The Crossing [Bonus Tracks]

by: Big Country

With producer Steve Lillywhite at the helm, Scotland's Big Country managed to deliver earnest, socially conscious arena anthems in a similar vein to U2 and The Alarm. The twist was their trademark bagpipe sound, achieved through the use of e-bow. The unique sound of "In a Big Country" garnered the band considerable attention and a Top 20 single in the U.S. The Crossing, however, is an album whose richness goes beyond the single. The more subdued "Chance" is more sparse and its personal lyrics are every bit as heartfelt as the more populist-inclined anthems like the wonderful "The Storm" or the thundering "Fields of Fire." The lyrics are straightforward and, despite the grand themes of many of the tracks, manage to steer clear of being overly pretentious. While this album earned the band a gold record, Big Country's sound and image (reinforced by the members tartan, checked shirts) resulted in them being tagged a novelty and they never duplicated their initial success in America. [The 2002 re-release includes several tracks not included on the original.] ~ Tom Demalon

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