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Restless Natives & Rarities

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Album Review

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.


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...
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Restless Natives & Rarities, Big Country
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