Great Rock Albums of 1983: Big Country- The Crossing
It was the beginning of December in 1983 when MTV finally came into my household. That was because we were offered a really good deal on it, so my mother agreed to it but that’s not important here. What I did discover almost straight away was that while many an act owed their success to MTV, that channel also had the potential to kill an act. In those first few weeks, just about every time we switched on the channel, the video for Big Country’s first big hit, “In a Big Country” would be playing. It got played to the point that whenever it came on, either me or my sister and even my then 12 year old brother would crack the sarcastic comment, “Hey, never seen this one before.” The irony is that when I first heard that song, I thought it was decent enough. I liked Big Country’s Scottish Celtic-folk sound mixed in with a bit of hard rock. It was definitely something I would call new wave. Unfortunately, the over saturation of the song on MTV put me off and as a result, I never got to appreciate how good their debut album, “The Crossing” was.
Another ironic point about this album was that by chance, I saw the video for their second single, “Fields of Fire.” I say by chance because unlike “In a Big Country” they hardly played it and that’s a shame because I preferred “Fields of Fire” to the other one. It is a bit harder. Throughout “The Crossing,” the folk-rock combination weaves its way in, out and around all the tracks. The first three or four tracks edge closer to the more progressive side. There are some very interesting musical arrangements here, especially with the song, “Chance.” Things tend to sound a bit more harder after that, although the track “1000 Stars” does slightly remind of U2. Furthermore, I do like the acoustic folk sound on “The Storm.” But “Harvest Home” is more hard rock for and that is followed by my favourite track, “Lost Patrol.” Another song, I will add to my list of songs that would sound good metalized.
At first, I didn’t know what to think about the closer, “Porrohman.” But once I sat down and really listened to it, I found it to be one of those that absorbs you in and you have no choice but to just enjoy it to its end. A great song to end the album with. One more point I have to make is about the vocals of Stuart Adamson. What makes his vocals good is that they fit right in with the music and that does well here.
- In a Big Country
- 1000 Stars
- The Storm
- Harvest Home
- Lost Patrol
- Close Action
- Fields of Fire
Stuart Adamson- vocals, guitar, piano, ebow
Bruce Watson- guitar, vocals, ebow, mandolin, sitar
Tony Butler- bass, vocals
Mark Brzezicki- drums, percussion,vocals
Did you know that some people actually consider Big Country to be one hit wonders. I don’t. From what I heard from their later work, they seem to go a bit more harder. Still, they were never one hit wonders. That label kept people like me from hearing how good “The Crossing” actually was.
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