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3 August 2012

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Beat the Devil – song deep dive by Svein & Tom.

  • Another atmospheric "night" song.
  • A filler-type song, but "good filler."
  • This time the demo is better, including the drum part (not the drum playing).
  • About Stuart's battles with alcohol? On the surface, the song seems almost throwaway, but it goes deeper.
  • A take on the American legend of dealing with the devil, but the devil seem to be a metaphor for alcohol.

Leap of Faith – song deep dive by Svein & Tom.

  • The return of the singing ladies - Stuart even joining them in the outro. Do they stylistically even fit the song?
  • Spatial, open sound.
  • Differences between demo & album version. Svein loves the opening guitar line and (especially) the chorus of the demo - much more interesting, more light and shade. He feels the ideal version lies somewhere between the demo & album version.
  • Tom is less enthusiastic, and struggle to set up his dislike hatred dislike of the song properly.
  • The title - cool or cliched? And could even Indiana Jones deal with that?
  • The "Louie Louie" chord progression, whose presence is felt by Tom. And that is not a compliment.
  • About the lyrics – the guys agree that some lines are great but disagree strongly on others.
  • Overall Tom & Svein’s biggest disagreement to date?

You, Me & the Truth – song deep dive by Tom & Svein

  • Musically, this song just isn't a Big Country song. A jazzy soul fusion song from BC? Really?
  • Redeeming part: the outro section, with a Celtic-sounding guitar solo, even more so on the demo.
  • Ironically, they sing “I won’t do things that I can’t, I can’t be something that I’m not” - but they still often try to be something that they aren't on this album, and never more so than here.
  • The return of the singing ladies.
  • Is this one of the worst BC song ever? Svein share a collection of measured and thoughtful perspectives on that subject.
  • The lyrics - not all bad, but not all great either. A relationship "should I stay or should I go" song.

Comes A Time – song deep dive by Svein & Tom.

  • A song in the vein of classic BC, a lot of the ingredients are the same, but it's approached differently.
  • The return of Stuart's original singing voice? Check out the bridge.
  • Lyrical content very evocative, reminds us both of the BC songs of old.
  • Comparisons with the demo version, including some lyrics from the Celtic Dream-demo.

Ships (NPLH version) – song deep dive by Tom & Svein.

  • Another divisive song - Tom prefers the NPLH version and likes it a lot, Svein likes The TBS version better and is not a big fan.
  • Tom: This version has a very emotional vocal delivery, it is a very sincere song. A return to the sea metaphors and topics we are familiar with. Maybe a better single than the chosen ones?
  • Svein: No gripes with the song, just a lack of excitement. The version is too muted. Not a piano ballad man. Really want to like it, can feel the emotion, but it ends up being sleep-inducing. Can see all the values of the song, but it just doesn’t click, and this version does not really fit on the album either.
  • Why rerecord it (and Kansas) for TBS? The story of when Stuart brought those two songs to the record company, and they didn’t even want it on the album.

Into the Fire – song deep dive by Tom and Svein.

  • Two songs for the price of one.
  • Sounds like bits from several demos spliced together.
  • The first part of the song almost ends up in the shadow of the second play-out section
  • What a playout! Massive, but does it fit the mood of the album? A massive end or a forced coda? The guys must admit that even after all these years, it still sounds cool!
  • The Kate Bush connection in the lyrics.

Wrap-up and summary of the discussion:

  • Album performance.
  • A divisive album – the good and the bad.
  • B-sides and outtakes from the time.
  • NPLH's place in the BC catalogue.
  • Tom & Svein's total ranking.
  • Ranking of albums is one thing, but which albums are often pulled out?

“Beautiful People” - acoustic version by Stuart Adamson for unknown radio show.