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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, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: At The BBC

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
Disc 4

Comments

donnam541
Love Big Country! They're the best!!
Big Country - by Big Country - LOVE THIS SONG!!!! Esp . the bag -pipes !!
I wasn't a fan until I heard this song. Great band and song. I'm saddened that Adamson is no longer with us. He had a great , compassionat e voice.
Big Country. OMG. I LOVE THIS SONG. I HAVEN'T HEARD THIS SONG IN FOREVER. THAT'S HELLA COOL.
The Celtic feel always intrigued me.when they first came out I had a friend who hated them. He went to a show with us because his date was friends with my GF. He was won over... Still talks about how he like so many Americans failed to give big country their due.
you like this band, you should check out my band Teenage Girl Turds
Nice
warzau1
Love this song. It never gets old.
A shame they only had one hit in the States.
Truly innovative and talented..Bi g Country is what U2 would sound like if Bono & company weren't commercial sellouts.
i love big country!!!!!
Love Big Country but after nearly 2 hours I've only heard one Big Country tune...lots of U2 and The Police so that's ok...
There I was thinking they were Australian. They sound very interesting.
Hey pandora how bout getting the seer,steel town and peace in our time those are some good releases.
Just saw Big Country in Nashville. What a show bringing back great memories of the 80's. Missed Stuart but Mike Peters filling in was a great compliment to the band. Derek Forbes from Simple Minds on bass tore up the night. Bruce Watson being able to tour with his son also playing guitar had to be a bright moment for him. Good job boys!!
Thank you Mike Peters and Derek Forbes for your contribution s to Big Country Stuart is watching down proud.
petr1968
Reintroduced myself to BC over the last 6 months. These guys were WAY ahead of their time. What beautiful sounds and tones coming from REAL instruments. You KNOW their sound (kind of like Rush, or Living Colour, for example). The only place you hear 'music' is if you listen to alternative radio. Mainstream is purely that, whitewashed, homogenized, pre-packaged . Ugh.
It's senseless for a person like me to have a radio in the car any more, unless I need a traffic and transit update!
Bobonnit...i t is a free country, the last time I checked...yo u have the right not to like Big Country...an d the right to be offended by them...but don't say that it needs to be removed from Pandora...yo u have the right not to listen to it.
nice sound, but it's not bag pipes. It's a guitar with effects board. They were pioneers of sorts. One of my favorite bands.
mir1946
Best song with bag pipes. Hands down. Sounds just as good today as 30 yrs ago
My first vinyl record was The Crossing. This band is criminally underrated, they are NOT and have never been a one hit wonder, they are exceptional musicians. I am happy to see that the greatest drummer ever Mr. Mark Brzezicki and guitarist extraordinai r e Bruce Watson have brought them together again. And yes, without Stuart it will never be the same, but the legacy continues and they are still great. Too bad my favourite album Steeltown is not represented in Pandora
This band annoyed me in the 80's
Saw Big Country in England when we were living there for a year. Drove 4 hours to see him in concert. Had him sign my husband's Skids 45 and he kissed me on the cheek. Husband had me also take a poster off the wall. Got pulled over on the way back to London for speeding. When husband told police officer we were coming back from BC concert --- he said they were his favorite band and he let us go.!
get off my Pandora
Still can't think about all the times I listened to Big Country and not get choked up about Stuart. I turned to them for hope, I turned to them when I was down. One of my biggest regrets is that I never saw them live; money was always tight or the timing was bad.
Saw them in Chicago in 1985. Best band ever.
gireal1
One of the greatest bands EVER. Shame such great talent led by such a tortured soul was lost so soon!
love 'the lost patrol' we save no souls, we break no promises
Best band ever, Chance is the best song I ever heard!
adueck854
Def not a one-hit wonder!

Listen to the whole album and you will find musical soul and depth.

If the only song you know is In A Big Country you don't know this band!

The Crossing is a classic from the beginning.
fantasycarch i e f
I didn't know he comitted suicide..... . t h a t is very sad.......sa y s pammie....th e wife of fantasycarch e i f
I felt horrible when the lead singer Stuart Adamson committed suicide. Right before they were allegedly going back into studio for an album. Damned shame.
dcarr5
I saw these guys in San Diego. I had to win tickets from 91x. it was Iggy Pop, Social Distortion, Cop Shoot Cop, Living Colour and Big Country. I didn't expect much from BC but they had me on my feet as soon as they hit the stage!
This is one of my favorite memories as a kid, listening to Big Country at the waterpark in Midland, TX.
A one hit wonder in the best sense of the word.
stuart adamson what a hottie but big country rocks!
michaelamend 8
SteelTown is a masterpiece. I can no longer listen without tearing up. We miss you Stuart.
good music too bad lead singer is dead.
gat
May Stuart's memory be eternal! BC is one of the best.
s142424
Pandora pretty much only shows what is in print which, coincidently tends to be the mainstream stuff. But how is Peace in Our Time more mainstream than Steeltown?
jeffrey.kurk a
Exceedingly disappointed that they don't have their best albums on here. Steeltown and The Seer are great albums, unlike anything else out there. Like much on Pandora, they have the mainstream stuff only.
Big Country has been on my playlist for years. I love their Celtic influence.
Big Country rocked. "In a Big Country" still sounds as good as the day I first heard it!
big country sould hae been biger than wat they were
u rock
in a big country is a a true 1 hit wonder
So nice to see so many other fans of Big Country, I didn't know many people that liked them. I agree with many - best live show ever! RIP Stuart.
EP "Wonderland" - great tunes. A great "lost" band from the 80s.
Steeltown was their crowing moment. Sad to see that it is not represented here.
Love this group from Scotland (been there) I had a big country crush on Stuart.. RIP.. Stuart Adamson

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