812 870-1 M-1 The Crossing
Produced by Steve Lillywhite
Released on June 1983
UK CHART POSITION #3 . . . US CHART POSITION #18 . . . GOLD RECORD (1/19/84)
Find it at GEMM
812 870-1 M-1 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

A new band of heroes emerged in the early ‘80s whose music seemed to bristle against English rule (of the airwaves anyway) while championing the working-class struggle: U2, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, The Alarm, Big Country. The Crossing is a powerful debut, a call to arms and a call for change, led by the intoxicating “In A Big Country.” Stuart Adamson and Bruce Watson both played the e-bow, an instrument that evoked their Scottish roots with its plaintive, bagpipe-like sound. Their music was instantly identifiable and, unfortunately, just as quickly pigeonholed by American listeners. Like the work of Echo & The Bunnymen, it takes a little while for Big Country’s songs to develop their own identities, and lazy ears might dismiss their albums as so much bagpipe-laden brouhaha. However, at the core of The Crossing is plenty of talent and tunefulness, almost a cross between The Cure and U2. Producer Steve Lillywhite understood that even alternative rock could benefit from mainstream melodies, and you’ll find that logic behind tracks like “Chance” and “Close Action.” Yet it was the anthems that won them an audience, such as “Fields of Fire,” “Harvest Home” and “1000 Stars.” The image of fire appears throughout, as working-class people are driven from their homes, crossing into an uncertain future. In a sense, the music of Big Country embodies the relentless pursuit of hardships that its characters endure. America, the land of aspiring hedonists, didn’t share the band’s dour outlook and had little long-term use for songs about life’s struggles, while in the UK this message had particular resonance. Thus the music of Big Country was a reluctant export to the US, its ethnic ardor quickly filed under “quirky foreigners” and revived only when their famous four-minute rallying cry (“In A Big Country”) proved efficacious in a parade of ‘80s anthems. The Crossing is so much more than that, of course. It’s the ardent, uncompromising voice of youth and revolution, the Scottish voice that would not be subdued, a standard under which the meek shall inherit the earth. Unchained spirits will hear this in The Crossing, and realize that no country was big enough to contain such a significant talent.

812 870-1 M-1 back cover 812 870-1 M-1 lyric sleeve
812 870-1 M-1 back cover 812 870-1 M-1 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. IN A BIG COUNTRY    4:42
  2. INWARDS    4:34
  3. CHANCE    4:27
  4. FIELDS OF FIRE    3:32
  5. THE STORM    6:20
  6. HARVEST HOME    4:20
  7. LOST PATROL    4:50
  8. CLOSE ACTION    4:18
  9. 1000 STARS    3:53
  10. PORROHMAN    7:45

    1996 CD reissue bonus tracks
  11. ANGLE PARK
  12. THE CROSSING
  13. ALL OF US
  14. HEART & SOUL

    2002 CD reissue bonus tracks
  15. WONDERLAND
  16. ALL FALL TOGETHER
  17. ANGLE PARK
  18. THE CROSSING
  19. CHANCE

    All songs written by Big Country

CREDITS

STUART ADAMSON -- vocals, guitars, e-bow, piano
MARK BRZEZICKI -- drums, percussion, vocals
TONY BUTLER -- bass guitars, vocals
BRUCE WATSON -- guitars, e-bow, vocals
Christine Beveridge -- additional vocals
Will Gosling -- engineer
Paul Cox -- photo
J.B. & Q. Branch -- sleeve

return to BIG COUNTRY discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK June 1983 Mercury LP/CS MERS/MERSC 27 lyric sleeve, blue/red cover versions
UK 1983 Mercury LP/CS MERH/MERHC 27 lyric sleeve, gold embossed green cover
US/GER/NET 1983 Mercury LP/CD/CS 812 870 lyric sleeve
CAN 1983 Vertigo LP/CS VOG4-1/VOG1-3325 lyric sleeve
JPN 1983 Mercury LP 25PP-99 lyric insert
UK date unknown Mercury LP/CS MERS/MERSC 27 lyric sleeve
UK/GER March 26, 1996 Mercury CDX 532 323 20-bit remaster w. 4 bonus tracks
US February 5, 2002 Mercury CDX 548 117 digital remaster w. 5 bonus tracks

 

For more discographies visit...
progrography

© 2007 Connolly & Company. All rights reserved.