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.

Track Listing:

  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
Big Country

Big Country

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.

Next post: Robert Plant- The Principle of Moments

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9 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1983: Big Country- The Crossing”

  1. I recently played 3 Big Country LPs (The Crossing, Steeltown, and The Seer) and loved them all. Great band, truly excellent records.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m always thrilled whenever someone shines a light on my favorite band of the last 35 years, Big Country, especially when it’s one of my favorite bloggers. Although they are technically a one-hit wonder in the US (if you’re basing it on the criteria of Top 40 hits), they are so much more vital than that reputation would suggest. This album blew me away the first time I heard it and I’ve never grown tired of it. I’m really glad you enjoy it too, especially “Porrohman,” evidence that they would have made a great prog-rock band had they decided to pursue that direction.


  3. Thanks for this post! The Crossing is such a great album – the drumming is first class and the guitar work unique. They managed to create an atmosphere in their music that still resonates every time I put the CD on in the car and crank up the volume – which is a lot!


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