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The Singles Collection, Vol. 3

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Big Country 7/1/2003

Review

The third volume of Big Country's somewhat exhausting Singles Collection covers material released between 1988 and 1993 -- well after the Scottish combo's defining and chart-topping debut, but a time still fruitful for their thriving European audience. It's a straight compilation of seven singles and their accompanying tracks, so there's a bit of repetition (the rousing "Thirteen Valleys" appears in two versions), and the sequencing shifts between instrumentals, studio, and live material. But longtime fans will love the diversity. There's a ragged live take on Neil Young's "Rocking in the Free World," informed with Big Country's famously populist ethos; to that end, there's also the scathing "Republican Party Reptile." Other highlights include the amplified folk-ballad "Troubled Man," as well as the "R.E.L. Tapes" B-sides of "Promised Land," most notably the meditative "Over the Border." Best is "Alone," (taken from 1993's spectacular Buffalo Skinners), a scalding anthem to match the intensity of "Fields of Fire." Singles Collection, Vol. Three is only necessary for the Big Country completist; it's much too extensive for the casual fan. Listeners looking for the highlights should pick up the band's installment of Mercury's 20th Century Masters series. ~ Johnny Loftus
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Broken Heart (Thirteen Valleys) Big Country 4:48
  3. 2 Soapy Soutar Strikes Back Big Country 4:14
  4. 3 When a Drum Beats Big Country 5:4
  5. 4 On the Shore Big Country 3:38
  6. 1 Peace in Our Time Big Country 4:35
  7. 2 Promised Land (The R.E.L. Tapes) Big Country 3:52
  8. 3 Over the Boarder (The R.E.L. Tapes) Big Country 5:16
  9. 4 The Longest Day (The R.E.L. Tapes) Big Country 6:36
  10. 1 Save Me Big Country 5:28
  11. 2 Pass Me By Big Country 3:59
  12. 3 Dead on Arrival Big Country 3:27
  13. 4 World on Fire Big Country 3:47
  14. 1 Heart of the World Big Country 3:44
  15. 2 Black Skinned Blue Eyed Boys Big Country 3:21
  16. 3 Troubled Man Big Country 4:26
  17. 4 Peace in Our Time Big Country 3:6
  18. 5 Thirteen Valleys Big Country 3:59
  19. 1 Republican Party Reptile Big Country 3:54
  20. 2 Freedom Song Big Country 4:29
  21. 3 Kiss the Girls Goodbye Big Country 5:11
  22. 4 I'm Only Waiting Big Country 4:38
  23. 5 Comes a Time Big Country 3:53
  24. 1 Beautiful People Big Country 3:22
  25. 2 Return of the Two-Headed King Big Country 4:29
  26. 3 Fly Like an Eagle Big Country 4:23
  27. 4 Rocking in the Free World Big Country 6:2
  28. 1 Alone Big Country 5:12
  29. 2 Winter Sky Big Country 4:34
  30. 3 Eastworld Big Country 4:39
  31. 4 Never Take Your Place Big Country 3:59

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