“We’d like to do something now, which is all about being proud of who you are and what you’re about. I think everyone should be that …” – Stuart Adamson, introducing The Seer – BBC In Concert.
On 29th July 2013, thirty-years since Britain’s legendary rocker’s Big Country released their classic debut album ‘The Crossing’, Universal Music released ‘At The BBC’, a comprehensive four-disc collection that brings together the band’s BBC radio & TV performances between 1982 and 1990.
A must for all Big Country fans, ‘At The BBC’ includes forty-eight audio tracks, with no fewer than thirty of these recordings previously unreleased. In addition, the set’s accompanying DVD (NTSC region 0) contains a staggering thirty-nine previously unreleased performances, including the band’s appearances on Top of The Pops, The Old Grey Whistle Test and live sets from The Edinburgh Playhouse and the Hexagon in Reading, amongst numerous others. The DVD also includes footage of Big Country’s late lead-singer and guitarist Stuart Adamson being interviewed by Richard Jobson, the lead singer with Adamson’s previous band The Skids.
Former Big Country bassist Tony Butler said, “To see, after all these years, such a collection of recordings and great memories made by the BBC, kind of makes me feel we got there. I mean, it’s the BBC! How cool.”
Big Country guitarist Bruce Watson added, “Watching the footage from Sefton Park in Liverpool brought back some fond memories. Loads of bodies covered in mud, very much a Woodstock atmosphere. Great days!”
The super-deluxe box set comes complete with a hardback book containing in-depth liner notes from respected journalist Tim Barr, archive photographs, a Big Country poster and postcards housed in a wallet.
There is also a 2CD version of the release which features selected audio highlights from the box set.
Big Country was originally formed in 1981 by guitar playing founder members Stuart Adamson and Bruce Watson both native of the band’s hometown Dunfermline in Scotland. Initially driven by a shared vision of widescreen guitar melody, harmony and lyric, the classic Big Country sound was further enhanced later that summer by the arrival of London-based rhythm section Mark Brzezicki and bassist Tony Butler. This is the Big Country that broke massively worldwide with the release of debut album The Crossing’s singles ‘Fields Of Fire’, ‘Chance’ and signature song ‘In A Big Country’, which went on to become massive worldwide hits, selling over 2 million copies and driving ‘The Crossing’ to 3 prestigious Grammy nominations in the USA.
The run of success continued throughout the 1980s with the release of the anthemic single ‘Wonderland’ and the second album ‘Steeltown’ (1984), which debuted at Number 1 in the UK and contained the hit singles ‘East Of Eden, ‘Just a Shadow’ and ‘Where The Rose Is Sown’ . In 1985, Big Country appeared at Live Aid in London, followed by further successful album releases ‘The Seer’ (1986, which included the bands biggest UK hit ‘Look Away’, which also reached Number 1 in the Irish Singles chart) and ‘Peace In Our Time’ (1988), which saw the band playing the first ever privately promoted gig in Russia at the Moscow Sports Stadium.
In the 1990s Big Country would go on to release studio albums ‘No Place Like Home’ (1991), Buffalo Skinners (1993) and ‘Why The Long Face (1995) – landing the band the special guest slot on the Rolling Stones ‘Voodoo Lounge’ European tour and several shows in the UK and Ireland with Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant – before releasing ‘Driving To Damascus’ in 1999.
In 2010, Big Country reformed, with the band’s friend Mike Peters from The Alarm on vocals. Following three sell-out UK tours and a run of acclaimed festival appearances bassist Tony Butler retired from the band, to be replaced by former Simple Minds bassist Derek Forbes. In May 2013, Big Country released ‘The Journey’, their first studio album in fourteen years.
Big Country ‘At The BBC’ captures the classic line-up at the peak of their powers, further cementing the band’s reputation as truly great live band.