Big Country Info Big Country Info



(jump to: Credits)

ALL FALL TOGETHER: Was recorded for the movie "Streets of Fire" and was done at castle studios just outside Edinburgh. I asked Mark to go in and do a drum track based on a thing he had been jamming. The song was then built around that. Lyrically the subject matter is a kind of doomsday scenario, sort of in the spirit of the movie.

OVER THE BORDER: Was one of the tracks we came up with during the period of inactivity between leaving Mercury in the U.S.A. and going to Warners. It started out as a twelve string piece that Bruce had and I built it into the chorus. This is one of those tracks (like a lot on this album) that really still needs work to become a song. This is actually a demo recorded at R.E.L. in Edinburgh. The song is about how you can never run from yourself.

MADE IN HEAVEN: Was written for the movie of the same name. Bruce and I originally recorded it with a drum machine at R.E.L. and Mark and Tony played on it later. I can't for the life of me remember the name of the girl who sung on it. I don't think it was used in the movie, this is a demo and I think it needs tightening up.

NOT WAVING BUT DROWNING: Title lifted straight from a Stevie Smith poem because I liked the images of someone appearing in control but in reality floundering. This came from the same demos as Over The Border and I think it's another of those "close but no cigar" songs. I think during this period a lot of people didn't want us to be the Big Country we were and maybe we were trying to be something that wasn't us.

ON THE SHORE: Another b-side recorded at R.E.L. This time during the period Josh Phillips Gorse was playing with us. Tony had a cool bass piece and I just jammed along on top of it. It's a nice evocative little piece.

BALCONY: This comes from the first Big Country when Pete Wishart (now with Run Rig), Alan Wishart (bass) and Clive Parker (drums) were playing in our "wall of sound" band. This is the band that got thrown off the Alice Cooper tour for being too weird. This is the version done with Tony and Mark and I think it was used in the movie "Against All Odds".

DEAD ON ARRIVAL: I can't remember this at all. I can't think whether this is Bruce's demo or if I played on it. Help!!! Extra format track (Chipping Norton). Unfinished song, I thought it sounded like a heavy metal track (says Bruce).

PASS ME BY: Now I think this and the previous track came from a session at chapel studios out in Lincoln. At the time we were putting songs together for the No Place Like Home album and I'm pretty sure it's Pat Ahern playing on these tracks. I'm completely blank about the lyrics on this.

PROMISED LAND: Another track from the R.E.L demos done for 'Peace In Our Time'. I can't remember too much of what it's about but I think parts of it ended up in other songs. The fog of time.

RETURN OF THE TWO HEADED KING: Was written during the "NPLH" demo period with Pat drumming. I think the best song out of this bunch was "You, Me and The Truth" which went on the record. This, another 'almost' song, which Mercury actually cut slow on the record (Nice job guys). It's about two-faced leaders.

WHEN A DRUM BEATS: I like the guitar intro to this and I'm going to nick it for something else. We were demoing a lot of tracks at R.E.L. at this time and maybe we should have developed some of them a bit further. The lyric is about refusing to get caught up in jingoism and misplayed patriotism.

WORLD ON FIRE: Tony's song done at Chipping Norton and basically I just turned the guitar up and played along. Done during another burst of "let's fill up those formats" recording.

WINTER SKY: Bruce and I recorded this ourselves at Palladium in Edinburgh as a b-side but this time I actually think we got a great song. The bass, bass drum and snare were played on a synth at separate times, in fact I think Bruce did the bass drum and I did the snare. Thrown away on a b-side I think.

I'M ONLY WAITING: The Chapel demos once again. Another nearly song I think. This was a pretty confusing time for us, with conflicting signals being sent from the record company and us trying to find ourselves after all the Peace in Our Time stuff. I think this song reflects a lot of that indecision musically and lyrically.

FLAG OF NATIONS: Once again I don't know how Tony and Mark got credited in fact I don't even think that Chris Thomas is the producer. I'm pretty sure this was done by Bruce and myself, messing around with John Leckie's sequencer when we were doing some tracks with him. The bass part ended up as the bass part for 1000 stars. A lot of the early Big Country songs I wrote on the bass and a really naff drum machine.

