ARTIST: Big Country
TITLE: The Crossing
YEAR RELEASED: 1983
CHART ACTION: #18 US, #3 UK
SINGLES: Harvest Home (#91 UK), Fields of Fire (#10 UK, #52 US), In a Big Country (#17 UK, #17 US), Chance (#9 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: A fan knows the record. Nothing else got airplay here.
LINEUP: Stuart Adamson, Bruce Watson, Tony Butler, Mark Brzezicki
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: First album from the Scottish band that taught us all about E-bows and current Scottish patriotism.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The first thing you notice about this album is the guitar sound. Yes, the infamous bagpipe sound is there for the song everyone knows, but the rest of the album also has the E-bow guitar showcased in several subtler ways. Also, the rhythm section of Butler and Brzezicki, who worked together for several years, are solid and give the songs a solid framework.
The songs are all strong and closely related to Scotland, defending the land and the betterment of man. No hippy dippy love songs here. Sometimes, the arrangements for individual songs are similar. The singles are standouts as well as Inwards and Lost Patrol.
Since In a Big Country is such a hallmark of the 80’s, the rest of the album never got the respect it deserved. It’s a very solid debut for a unique band.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Also contributing to the guitar sound was Pitch Transposer effect. Whatever it really was, they used those effects to their advantage.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a couple. The first has the Wonderland EP and the second has several outtakes and demos. The bad news is that Wonderland is split between this record and Steeltown on the second deluxe version.
GRADE: A-: This is definitely more than In a Big Country. The whole thing makes you want to put on some kilts and defend Scotland’s honor.