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Big Country



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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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
  2.   In a Big Country
  3.   Fields of Fire
  4.   Look Away
  5.   The Storm
  6.   Harvest Home
  7.   Big Country
  8.   Over the Border
  9.   Broken Heart (Thirteen Valleys)
  10.   Ring Out Bells
  11.   Loserville
  12.   Hold the Heart
  13.   The Teacher
  14.   Lost Patrol
  15.   The One I Love
  16.   Heart and Soul
  17.   All Fall Together
  18.   Wonderland
  19.   I Get Hurt
  20.   Peace in Our Time
  21.   Stuart and the Audience
  22.   The Seer
  23.   11 Far from Me to You
  24.   Daydream Believer
  25.   Found Out About You
  26.   All Go Together No. 1
  27.   All Lay Down
  28.   Bass Concerto
  29.   Restless Natives: Restless Soundtrack, Pt. 2
  30.   Restless Natives: Restless Soundtrack, Pt. 1
  31.   I Will Run For You (Restless Natives)
  32.   Gypsy Girl
  33.   Hail & Farewell
  34.   Winter Fire
  35.   Return
  36.   Another Country
  37.   Last Ship Sails
  38.   Strong (All Through This Land)
  39.   Angels & Promises
  40.   Home of the Brave
  41.   Hurt
  42.   After the Flood
  43.   The Journey
  44.   In a Broken Promise Land
  45.   We Could Laugh
  46.   Change
  47.   Girl With Grey Eyes
  48.   The Audience -- Encore
  49.   Big City
  50.   Home Came the Angels
  51.   Highland Scenery
  52.   Can You Feel the Winter
  53.   Fly Like an Eagle
  54.   I'm on This Train
  55.   Thirteen Valleys
  56.   This Bloods For You
  57.   Honky Tonk Woman
  58.   Don't Fear the Reaper
  59.   Hey Hey, My My
  60.   Down on the Corner
  61.   You Want Me to Go
  62.   Soul on Fire
  63.   Hardly a Mountain
  64.   Chester's Farm
  65.   Pink Marshmallow Moon
  66.   All Go Together
  67.   The Selling of America
  68.   Seven Waves
  69.   Never Take Your Place
  70.   Eastworld
  71.   Crazytimes
  72.   The Crossing
  73.   All of Us
  74.   John Wayne's Dream
  75.   Republican Party People
  76.   Save Me
  77.   Grace
  78.   Your Spirit to Me
  79.   Bella
  80.   Trouble the Waters
  81.   Devil in the Eye
  82.   The President Slipped and Fell
  83.   Somebody Else
  84.   See You
  85.   Dive Into Me
  86.   Fragile Thing
  87.   Perfect World
  88.   Driving to Damascus
  89.   Belief in the Small Man
  90.   Restless Natives
  91.   Song of the South
  92.   Return of the Two Headed King
  93.   Promised Land
  94.   Made in Heaven
  95.   Freedom Song
  96.   Kiss the Girl Goodbye
  97.   Heart of the World
  98.   You, Me and the Truth
  99.   Leap of Faith
  100.   Beat the Devil
  101.   The Hostage Speaks
  102.   Beautiful People
  103.   Keep On Dreaming
  104.   Dynamite Lady
  105.   Republican Party Reptile
  106.   We're Not in Kansas
  107.   Tracks of My Tears
  108.   Longest Day
  109.   When the Drum Beats
  110.   Everything I Need
  111.   Thousand Yard Stare
  112.   A Thousand Stars
  113.   The Travellers
  114.   Magic in Your Eyes
  115.   Ice Cream Smile
  116.   Balcony
  117.   Charlotte
  118.   Wildland in My Heart
  119.   Long Way Home
  120.   What Are You Working For
  121.   13 Valleys
  122.   Far from Me to You
  123.   Take You to the Moon
  124.   Send You
  125.   Blue on a Green Planet
  126.   One in a Million
  127.   Message of Love
  128.   On the Road Again
  129.   I'm Eighteen
  130.   Rockin' in the Free World
  131.   Ships
  132.   Alone
  133.   Post Nuclear Talking Blues
  134.   I'm Not Ashamed
  135.   Thunder & Lightning
  136.   Sail into Nothing
  137.   You Dreamer
  138.   God's Great Mistake
  139.   Ruby Tuesday
  140.   I'm on Fire
  141.   Sling It
  142.   Winter Sky
  143.   Eleanor Rigby
  144.   The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
  145.   Summertime
  146.   The Buffalo Skinners
  147.   Big Yellow Taxi
  148.   King of Emotion
  149.   River of Hope
  150.   Inwards
  151.   Porrohman
  152.   Close Action
  153.   Angle Park
  154.   1,000 Stars
  155.   Chance
  156.   Just a Shadow
  157.   Rain Dance
  158.   Girl With the Grey Eyes
  159.   Tall Ships Go
  160.   Come Back to Me
  161.   Where the Rose Is Sown
  162.   Steeltown
  163.   East of Eden
  164.   I Walk the Hill
  165.   Eiledon