KISS THE GIRL GOODBYE: This was written during the first demos we did at "House In The Woods" when Pat was playing with us, the same demos as "Kansas" and "Ships" I think. This is the version done with Mark drumming at "Rockfield" for "No Place Like Home". I think this comes close to being a classic but the verse and lyrics need work. I wrote the song about desperate situations inspiring drastic actions, maybe I should have taken the lyrics advice and tried to do something more with it.

SONG OF THE SOUTH: Was done at the power plant with Robin Millar producing. Robin is one of the nicest people I have ever worked with and has remained a source of good advice and inspiration. The song is about apartheid and I kind of liked the idea of using a Disney title for it to show how the media exploit real suffering for ratings.

BLUE ON A GREEN PLANET: I think this is the demo version of this song done at House in the Woods. We did two versions of this, one a slow grind replete with vocal "brass" section, the other an up-tempo "punk rock" version.

NORMAL: Originally from a bunch of demos at Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire. Bruce was fooling around while I was writing lyrics and came up with a really cool lick. I think I then added vocals at House in the Woods and this is that version. The lyrics came from New York Times piece about small town America, although it could be anywhere, the lifestyles are so similar.

GODS GREAT MISTAKE: This was done at Chapel Studios on the same session as Normal. I love to take melodies from folk music I grew up listening to and put them to a really heavy and dark guitar sounds. It's always very evocative to me and usually pushes me into 'apocalyptic' lyric mode as evidenced here.

RESTLESS NATIVES: I loved being involved with this. Writing music to add colour and mood to visual Images is often the way I like to work on songs. Hoping to create a sort of movie in the listeners head. I actually think a lot of the original material I wrote for this ended up not getting recorded because the producers had put old Big Country songs to certain sections, and became fixated on those styles. "Home Come The Angels" was basically "Come Back To Me" revisited because of this. I was really pleased with this project. I think it spawned a great song, "Restless Natives", and I think the original material really added to what was already a great movie.

THE LONGEST DAY: This track was recorded at Windmill Lane, Dublin during a European tour circa 1985. Originally for a film by the same name, but I seem to remember we were not comfortable with the films subject matter. The chorus, melody and chorus were later to be incorporated into Thirteen Valleys.

Stuart Adamson
March 1998



(jump to: Liner Notes)

Big Country Are-:
Stuart Adamson
Vocals, Guitars, E-Bow
Mark Brzezicki
Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Tony Butler
Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
Bruce Watson
Guitars, Mandolin, E-Bow
Management: Ian Grant
Write to Big Country:
C/O P.O Box 107, South Godstone, Redhill, Surrey, RH9 8YS
Listen to Big Country on Information Line:
0891 600 031 (Calls 39p Per Minute Cheap Rate, 49p at all other times)
Big Country support Greenpeace
To also support Greenpeace contact:
Greenpeace UK Ltd, Canonbury Villas, Islington, London N1 2PN Tel: 0171 865 8100
All Tracks Are Published By EMI 10 Music Ltd Except
CD 1 / Track 10 And CD 2 / Tracks 3-5 Published By Big Country / Bug Music Ltd.
Artwork by James Grant
Painting by Ben Woodhouse
Inner Tray Painting Bb James Grant
Graphics: Graphyk
Thanks to
House In The Woods, Stanbridges, Chapel Studios, Audiocraft, Air Studios (London), John Giddings & Graham Pullen, David Gentle, Lester Dales, Shailesh Gor, Jan And Andrew Bremner, Paul Schindler.

CD 1
All Fall Together (1984)
Over The Border (1988)
Made In Heaven (1988)
Not Waving But Drowning (1988)
On The Shore (1988)
Balcony (1982)
Dead On Arrival (1990)
Pass Me By (1990)
Promised Land (1987)
Return of The Two Headed King (1991)
When A Drum Beats (1987)
World On Fire (1990)
Winter Sky (1985)
I'm Only Waiting (1991)
Flag of Nations (1982)

CD 2
Kiss The Girl Goodbye (1991)
Song of The South (1985)
Blue On A Green Planet (1995)
Normal (1995)
God's Great Mistake (1995)
Restless Natives (1986)
Recorded for the movie of the same name and only released previously on the B-Side of two 12" Limited Editions of Look Away And The Teacher in 1986
The Longest Day (1989)