Chance

Album: The Crossing (1983)
Charted: 9

Songfacts®:

  • A band composition, this song is about a woman who took a chance on love, and lost badly. "It's the story of a girl who has had a hard time at home and marries the first guy who comes along," lead singer Stuart Adamson explained. "She has loads of kids, and he beats it. It's happened to a few people I know, and I think it's absolutely disgusting."
  • In America, Big Country is known for their MTV hit "In A Big Country." "Chance" is from the same album and was a substantial hit in their native UK, but it was not released as a single in many regions of the world, including the USA.
  • The guitar bridge in this song came about when drummer Mark Brzezicki tried to write a song playing only the black keys on a piano.
  • Despite the song's melancholy lyrics, "Chance" became an anthemic sing-along in concert.
    Guitarist Bruce Watson said that if Big Country had performed at Live Aid, they would have played "Chance."
  • "Is 'Chance' a classic tear-jerker? I think so. In a way, 'Chance' has worked perfectly because it's become other people's song more than ours," Adamson told Melody Maker in 1990.

    Adamson went on to say they were thinking about taking it out of their setlists because it made their shows too predictable, but they ended up leaving it in.
  • The final version of "Chance" reversed the order of the second and third verses from the demo, introducing the factory-floor hero turned deadbeat dad before the consequences of the failed relationship.
  • The B-side of the single is a cover of "The Tracks Of My Tears" by The Miracles, a song about masking melancholy by appearing to be happy. When lead singer Stuart Adamson fell into despair and killed himself in 2001, it evoked that song - Adamson was the life of the party in public, but was troubled inside at times.

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