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In A Big Country by Big Country

Album: The CrossingReleased: 1983Charted:
  • Big Country were a group formed in Dunfermline, Scotland by ex-Skids Stuart Adamson (guitar/synthesizer/vocals), Bruce Watson (guitar), Tony Butler (bass), and Mark Brezicki (drums). Their first hit was "Fields Of Fire (400 Miles)" a Top 10 UK hit. "In A Big Country" was their next single; they went on to have three more UK Top 10 hits: "Chance", "Wonderland" and "Look Away."

    When they disbanded in 2000, Adamson became a country singer/songwriter, but got depressed after his second marriage collapsed. His wife declared him missing in November 2001 and the following month he was found hanged in a hotel room in Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Good luck trying to made sense of this song (how exactly does a lover's voice fire the mountainside?). It's an anthemic number with loads of energy, driven by rapid-fire drums and emotive guitar. Lead singer Stuart Adamson explained that Big Country was not a "message band," and that they were happy if listeners could dance to their songs or identify with them in some way.
  • Steve Lillywhite produced this track. This came at a time when he was emerging as one of the top producers in the business, known for his work with Peter Gabriel and U2.
  • In America, this was the only Big Country hit of significance; it didn't garner much radio play, but the video was huge on MTV, which was two years old and becoming a cultural force. The network ignored the group's next US single, "Fields of Fire," which tanked their efforts in America.
  • The video was directed by Lindsey Clennell, who was one of the first to ply this trade. Some of his other credits include videos for The Clash ("White Riot," "1977"), Black Sabbath ("Trashed," "Zero the Hero") and the Stranglers ("Golden Brown," "No More Heroes").
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Comments: 23

It is too bad that this band came along at such a stupid time in pop music history. I saw Big Country twice both at small venues, (86th Street, Commodore Ballroom?) and that was a blessing. However, they made their guitars sound like bagpipes sometimes so many critics wrote them off as a gimmick band. They were far from a gimmicky act. Timeless song writing and simple melodies that you could have sworn you'd heard a million times are what made them one of the greatest 'never was' bands of all time. Have they been mentioned regarding HOF consideration?Matt - Vankookoo, Bc, Canada
I have this CD , an unknown masterpiece.Tony - San Diego
Kind of sad how Adamson was hanging, dead, in that hotel room for a MONTH!!! I've heard of bad hotels, but...George - Vancouver, Canada
I always liked the "guitar-as-Highland-bagpipes" sound of this song! It always got my heart pumping (maybe it's my Scottish-heritage blood waking up?)Bruce - San Jose, Ca
Sorry Colin you are wrong. I live a couple of miles from Dunfermline, and the name is pronounced Dun-ferm-lin. Literally said how it is written, with exception to 'lin' instead of 'line'.Jamie - Fife, United Kingdom
Stuart Adamson was actually born in Ancoats, Manchester, UK, of Scottish parents. He and his family moved to Scotland when he was 5 years old.
During the many Big Country concerts in Manchester Stuart always proclaimed an affinity with Manchester and its people.
Paul - Wigan, United Kingdom
At the Hexagon theatre in Reading, Stuart comments "This song is about having a sense of humour and a sense of hope, in times of adversity" he then laughs before introducing the song as "young guns go for it". I also read an interview with Stuart where he said that this song was written completely differently from the way he normally works. He wanted to capture the feeling of maintaining hope through difficult times. I think he did a fantastic job of achieving that... COME UP SCREAMING !Shane - Wrexham, United Kingdom
Bruce Watson was born in Ontario,Canada from Scottish parents, they moved back to Scotland when Bruce was still a child. If you listen to him talk he is a true Scotsman. Peace, SHOUT!!!!Jim - Long Beach, Ca
I've always thought that the guitar duet during the bridge of the song sounded like bagpipes, and that it was done purposely. Great song.Pat - St. Paul, Mn
When things are too difficult for me, I listen to this beautiful song! It always makes me feel much better about my life! The happy lyrics always keep me going! I love this song and I always will! Rest In Peace Stuart Adamson!Jade - Washington D.c., Dc
Kate Bush did't do the backing vocals on Eiledon, but on the titletrack the Seer.Jan - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Where were Bruce Watsons parents from? Alll my ancestors are from sicily. Were all sicilian. But I was born here in Detroit. That doesnt make me american though. I wonder if bruce watson is actually canadian.Tony - Detroit, Mi
Awesome song with inspirational lyrics. Does anyone really know the meaning behinds the lyrics? I want to say it?s about lovers breaking up or helping a depressed person "see the light".Musicguru - Lost Angles, Ca
Amazing song, Butler never ceases to amaze me, people check out 'ships' its niceDaryl - Stoke, England
Although known as a Scottish band, guitarist Bruce Watson is actually Canadian (born Timmins, Ontario, March 11, 1961). A similar case to The Mamas And The Papas, who also had one Canadian member, the recently deceased Denny Doherty (Nov. 29, 1940 - Jan. 19, 2007).Kent - Toronto, Canada
Mark, Tony and Bruce guested on Roger Daltrey's underrated 1985 album "Under A Raging
Moon". Worth checking out.
Big Country should never be forgotten.
Christophe - Leest, Belgium
The spelling is incorrect here - it should be Dunfermline and is pronounced as follows: Dun-furm-lin. Hope this helps.Colin - Bradford, England
I'm half Irish and Half Scottish, and I've always wondered, how do you pronounce Dunfermilne?Annabelle - Eugene, Or
Just a small clarification. Kate Bush dueted on the title song on The Seer album - June Miles Kingston did backing vocals on Eiledon.John - Dublin, Ireland
Thanks Edward Pearce and Hugh from KC.
Great info on one of my favorite bands.
Anyone know if the song has any particular meaning other than the literal (which doesn't actually say much.
Ralph - Newton, Ma
this song is great. i love the sound.Izzie - Lala, Hi
Kate Bush did backing vocals on their album The Seer... the song was Eiledon.Nero - Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Big Country comprised the studio musicians during the recording of Pete Townsend's breakthrough solo album, Empty Glass.Hugh - Kansas City, Mo
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