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The Best of Big Country

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iTunes Review

Too often reduced to that band “that had guitars that sounded like bagpipes,” Scotland’s Big Country show that there was a lot more to their music than their hit 1983 anthem “In a Big Country.” A deeper listen reveals a rock band (and main songwriter/guitarist Stuart Adamson) whose anthemic aggression and galloping guitars often outshone their melancholic lyrical nods to everything from their homeland to strength in family. They were clever in their politics (“Peace in Our Time,” “Republican Party Reptile”), in their love of life (“Harvest Home,” “Fields of Fire”), and even in their vulnerability (“King of Emotion,” “Just a Shadow”). And every song is truly catchy.

Customer Reviews

Some of the greatest music of any era...timeless.

Big Country were one of the great bands to come out of the 80's, and one of the few to continue to make exciting music right up to the end; their last new studio album being 1999's Driving to Damascus. Though they only had 1 big hit here in the USA (you all know what it was), they had 17 top 30 singles and seven top 30 albums worldwide...America just never caught on. As evidenced by the songs, which are filled with passion, insight, great riffs and social conscience, the late great Stuart Adamson was a tremendous songwriter, and the whole band shines with superb musicianship. This disc is full of great moments, though some of their best songs as well as tracks from the "Buffalo Skinners" album and the live "Without The Aid of a Safety Net" are not represented. Try this won't be disappointed!

These guys were more than just bagpipe sound effects...

The song "Just A Shadow' is my favorite Big Country song. I also loved the album "Steeltown', which is not on iTunes. As I recall, Big Country got exposure in Los Angeles and Orange County, until a magazine interview revealed that a Stuart Adamson relative (Grandfather) had been involved with the Communist Party in the UK. Remember that this was the 1980's Reagan era America. I had found 12" singles of "Just A Shadow", "East Of Eden", "Fields Of Fire", "Harvest Home" and "Where The Rose Is Sown" available in the local record stores in Orange County; but these dried up after the Magazine interview revealed the "Commy" connection. Remember the era before the walls came down in Berlin and Eastern Europe.

Good summary record

In this case the AMG review is correct. Big Country really were genius innovators at the beginning. Uncommonly good musicianship mixed with unorthodox sounds like guitars posing as bagpipes, huge yet atmospheric drums and lead bass (thanks in part to the always amazing Steve Lillywhite production) and truly moving songwriting made their first couple of records pack quite a whollup. Unfortunately, as their carreer progressed, Big Country seemed to become obessed with American blues music. Their style, substance and credibility suffered as a result. The first seven songs are really the ones worth downloading.


Formed: 1981 in Dunfermline, Scotland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Big Country

The Best of Big Country, Big Country
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