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Big Country

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With their ringing, bagpipe-like guitars and the anthemic songs of frontman Stuart Adamson, Scotland's Big Country emerged as one of the most distinctive and promising new rock bands of the early '80s, scoring a major hit with their debut album, The Crossing; though the group's critical and commercial fortunes dimmed in the years to follow, they nevertheless outlasted virtually all of their contemporaries, releasing new material into the next century. The England-born Adamson formed Big Country in mid-1981 following his exit from the Scottish punk quartet the Skids, enlisting childhood friend Bruce Watson on second guitar; Clive Parker and brothers Pete and Alan Wishart completed the original lineup, but were soon replaced by bassist Tony Butler and drummer Mark Brzezicki. Signing to Polygram's Mercury imprint, the band issued its debut single, "Harvest Home," in the fall of 1982; a series of opening dates on the Jam's farewell tour increased Big Country's visibility exponentially, and the follow-up, "Fields of Fire," cracked the U.K. Top Ten. The Crossing appeared in 1983, its passionate, idealistic approach and Celtic-inspired arrangements far removed from the prevailing new wave mentality of the moment; the album not only went platinum at home but went gold in America as well, its success spurred by the Top 20 pop hit "In a Big Country." Critics raved, and in early 1984 Big Country returned to the British Top Ten with the single "Wonderland." Their second album, Steeltown, entered the charts at number one, but despite good reviews there were already rumblings that all of the band's material sounded much the same; charges against 1986's The Seer did little to rectify (although the single "Look Away" was their biggest hit yet). A tour of the Soviet Union accompanied the 1988 release of Peace in Our Time, but the following year Brzezicki resigned from duty, with drummer Pat Ahern enlisted for the single "Save Me." Chris Bell replaced Ahern upon completing 1991's No Place Like Home, the first of the band's albums not to receive an American release. After parting ways with Polygram, Big Country signed with the Compulsion label for 1993's The Buffalo Skinners, recorded with yet another new drummer, Simon Phillips; the record launched a pair of British Top 30 hits, "Alone" and "Ships." Brzezicki rejoined the lineup in time for Without the Aid of a Safety Net, a live LP recorded in Glasgow at year's end. Why the Long Face followed in 1995, and after recording the acoustic effort Eclectic, Adamson relocated to Nashville in 1997, prompting Big Country to go on extended hiatus. The group's first new studio effort in four years, Driving to Damascus, appeared in 1999; the single "Somebody Else" was co-written by Adamson and the Kinks' Ray Davies. Adamson had problems with alcohol that contributed to his brief disappearance in November 1999 and announced his intentions to retire from touring in the spring of 2000, concurrent with the release of the limited edition Nashville Album. Later that fall, Come Up Screaming was issued on SPV. On December 16, 2001 Adamson was found dead in a hotel room in Hawaii. He had been missing for several weeks from his Nashville, Tennessee home. ~ Jason Ankeny
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Albums by
Big Country

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    26 songs

    On Air

    The Seer

    12 songs

    On Air

    The Journey

    12 songs

    On Air

    The Journey

    12 songs

    On Air

    Sensational Big Country (Live)

    14 songs

    On Air

    Big Country - Live

    14 songs

    On Air

    Big Country: Legends (Live)

    14 songs

    On Air

    In Concert

    16 songs

    On Air

    John Wayne's Dream

    15 songs

    On Air

    The Crossing [Bonus Tracks]

    15 songs

    On Air

    Steeltown [Germany Bonus Tracks]

    34 songs

    On Air

    The Crossing [Deluxe Edition]

    27 songs

    On Air

    Steeltown

    33 songs

    On Air

    No Place Like Home

    14 songs

    On Air

    The Crossing

    14 songs

    On Air

    The Seer

    31 songs

    On Air

    At the BBC: The Best of the BBC Recordings

    15 songs

    On Air

    Rarities II

    13 songs

    On Air

    Rarities V

    17 songs

    On Air

    One in a Million

    12 songs

    On Air

    20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best of Big Country

    22 songs

    On Air

    Restless Natives & Rarities

    17 songs

    On Air

    The Best of Big Country

    10 songs

    On Air

    BBC Live in Concert

    12 songs

    On Air

    The Buffalo Skinners

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Top Songs by
Big Country

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   In a Big Country
  3.   Fields of Fire
  4.   Look Away
  5.   The Storm
  6.   Harvest Home
  7.   Big Country
  8.   Promised Land
  9.   Too Many Ghosts
  10.   Grace
  11.   Big City
  12.   The Teacher
  13.   Eleanor Rigby
  14.   The Seer
  15.   Porrohman
  16.   Close Action
  17.   Chance
  18.   Rudy Tuesday
  19.   13 Valleys
  20.   I Walk the Hill
  21.   Steer
  22.   Interview
  23.   The Audience -- Encore
  24.   13 Valleys Acoustic
  25.   Kiss the Girl
  26. See All Songs

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