Our Camera Obscura songs list looks back at the music of an independent band from Glasgow Scotland formed in the mid-1990s who have a loyal following. Many fans and critics have described their music utilizing many different genres from indie-pop to post-punk to to even a category called twee pop. In the end, they’re just a great rock and roll pop band who have released five spectacular albums filled with catchy and addictive pop songs. Camera Obscura first got together in 1996. The group was formed by Gavin Dunbar, John Henderson and the fabulous Tracyanne Campbell. The group was later joined by David Skirving. Before the band released any full studio albums they released a pair of singles entitled “Your Sound,” and “Park And Ride.” Both of those singles were released in 1998.
It would be a few years of gigging, songwriting and personal changes before the band released their first studio album in 2002 entitled Biggest Bluest Hi Fi. That album would feature a lineup consisting of Tracyanne Campbell on vocals and guitar, Gavin Dunbar on bass, John Henderson on vocals and percussion, Kenny Mckeeve on guitar and mandolin, Lee Thomson on drums and Lindsay Boyd on keyboards.
Two years after the release of their album Biggest Bluest Hi Fi the band returned with their follow up studio album entitled Underachievers Please Try Harder. The album was released in 2003. It would be another three years before the band returned with their third album entitled Let’s Get Out of This Country which was released in the spring of 2006. Once again, another three years would pass by before fans of the band would see any new music. However, in 2009 the band signed with a much bigger record lablem in England called 4AD. The announcement led to the release of the group’s fourth studio album titled My Maudlin Career. It would become the band’s most successful album to date. In 2013, the group would release the album Desire Lines.
Soon tragedy would engulf the band as they lost band member Carey Lander to cancer in 2015. The group would then go on a hiatus for several years until they returned to the live concert scene in 2018. Currently, there are plans to release a new album but they have been stalled by the pandemic. Hopefully we will hear new music by this great band soon. In the meantime here are ten great songs by Camera Obscura.
# 10 – Park And Ride
We figured we would open up our Camera Obscura songs ranked list with the band’s first single release of their career. Starting out with just a simple guitar strum and some guitar leads, this gem of a song showcased the groups talent and the wonderful music that was soon to come.
# 9 – Break It To You Gently
Continuing with our Camera Obscura songs ranked list we turn to the song “Break It To You Gently.” This is one of those songs that you instantly fall for just based on the song’s introduction. You know it’s going to be good one and that it is. The song was released on the band’s fifth album entitled Desire Lines. It was released as the second single from the LP. The band sounds a little bit like The Cranberries on this great song.
# 8 – Honey in the Sun
In the number eight spot on our Camera Obscura songs list we turn to one of the band’s biggest and most popular songs entitled “Honey In The Sun.” The song was issued on the album entitled My Maudlin Career. The CD was released in 2009. “Honey In The Sun.” was issued as the second single from the album.
# 7 – I Love My Jean
This grooving mid tempo number just has one of those feels that simply makes you feel good. The band definitely has a 1960s acoustic sounding vibe to them in similar fashion to bands like The Byrds. This is group of old souls. The song “I Love My Jean,” was released as a non album single in 2005. This is the band’s highest charting single of their career on the UK Pop charts.
# 6 – The Nights Are Cold
We move five years ahead in time in the number six spot to the great slow ballad “The Nights Are Cold.” Like the previous song on this list, the song “The Nights Are Cold,” was released as a non-album single. The song was released in 2010. The song has echoes of Laura Nyro in this one in the sensitive piano playing that flows throughout the piece.
# 5 – Teenager
At the halfway point on our Camera Obscura songs list we take a listed to the great song “Teenager.” The song “Teenager,” would become the band’s first single to break onto the UK Pop Charts. The song was released in 2003.
# 4 – Eighties Fan
This great song starts out with the traditional Phil Spector drum beat found on songs like The Ronettes “Be My Baby,” and Billy Joel’s “Say Goodbye To Hollywood.” However the song shift’s direction instantly as the silk creative vocals of Tracyanne Campbell come out from under the covers delivering her sweet sounding pop music we all dig.
# 3 – Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken
These next three songs on our Camera Obscura songs list are just simply so fabulous. In the number three spot is the brilliant single entitled “Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken.” How this song was not a big worldwide hit is just a sad commentary on radio programmers missing the boat on brand new wonderful sounding pop music like this song.
# 2 – French Navy
As we begin to wind down our Camera Obscura Songs Ranked list we present one of the band’s most successful and popular songs they ever released. This one went all out of the production sounding bigger than many of their previous releases. The song “French Navy,” is pop perfection. It’s one of those songs that could have been a hit in any decade.”French Navy,” was the band’s second highest charting single they ever released.
# 1 – Do It Again
In the number one spot on our Camera Obscura Songs Ranked list is the great rocking pop gem “Do It Again.” This is one that we just simply love. It’s got a driving groove that surrounds the incredible warm vocals of Tracyanne Campbell. It’s fueled by an addictive pop melody and sensational chord changes that captivate the listener. The song was released as the lead single from the band’s most recent studio album entitled Desire Lines. It just defined that the band just kept getting better with each album release.
Top 10 article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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