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LINER NOTES FOR REMASTER

(jump to: Original Liner Notes)
(jump to: Credits)

It was all too much for Dorothy. Too much for anyone really. She was in a world of hurt. Toto was rabid, the Tin Man was all out of trees and the lion was making big bucks at Disney. Meanwhile the Witch of the West had gone off with the Scarecrow to law school and Aunt Em was waiting tables at Buffy’s Burlesque (“Best Breasts West of the River.”). Kansas just wasn’t Kansas any longer.

A lot of people tried to help her. Some of them were smart and some of them were strong and some were really only trying to help themselves. She was just about all helped out. She had gone through three pairs of ruby slippers, clicking those heels like a barroom door in the dustbowl. What she really needed was that tornado to come along and just blow the heck out of everything. Smack that old house somewhere brand new and take it from there.

Deep down inside though, in the small of the night, she knew it wasn’t Kansas or all that other stuff, it was just Dorothy and that no matter where she went or what she did, that’s how it would always be and, most times, that would be just about fine.

-Stuart Adamson

LINER NOTES (ALSO IN THE ORIGINAL RELEASE)

(jump to: Remaster Liner Notes)
(jump to: Credits)

What do you do when you are a group that has created one of the truly distinctive sounds in rock and been at the top of your profession for eight years? For Big Country the answer is to take the romantic character and unshakeable integrity that lies at the core of your work, and move on.

For too long the emotionally charged essence of Big Country's music has been obscured by lazy and cliched talk of bagpipe guitars and checked-shirt rock. the application of an American mainstream production gloss to their last album, "Peace In Our Time", was a move which singer and guitarist Stuart Adamson now accepts as being "at a tangent to the plot". The accompanying pilgrimage to Moscow, in the peace-making spirit of glasnost and the unforgiving glare of the Western Media, was both exhilarating and exhausting.

In the wake of that momentous adventure a new Big Country has emerged. In July 1989 drummer Mark Brzezicki departed for the shadowy pastures of the session world. The remaining three members of Big Country - Stuart Adamson, Tony Butler (bass, backing vocals) and Bruce Watson (guitar) - closed ranks and, inevitably revised working practices.

With Brezezicki now in the role of session drummer on "No Place Like Home" the intricate mosaic of syncopations and galloping tom tom tattoos that was such a recognisable feature of the old Big Country sound has gone. In its place a more conventional set of rhythmic patters is sketched with new vigour from a palette of bold primary colours.

The howling slide guitar which graces the opening bars of "Republican Party Reptile" - more dustbowl blues than highland fling - sets the tone for a collection that quarries deep into the rock face and taps into the traditions of country, folk and southern blues with an authority that transcends the dictates of either formula or fashion.

"I grew up playing R' n 'B music", Adamson says, recalling the days before the Skids when he was a 15 year old apprentice in Dunfermline based covers group Tattoo. "So it's still completely natural for me to play it now".

Big Country has used mandolins and acoustic guitars before, but the banjo and honky tonk piano which contributes to the mellow celtic-country swing of "Beautiful People" is undoubtably a first.

With its crisp, open-ended production, "No Place Like Home" is an album of bountiful extremes, encompassing the simple voice-and-piano ballad of "Ships", the belting instrumental coda of "Into The Fire" and the mounting paranoia of the Middle Eastern scnario of "The Hostage Speaks", with its grainy, dessert-baked rift and neurotic wah wah embellishments.

"We're trying to do traditional things in a contemporary style", is how Adamson sums the album up. "It's a new chapter, but for me it's always been about writing songs that make a difference in people's lives, songs that connect with people. There's no master plan. this is what we do now".

-David Sinclair July 1991

CREDITS

(jump to: Remaster Liner Notes)
(jump to: Original Liner Notes)

Stuart Adamson
Vocals / Electric / Acoustic / Pull String / Wah Wah / High String / 12 String Guitars

Tony Butler
Electric / Acoustic Basses / Vocals

Bruce Watson
Electric / High String / 12 String / Acoustic / E-bow Guitars / Mandolin

Additional Musicians
Richie Close / Keyboards, Programming
Mark Brzezicki / Drums
Katie Kissoon / Carole Kenyan / Additional Vocals

1: We’re Not In Kansas 6:08 Ⓟ1991 Mercury Records Ltd (London)
2: Republican Party Reptile 4:01  Ⓟ1991 Mercury Records Ltd (London)
3: Dynamite Lady 5:34 Ⓟ1991 Mercury Records Ltd (London)
4: Keep On Dreaming 4:00   Ⓟ1991 Mercury Records Ltd (London)
5: Beautiful People 5:32   Ⓟ1991 Mercury Records Ltd (London)
6: The Hostage Speaks 5:51  Ⓟ1991 Mercury Records Ltd (London)
7: Beat The Devil 4:02 Ⓟ1991 Mercury Records Ltd (London)
8: Leap of Faith 5:41 Ⓟ1991 Mercury Records Ltd (London)
9: You, Me and The Truth 5:17 Ⓟ1991 Mercury Records Ltd (London)
10: Comes A Time 3:53 Ⓟ1991 Mercury Records Ltd (London)
11: Ships 3:59  Ⓟ1991 Mercury Records Ltd (London)
12: Into The Fire 5:53   Ⓟ1991 Mercury Records Ltd (London)
13: Heart of the World 3:43  Ⓟ1996 Mercury Records Ltd (London)
14: Freedom Song 4:31   Ⓟ1991 Mercury Records Ltd (London)
15: Kiss The Girl Goodbye 5:12  Ⓟ1991 Mercury Records Ltd (London)

[WEBMASTER NOTE: In the booklet, tracks 14 & 15 are transposed from the actual order on the CD. It is correct everywhere else on the packaging. The balance of the credits make reference to a track 16, of which there is none]

Produced and Engineered
In Moranvision by Pat Moran (Using Mark IV Moranoscope)
Except: Tracks 13,14,15 and 16 Produced by Big Country
Assistant Engineer / Simon Dawson
Recorded at Rockfield Studios, Monmouth, Wales / Thunderbirds Are Go!

Published by EMI / 10 Music Ltd..
Lyrics and Music by Stuart Adamson except:
Track 2: Lyrics by Stuart Adamson and Bruce Watson. Music by Stuart Adamson and Bruce Watson. Track 6: Lyrics by Stuart Adamson. Music by Stuart Adamson, Bruce Watson and Tony Butler. Tracks 11 & 16: Lyrics by Stuart Adamson. Music by Stuart Adamson and Bruce Watson. Track 12: Lyrics by Stuart Adamson. Music by Stuart Adamson, Bruce Watson and Tony Butler. Additional lyrics by Bruce Watson.

Photography: Peter Anderson
Original Design & Artwork: Zarkowski Designs

This Album Is Respectfully Dedicated to Richie Close

For Big Country Information, please write enclosing a SAE to:
Country Club, PO Box 59, Ashwell, Herts, SG7 5NG
or call: 0891 600 031 (Calls charged at 39p per minute cheap rate and 49p per minute at all other times)

Management:
IAN GRANT Management