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Pop - Released January 1, 1996 | EMI

With producer Steve Lillywhite at the helm, Scotland's Big Country managed to deliver earnest, socially conscious arena anthems in a similar vein to U2 and the Alarm. The twist was their trademark bagpipe sound, achieved through the use of E-Bow. The unique sound of "In a Big Country" garnered the band considerable attention and a Top 20 single in the U.S. The Crossing, however, is an album whose richness goes beyond the single. The more subdued "Chance" is sparser and its personal lyrics are every bit as heartfelt as the more populist-inclined anthems like the wonderful "The Storm" or the thundering "Fields of Fire." The lyrics are straightforward and, despite the grand themes of many of the tracks, manage to steer clear of being overly pretentious. While this album earned the band a gold record, Big Country's sound and image (reinforced by the members' tartan checked shirts) resulted in them being tagged a novelty, and they never duplicated their initial success in America. [An expanded version of The Crossing appeared in 2012 to mark the 30th Anniversary of the formation of the group. The two-disc reissue reissue included a remastered version of the original album, as well as twenty-four bonus cuts (demos, outtakes, and B-sides) and a 20-page booklet.] © Tom Demalon /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

With producer Steve Lillywhite at the helm, Scotland's Big Country managed to deliver earnest, socially conscious arena anthems in a similar vein to U2 and the Alarm. The twist was their trademark bagpipe sound, achieved through the use of E-Bow. The unique sound of "In a Big Country" garnered the band considerable attention and a Top 20 single in the U.S. The Crossing, however, is an album whose richness goes beyond the single. The more subdued "Chance" is sparser and its personal lyrics are every bit as heartfelt as the more populist-inclined anthems like the wonderful "The Storm" or the thundering "Fields of Fire." The lyrics are straightforward and, despite the grand themes of many of the tracks, manage to steer clear of being overly pretentious. While this album earned the band a gold record, Big Country's sound and image (reinforced by the members' tartan checked shirts) resulted in them being tagged a novelty, and they never duplicated their initial success in America. [An expanded version of The Crossing appeared in 2012 to mark the 30th Anniversary of the formation of the group. The two-disc reissue reissue included a remastered version of the original album, as well as twenty-four bonus cuts (demos, outtakes, and B-sides) and a 20-page booklet.] © Tom Demalon /TiVo
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Rock - Released September 26, 2018 | The Store For Music Ltd

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Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Big Country came out of one of the less dominant parts of the United Kingdom with an anthemic sound and vaguely revolutionary-sounding lyrics to captivate the British listening public and at least interest Americans. Big Country continued their winning ways at home with this, its second album, which topped the charts and produced three Top 40 hits -- "East of Eden," "Where the Rose is Sown," and "Just a Shadow." But in the U.S., the album was perceived as proving that the band's sound, guitars-as-bagpipes, courtesy of the E-Bow, was a one-time novelty, while Stuart Adamson's lyrics, full of British socialist working-class fervor, seemed jingoistic and pretentious. Nevertheless, much of the music, as on the first album, made for stirring rock & roll. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Rock - Released May 1, 1994 | Chrysalis Records

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Pop - Released January 1, 2002 | Island Mercury

With producer Steve Lillywhite at the helm, Scotland's Big Country managed to deliver earnest, socially conscious arena anthems in a similar vein to U2 and the Alarm. The twist was their trademark bagpipe sound, achieved through the use of E-Bow. The unique sound of "In a Big Country" garnered the band considerable attention and a Top 20 single in the U.S. The Crossing, however, is an album whose richness goes beyond the single. The more subdued "Chance" is sparser and its personal lyrics are every bit as heartfelt as the more populist-inclined anthems like the wonderful "The Storm" or the thundering "Fields of Fire." The lyrics are straightforward and, despite the grand themes of many of the tracks, manage to steer clear of being overly pretentious. While this album earned the band a gold record, Big Country's sound and image (reinforced by the members' tartan checked shirts) resulted in them being tagged a novelty, and they never duplicated their initial success in America. [An expanded version of The Crossing appeared in 2012 to mark the 30th Anniversary of the formation of the group. The two-disc reissue reissue included a remastered version of the original album, as well as twenty-four bonus cuts (demos, outtakes, and B-sides) and a 20-page booklet.] © Tom Demalon /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1996 | Virgin EMI

Big Country came out of one of the less dominant parts of the United Kingdom with an anthemic sound and vaguely revolutionary-sounding lyrics to captivate the British listening public and at least interest Americans. Big Country continued their winning ways at home with this, its second album, which topped the charts and produced three Top 40 hits -- "East of Eden," "Where the Rose is Sown," and "Just a Shadow." But in the U.S., the album was perceived as proving that the band's sound, guitars-as-bagpipes, courtesy of the E-Bow, was a one-time novelty, while Stuart Adamson's lyrics, full of British socialist working-class fervor, seemed jingoistic and pretentious. Nevertheless, much of the music, as on the first album, made for stirring rock & roll. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1996 | Virgin EMI

The third proper album by Scottish quartet Big Country kicks off with the stellar "Look Away," a rocking outlaw tale with very cool guitar work from Bruce Watson and lead singer Stuart Adamson. However, the simple, anthemic choruses and effects-laden guitars are beginning to wear a little thin four years after the band's promising breakthrough. Big Country does little to expand on their sound or lyrical themes and The Seer is somewhat disappointing. There are a few solid tracks like the moody title song (with Kate Bush lending vocals) and the stirring "Eiledon," but the band had done these songs better. It managed to chart three singles in the U.K., with "Look Away" going Top Ten, but the American audience had dwindled to hard-core fans. It's the hardcore fans that The Seer is most likely to be of interest to. © Tom Demalon /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

