Big Country Info Big Country Info


19 November 2013

Click here to download episode

Opening discussion:

  • Introductory message of a somewhat spooky nature from the mysterious M.C.
  • The wait for the album in 1995 – the communal online experience.
  • Chart success, new record company and touring the album.
  • The single cock-ups – INA being sold too early, and YD falling prey to chart rigging.
  • 1995 was a productive time – we got 14 album tracks and 15 b-sides!
  • Stuart’s lyric writing & experimenting with writing in a simpler, more direct form.

You Dreamer – song deep dive by Svein and Tom.

  • An everyday description of people being stuck in a rut and not getting out. Very everyday in its examples, its lyrical imagery and the approach.
  • The song points the finger in a very peculiar way – “look at you, stuck in a rut! You dreamer! Is this the way your life was going to turn out?”
  • Really sad examples – the storekeeper of a run-down bug-ridden store without customers. People living in squalor amongst pizza boxes and prescription pills. The family with the drug-fuelled dad.
  • “How can no one fine me if no one knows I’m lost?” The classic go-to line that transcends both the song it is on and maybe even the album.
  • A song with no silver lining – less a warning than a report of things that have already gone wrong. There are no solutions offered; no hope that things will get better.
  • Incredibly strong melody – very hummable parts, and a catchy chorus.
  • Demo comments (valid for most of the songs): they are overall slightly slower (too slow), sung in a lower key, and played with a little less intensity than the album versions. They did a good job of pumping it up for the album version.
  • The harmony vocals! WTLF might be the album with the best harmony vocals – most song have three parts, all really nice and worked on.
  • The song that was going to be the first single, and the story about how interference from Radio 1 made them change it to I’m Not Ashamed.
  • How this song fits with things Stuart was going through at the time.
  • The song’s many great guitar parts – including the note that is played throughout the choruses.
  • The return of Mark! His drumming on this song and the album.

Message of Love – song deep dive by Tom and Svein.

  • A song that was rushed and/or should have been worked on more? One of the co-hosts calls out what he feels is a distinct quality difference between the verses and the chorus.
  • A more classic rock/blues-based rock song, especially the choruses may fall into this – both musically and lyrically.
  • Lots of love for the verses, though – Mark’s drumfill ahead of the second verse gets particular kudos.
  • The hard, “tinny” guitar sound of the song.
  • How the bass line dominate the first part of the verse and becomes what you hum, and how the screeching guitars takes that role in the second half of the verses.
  • The title of the song, and how it can quickly seem like one of their “sloganeering” songs (Peace In Our Time, One Great Thing…).
  • Also a lot of love for the verse lyrics and the spy story elements of shady dealings happening in the shadow of the Berlin wall. The more you investigate those things and learn about it, the more “weight” the song will get.

I’m Not Ashamed – song deep dive by Svein and Tom.

  • The first single from the album, and memories of people’s early comments when they got the single.
  • This feels like a very personal song – possibly autobiographical – about two people who married young, grew up, and in the process grew apart.
  • “It took to long for me to be who I am” – the person he became is different, and wants different things, than the younger him.
  • The song could be about several things – in addition to the obvious relationship angle, it could be looked at from the viewpoint of the band, and how they are not ashamed of anything they have done musically, but stay by their choices.
  • A lack of Big Country elements? The intro (in particular) and the chorus gets some kudos. The verse veers off with its unusual drum pattern and lack of interesting elements as we would expect them.   
  • Stuart’s infamous stage rap in the middle of the song, which included part of “Harvest Home” on the Damascus tour.

Sail Into Nothing – song deep dive by Tom and Svein.

  • A foray into a more pop-like, melodic sound, with a lot of traditional BC musical elements as well. Look no further than the breakdown in the middle section with the picking guitar part that reminds us of Chance!
  • Are the backing vocals likeable? The guys disagree on that one.
  • Another song with a nautical theme. Too soon? Too many ships? The guys disagree again.
  • A lovely, utterly beautiful melody with pretty dark subject matter.
  • A song about welcoming death? Not necessarily wanting death from the outset, but from being tired, weary, lonely and fallen. It makes it all right. Someone who has nothing left, who is done.
  • The chorus in terms of the “welcoming death” angle: The ships = the human body. Sailing = living/going through your life. Crystal wings – the sail that drives you on, also angels have wings. The “nothing” – going out of this life. Never needing those ships again – the body is broken, the life is over, you’re done.
  • Yet another fantastic, hummable bass line from Tony. Lots of melodic flourishes.
  • A ballad or a pop song? Likely both at the same time. It’s not a syrupy ballad, but definitely a more melodic and very nice musical treatment that can make you think of it like that.

Competition reminder and tweaking of competition rules.