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Dreams Stay With You: Big Country’s Debut to Be Expanded With Archival Demos

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It looks like we’ve got the first deluxe edition of 2012 locked down – at least across the pond. Scottish band Big Country today announced the details for a new expansion of their fantastic debut, The Crossing, to coincide with a 30th anniversary tour across the United Kingdom. (The band reunited first in 2007 and again in 2010, both times with new vocalist Mike Peters of The Alarm, replacing late lead singer/guitarist Stuart Adamson, who died in 2001.)

Released in 1983, The Crossing was a killer first album for the Scottish band, thanks to a clutch of fantastic, almost theatric folk-infused rockers from the collective pen of the group (Adamson, guitarist Bruce Watson, bassist Tony Butler and drummer Mark Brzezicki), Watson and Adamson’s rich landscape of guitar tones and the production of one Steve Lillywhite, who applied the same magic to The Crossing that he did on the first three albums by an ambitious, guitar-driven band from Ireland named U2.

The results were phenomenal: The Crossing peaked at No. 3 in the U.K. and was a solid Top 20 album in the U.S., where the album’s “In a Big Country” was a Top 20 single and still one of the high points of ’80s pop-rock. (Closer to home, “Fields of Fire” and “Chance” were Top 10 hits, as well.)

With a healthy following, both fans and sales-wise, it’s not hard to see why Universal is rolling out a double-disc edition of the album. (It’s actually the third CD reissue of the record, following a U.K. expansion in 1996 that added four B-sides and a U.S. re-release in 2002 which featured the alternate version of “Chance” released as a single and the entirety of the 1984 EP Wonderland.) This double-disc release features all seven of the non-LP B-sides from the singles released from The Crossing, as well as a bonus disc of demos, ten of which are being released for the first time. (Of particular interest to longtime fans is a trio of four-track demos from 1981 and four demos produced by Chris Thomas, noted producer for The Sex Pistols, The Pretenders and INXS, who helmed the band’s debut single, “Harvest Home.”)

The package will be out January 30, days before the band’s Crossing the Country tour kicks off in England. Hit the jump to pre-order your copy on Amazon and see the track list (as generously bestowed upon the world by Slicing Up Eyeballs).

Big Country, The Crossing: Deluxe Edition (Mercury/UMC, 2012)

Disc 1: Original LP and B-sides

  1. In a Big Country
  2. Inwards
  3. Chance
  4. 1000 Stars
  5. The Storm
  6. Harvest Home
  7. Lost Patrol
  8. Close Action
  9. Fields of Fire
  10. Porrohman
  11. Balcony
  12. Flag of Nation (Swimming)
  13. Angle Park
  14. All of Us
  15. Heart and Soul
  16. The Crossing
  17. The Tracks of My Tears (Live @ Locamo Tiffany’s, Glasgow – 7/4/1983)

Disc 2: Demos

  1. Angle Park (4-Track Demo, 1981)
  2. Harvest Home (4-Track Demo, 1981)
  3. We Could Laugh (4-Track Demo, 1981)
  4. In a Big Country (Demo)
  5. The Storm (Demo)
  6. Big City (Demo)
  7. Fields of Fire (Riverside Studios, BBC TV)
  8. Lost Patrol (Phonogram Studios Demo)
  9. Inwards (Phonogram Studios Demo)
  10. A Thousand Stars (Chris Thomas Demo)
  11. Close Action (Chris Thomas Demo)
  12. Lost Patrol (Chris Thomas Demo)
  13. Inwards (Chris Thomas Demo)
  14. Fields of Fire (Demo)
  15. Ring Out (Demo)
  16. A Thousand Stars (Demo)
  17. Chance (Demo)

Disc 1, Tracks 1-10 released as Mercury LP 812 780-1, 1983
Disc 1, Tracks 11-12 released on “Harvest Home” 12″ single – Mercury COUNT 112, 1982
Disc 1, Track 13 released on “Fields of Fire” 7″ single – Mercury COUNT 2, 1983
Disc 1, Tracks 14-15 released on “In a Big Country” 12″ single – Mercury COUNT 313, 1983
Disc 1, Tracks 16-17 released on “Chance” 12″ single – Mercury COUNT 412
Disc 2, Tracks 4-6 and 14-17 released on Rarities IV – Track Record TRA-1037, 2003
All other tracks previously unreleased

Written by Mike Duquette

November 9, 2011 at 11:36

Posted in Big Country, News, Reissues

4 Responses

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  1. Thanks for showing some love to Big Country. Even though I’ve owned this on vinyl (at least 21 copies), the original CD, the UK remastered CD and the US remastered CD, AND I have all nine of their officially-released “Rarities” CDs, I will still be picking this up, since I’m not sure I have those ’81 demos in my collection. Thanks for posting the track listing, which I’ve been trying to find since this release was announced a couple of weeks ago.

    FYI, “Dreams Stay With You” is also the name of a recently-released CD/DVD document of a live performance from earlier this year, in Edinburgh, with Mike Peters on vocals. Any Big Country fan with an open mind should check it out. Mike is no Stuart Adamson, but no one could replace him. His passion for these songs is palpable, and hearing these songs again, played by three of the four guys who originally recorded them, is a true pleasure. Their monumental rhythm section (Mark Brzezicki & Tony Butler) is still as powerful today as they were nearly 30 years ago. I should also point out that I had the pleasure of being at the show in Edinburgh, and my wife & I can be seen (barely) in the first row of the balcony throughout the DVD.

  2. The band reunited first in 2007 and again in 2010, both times with new vocalist Mike Peters of The Alarm, replacing late lead singer/guitarist Stuart Adamson, who died in 2001.

    A slight mistake here: In 2007 the remaining three members reunited as a trio with Tony Butler taking lead vocals and Bruce Watson playing all the guitar parts.


    November 10, 2011 at 16:20

  3. It was indeed a fine album, and it was never off the record player. Scratch that, I think my brother actually brought back the cassette cause it had the 12 inch mixes of Fields of Fire and In A Big Country AND the 2 b-sides, Angle Park and Heart and Soul. My favourite song is still Balcony. It’s very different as Big Country song, and on the soundtrack to the movie Against All Odds, but i don’t remember hearing it in the movie, does anyone?
    More interesting for me will be if they ever get round to sorting out Steeltown. I really thought the band matured very quickly with that album with a larger production job and the guitars, although not completely untangled from each other, did show more mettle. Listen to songs such as The Great Divide and Flame of the West and you’ll hear what I mean. The quieter moments were few, but The Girl With Grey Eyes is quite beautiful in places.
    One thing I really hoped to get with any Steeltown reissue would be a live concert from that period. It’s a time that is ill served with decent recordings out in the great wide web, save one of the nights at the Glasgow Apollo which is incomplete but does have a version of the rarely played single, East Of Eden. They played there 4 times in 3 months if I am not mistaken. My older brother had an October ticket, I had a December ticket.


    November 11, 2011 at 16:12

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