Great Rock Albums of 1986: Big Country- The Seer


While I will never regret my zeal for metal in 1986, one not so good side effect of it was that it caused me to overlook Big Country. A reason for that and I know it’s not a good one, was that the year before, they supported Hall and Oates on tour. Therefore, I wrote them off as a top forty band. I remember the single from their 1986 album, “The Seer,” “Look Away,” and I remember it being an okay song. But that’s were any interest in Big Country from me ended. Now before, anyone starts branding me a fool, I did correct this oversight in the early 1990s.

One point the so-called critics have said about this album was that it was a return to Big Country’s more Gaelic roots. True, there is a definite Gaelic sound on many of the songs on the album, especially my favorite and title track on the album. However, what I like about this particular track is that Kate Bush provides accompanying vocals on the song and there is some good guitar work on the song. I’ll go out on a small limb and say that the title track is almost a case of Gaelic meets heavy metal. Then again, things like this probably prove my insanity.


Kate Bush

The hard rock doesn’t stop with the title track. If you weren’t listening closely, you might think that the next track, “The Teacher,” is simply the title track extended. It seems to simply carry on from where the previous track left off, but after a few seconds in, you know it’s a different song and a good one as well. On the other hand, there’s a more Gaelic feel to “I Walk the Hill.” Unfortunately, I’m not in possession of the album because I would like to know which guitarist plays the solo on the track because it’s nicely done.

A rather interesting track is “Eiledon.” It stretches out more into a progressive mode in a Clannad sort of way. It is one you have to give a close listen to in order to fully appreciate it but it’s worth it. The succeeding track and second single, “One Great Thing,” is a contrast to “Eiledon.” It goes more in a harder direction with the guitars stamping their authority on the song, with the catchy lead guitar that seems to show up on most of the tracks. Then things switch again with “Hold the Heart” being more of a melodic near ballad like song. Then another switch as “Remembrance Day” reminds me a little of their 1983 hit, “In a Big Country,” though I like this one better, better power chords. Speaking of power chords, if they had been a little louder on “Red Fox,” then it would have made a cool metal jam. The album closes with “Sailor,” which starts out  a little on the mellow side but goes much harder and the power chords and melody combining to make it the choice for album closer.

Track Listing:

  1. Look Away
  2. The Seer
  3. The Teacher
  4. I Walk the Hill
  5. Eiledon
  6. One Great Thing
  7. Hold the Heart
  8. Remembrance Day
  9. Red Fox
  10. Sailor

Big Country

Stuart Adamson- guitar, vocals

Mark Brzezicki- drums, percussion, vocals

Tony Butler- bass, steel guitar, vocals

Bruce Watson- guitar, mandolin, sitar

So yes, I should have appreciated this album more in 1986. In my defense, I did come to my senses a few years later and got to fully appreciate “The Seer” and know that Big Country was far better than what I had originally thought. I’ll just blame the stupid promoter who put them on tour with Hall and Oates.

Next post: GTR
































5 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1986: Big Country- The Seer”

  1. Since about 2018, the Toronto Maple Leafs play Hall And Oates – You Make (a?) My Dreams Come True after every goal. EVERY GOAL!!!! ARGH!!!

    As for the guitar work I would assume the lead singer would be focused on vocal duties and his guitar work would be rhythm, so then the soloing would be Bruce Watson. You know what happens when you assume though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In doing a Google search it appears I made an ass of me. Adamson did most of the lead and Watson mostly rhythm. Cenventional wisdom be damned.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Always great to see some love for Big Country.

    Liked by 1 person

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