Review: Big Country - The Best Of Big Country
I've often compared a song to Big Country but I've never owned any of their records. The Best Of Big Country raised a question or two that was answered by other people's reviews of their work.
Their big hit was, of course, "In A Big Country", from 1983, featuring their signature sound of a guitar that sounds like a bagpipe, hints at Scottish folk music and an obvious attempt to create stadium-shaking anthems that inspire through sheer humongusness. This high is sought over and over again with pretty fair results but the cumulative effect is, to me, commercial overkill.
What I was wondering was if the repetition was a bad thing (if I wasn't a fan) or a good thing (if I loved them). I like their songs individually but I won't be listening to this whole thing again. I was also trying to determine from the hits if there might be a reason to pick up a regular album where I'd be further rewarded with filler tracks with more variety. I didn't get that sense since every track is recorded to be HUGE.
The review consensus seems to be that Big Country had great songs but never broke through to as large an audience as was expected. While not a one hit band, they're a one sound band, and the Scottish stadium anthem thing has to be a gimmick with limited potential. They could have been limited by the "yeah I get it" factor.
Singer Stuart Adamson was the guitarist for The Skids, who went to that sweet suburbia in the sky.
U2 fans would and should love Big Country. True punks get their teenage Scottish kicks from The Real McKenzies.