826 844-1 M-1 The Seer
Produced by Robin Millar
Released on July 1986
UK CHART POSITION #2 . . . US CHART POSITION #59
Find it at GEMM
826 844-1 M-1 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

T he proper follow-up to Steeltown, The Seer featured a cleaner, crisper sound than earlier efforts. The material is outstanding (as always), the melodies more accessible, the Scottish self-identity still strong but not overpowering. Should’ve made them stars. Instead, The Seer performed only slightly better than their last album, leaving one to wonder what Big Country would have to do to re-ignite American interest. Song for song, The Seer is probably the best thing they’ve done. Their first two records were a little too self-important in spots, but The Seer moves beyond sloganeering to focus on the music. The lean production from Robin Millar tears away the wall of sound and puts the band’s appeal in better light: Stuart Adamson’s voice, the strong rhythms and melodic guitars shine. You could see The Seer as a commercial overture; certainly “One Great Thing” and “Hold The Heart” are more accessible than anything they’ve done so far. The knock on Big Country was the omnipresent e-bow; it made every song sound the same. Not so The Seer. The e-bow isn’t the story any more. It’s in how they change tempos, use different effects, add and subtract sounds sparingly. These aren’t four angry young men stormtrooping through their songbook behind a Scottish banner but four musicians who treat the muse more gently. I couldn’t tell you whether the change came from the band, the label or the producer. I can tell you that Peace In Our Time and this are of a piece in the exchange of the overarching e-bow for space. Steeltown was a difficult work but worth the effort. The Seer is an easier album to know. I warmed up to it almost immediately, and suspect a good half of this will go running through my head for the next few months. If the early stuff seemed heavy to you, seek The Seer and be enlightened.

TRACK LISTING

  1. LOOK AWAY    (Stuart Adamson)    4:23
  2. THE SEER    (Stuart Adamson/Bruce Watson)    5:26
  3. THE TEACHER    (Stuart Adamson)    4:05
  4. I WALK THE HILL    (Stuart Adamson/Mark Brzezicki/Tony Butler)    3:30
  5. EILEDON    (Stuart Adamson)    5:35
  6. ONE GREAT THING    (Stuart Adamson/Tony Butler)    5:54
  7. HOLD THE HEART    (Stuart Adamson)    6:08
  8. REMEMBRANCE DAY    (Stuart Adamson/Tony Butler/Bruce Watson)    4:00
  9. THE RED FOX    (Stuart Adamson)    3:28
  10. THE SAILOR    (Stuart Adamson/Mark Brzezicki)    4:11

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  11. SONG OF THE SOUTH
  12. LOOK AWAY (12" MIX)
  13. ONE GREAT THING (DISCO MIX)
  14. GIANT

CREDITS

STUART ADAMSON -- vocals, guitar, e-bow
MARK BRZEZICKI -- drums, percussion, backing vocals
TONY BUTLER -- bass, bass pedals, backing vocals
BRUCE WATSON -- guitar, mandolin, sitar
Kate Bush -- vocals (2)
Davie Duncan -- bodhran
June Miles-Kingston -- backing vocals (5,8)
Walter Turbitt -- mixing
Will Gosling -- engineer
J.B. -- sleeve
David Da Silva -- illustration

return to BIG COUNTRY discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK July 1986 Mercury LP/CS MERH/MERHC-87 lyric sleeve
US/WW July 1986 Mercury LP/CD/CS 826 844 lyric sleeve
JPN 1986 Mercury LP 28PP-1023  
GER March 25, 1996 Mercury CDX 532 325 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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