Big Country

Big Country Artistfacts

  • 1981-2000, 2007-
    Stuart AdamsonVocals, guitar1981-2000
    Bruce WatsonGuitar
    Tony ButlerBass
    Mark BrzezickiDrums
  • Big Country is known as a Scottish band, though none of its members were born in Scotland. The original lineup was: guitar/vocalist Stuart Adamson (born in Manchester, England), guitarist Bruce Watson (born in Canada), bassist Tony Butler (London, England), and drummer Mark Brzezicki (Slough, England). Big Country were known for their unique guitar sound, which was often compared to bagpipes in their early years. Though the band shared songwriting credits, Adamson was the main creative force and wrote the lyrics.
  • Their first UK hit was "Fields of Fire," which hit #10. Other songs to make the UK Top 10 were "Chance," "Wonderland" and "Look Away."
  • In America, "In A Big Country" was the only Big Country hit of significance. The video was huge on MTV, which was two years old and becoming a cultural force.

    Big Country received a nomination for Best New artist at the 1984 Grammy Awards, along with Men Without Hats, Eurythmics, Musical Youth, and the eventual winner, Culture Club.
  • Big Country's second album, Steeltown, hit #1 in the UK. They released eight studio albums between 1983 and 1999.
  • After the release of Driving to Damascus in 1999, Adamson explored the country music genre with The Raphaels. He struggled with alcoholism and depression; his second wife filed for divorce in November 2001, and soon after, he was reported missing. The following month, he was found hanged in a hotel room in Honolulu, Hawaii. Large amounts of alcohol were found in his body and the death was ruled a suicide.
  • The band re-formed with singer Mike Peters of the Alarm to tour and record the full-length album The Journey in 2013. Peters said, "I felt by singing for Big Country I could help people see the great songwriter that changed the lives of people like myself, and others out there." Bruce Watson's son Jamie also played guitar on this record.
  • In 1984, Big Country participated in Bob Geldof's charity effort Band-Aid. On the spoken-word B-side of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" each band member introduces himself before Adamson says, "Feed the People. Stay Alive." However, Geldof did not invite the band to participate in Live Aid, believing they had broken up.
  • Bassist Tony Butler and drummer Mark Brzezicki were session players before joining the band. Notably, they played with Pete Townshend and can be seen in the video for "Slit Skirts." Butler is in the video for Townshend's "Let My Love Open The Door," and he also played bass on the Pretenders hits "My City Was Gone" and "Back on the Chain Gang." Brzezicki played drums on The Cult's 1985 album Love and appears in the video for "She Sells Sanctuary."


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