Released in Japan shortly after 1987's dismal Love, the over-produced, under-realized nadir of Roddy Frame's entire career, New Live and Rare feels rather like an attempt to scrub away some of the inappropriate production gloss in order to find the songs underneath. It's a half-successful attempt, in that a live version of the album's closing track, "Killermont Street," actually brings the song to life in a way it had never been before and an early demo of "Everybody Is a Number One" has an almost Philly soul feel to it. However, the extended version of "Deep and Wide and Tall" (which was too long to begin with) and a pointless instrumental take on "Working in a Goldmine" don't help. Worse, live solo renditions of the early Aztec Camera songs "Down the Dip" and "Pillar to Post" prove, unfortunately, that Roddy Frame's newest songs just don't measure up to his earlier work.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason