

Scott said...

I recall picking up my copy of North Star in Fopp for £3.00, which is quite the bargain. Still, to this day, my fave solo album from The Boy Wonder. Surf pushes it close but always head back to North Star. Glad to see Reason for Living in here, though thought it might have been higher in the list...