The third proper album by Scottish quartet Big Country kicks off with the stellar "Look Away," a rocking outlaw tale with very cool guitar work from Bruce Watson and lead singer Stuart Adamson. However, the simple, anthemic choruses and effects-laden guitars are beginning to wear a little thin four years after the band's promising breakthrough. Big Country does little to expand on their sound or lyrical themes and The Seer is somewhat disappointing. There are a few solid tracks like the moody title song (with Kate Bush lending vocals) and the stirring "Eiledon," but the band had done these songs better. It managed to chart three singles in the U.K., with "Look Away" going Top Ten, but the American audience had dwindled to hard-core fans. It's the hardcore fans that The Seer is most likely to be of interest to. © Tom Demalon /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1994 | Island Mercury

Big Country made big music -- maybe not according to the definitions of Mike Scott, but certainly big in the sense of post-U2 anthemic college rock. They had one big hit -- the glorious "In a Big Country," where the E-Bows chimed like bagpipes and the chorus surged with a barely constrained urgency. Big Country never hit those heights again, either artistically or commercially, but they did write a number of fine, big anthems, all of which are collected on Mercury's The Best of Big Country. Since it weighs in at 17 tracks, this may try the attention span of anyone but the devoted, yet this still works as a fine summary of their strengths while pointing out why they might not have gone much further. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

The overly slick fourth Big Country album, Peace in Our Time, not only effectively killed off the band's commercial hopes in the US, it nearly broke up the band. On No Place Like Home, drummer Mark Brzezicki returned to the studio as a session drummer after leaving the band. The album finds the band trying to reinvent themselves and shift away from their '80s image. It does succeed in capturing a more organic sound than their previous release, whatever the style. "We're Not In Kansas" could almost pass for a late '80s AOR track. "Republican Party Reptile" sounds like the band had picked up a few tricks from one-time support act the Cult, and the mid-tempo "Dynamite Lady" is akin to one of Duran Duran's best ballads. It's all fairly well done, but the attempts at altering their sound just don't suit Big Country and several songs sound generic. No Place Like Home never saw the light of day in America, although several tracks would show up on 1993's The Buffalo Skinners. © Tom Demalon /TiVo
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Rock - Released September 14, 1993 | Chrysalis Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 26, 2018 | M. i. G. - music

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Pop - Released January 1, 2001 | Island Mercury

The selections on the mid-priced 20th Century Masters -- The Millennium Collection: The Best of Big Country are mostly duplicates of The Best of Big Country, but there are a couple tracks not on that more extensive compilation, including a rare Jimmy Iovine remix of "All Fall Together." The fact that Big Country was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. makes this release's audience somewhat uncertain; chances are that if you're interested enough in Big Country to purchase a best-of compilation, you'll want the more generous one. But The Millennium Collection does feature all of Big Country's big British hits, and it may be a worthy alternative for those who will be satisfied with a brief overview of the band's career. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1998 | Virgin EMI

Big Country's Restless Natives & Rarities is a collection of B-sides, rare tracks, and alternate mixes recorded for Mercury from 1982 to 1995. The set takes its name from a soundtrack score Stuart Adamson completed in 1984. The 22-track double disc includes the Holy Grail of Big Country collecting: the long out-of-print and much sought-after 34-minute soundtrack to William Forsyth's 1985 Scottish comedy. Long-time fans will find this compilation worth the price for the score itself, which is reminiscent of Mark Knopfler's film work. Other highlights are "Balcony" from Against All Odds and some genuinely great B-sides never available on CD, including "The Longest Day," "Kiss the Girl Goodbye," "On the Shore," and "Song of the South." Though this album is made for the diehards, it will also appeal to the casual fan who owns a few of the early albums. Many fans consider the later Big Country releases to be inessential. Restless Natives & Rarities is somewhat of a return to the glory years and, as such, it is one of the most essential additions after the band's important albums from 1983 to 1988. Well worth tracking down. © JT Griffith /TiVo
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Rock - Released February 22, 2019 | Cherry Red Records

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Rock - Released January 1, 2013 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Released in 2013, Big Country's At the BBC: The Best of the BBC Recordings is a trimmed-down two-disc version of the larger BBC box set that came out at the same time. This 31-track anthology features bits of Big Country's John Peel and David Jensen radio sessions, four songs from their 1988 Soviet Embassy concert, and a variety of highlights from various U.K. concerts ranging from 1983 to 1989. Stripped of Steve Lillywhite's lush production, the radio session tracks (all from 1983, just after the release of The Crossing) reveal a tight, young live band at the peak of its power and creativity. The subsequent live material, which makes up the bulk of this set, is full of confidence and energy, particularly the three cuts from their 1983 performance at the Reading Festival. Full of candid banter from leader Stuart Adamson, the spirited Scottish quartet sounded as if it would dominate the charts for at least the next decade. The later performances from Big Country's 1989 Peace in Our Time shows are no less compelling even if the material wasn't quite as bold as their earlier work. The Best of the BBC Recordings is a nice snapshot of an exciting band in its prime years, but hardcore fans will want to own the complete box set. © Timothy Monger /TiVo
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Rock - Released April 8, 2013 | Cherry Red Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 26, 2018 | M. i. G. - music

CD$10.49

Rock - Released April 8, 2013 | Cherry Red Records