Big Country Info Big Country Info


31 March 2016

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Chester’s Farm – song deep dive by Svein and Tom

  • The original song idea comes from a Tony Butler song called “The Cenotaph.” The demo can be found on the CD “Demos of Themes And Other Dreams,” released in 2005. Examples of music from the demo that survived onto the album version.
  • The song was briefly played live, but found too difficult. Also, it was “too epic” for Stuart’s taste. The hosts discuss what that could possibly mean in the context of this album.
  • The song depicts a mystery which is gradually revealed – the mysterious experimentation which results in an unspecified disaster, often seen through the eyes of the nosy neighbour/observer living next to Chester’s Farm.
  • Topical similarities to Kate Bush’s song “Experiment IV.”
  • The most intense opening 30 seconds of any Big Country song? It is over the top, yet filled with quintessential Big Country as they use every trick in the book.
  • The song is filled with so many of the great Big Country trademarks – fantastic basslines from Tony, great guitar hooks coming from right and left, a ferocious guitar solo, and an incredible crescendo of drums at the end.
  • The story about Stuart and Callum discovering a real-life Chester’s Farm in Florida sometime back in 1994-95.

Summary of several album rankings – the TGD Facebook poll (49 responses), a Country Club ranking from 1993, and finally the combined results of the hosts.

Speakpipe from Daniel Johnson.

The Buffalo Skinners – song DEEP DIVE by Tom and Svein

  • Stuart described this song as talking about something beautiful or precious leaving the world – something that was special in its time, but is now passing on. A lot of this is sung from the viewpoint of native Americans and the loss of their way of life.
  • Strong opinions are voiced about how this song belongs on the album, and should have been the album closer.
  • The song does not have a traditional chorus, but the guitar lead line functions very well as a chorus.
  • The recycling of the main guitar line – “All Lay Down” (BC) and “Heart of Wonder“ (Four Good Men).
  • The song being a rarity today, only being available on the original Ships single!
  • The three versions of the song: the single b-side, the Eclectic version, and the demo on the Skinners remaster.

Speakpipe from John Wilbur.

  • In the episode, we mention that Stuart’s inspiration for the song came from an old poem from the late 19th century, in a book called “Songs of the Cowboys”. Errata: Since then, we found that the actual poem was the one by Woody Guthrie.
  • Where would we have ranked The Buffalo Skinners (song) if it had been included on the album?

Speakpipe from Kaare Crowley.

Differences and opinions of the original UK master of the album vs. the US George Marino remaster version.

The return to the classic logo on the album.

The songs they played/didn’t play live from this album.

The b-sides from this album – thoughts on them,

Closing comments about the process of deep-diving, analysing and dissecting songs, why we do it, and how we hope it comes across.

“The One I Love” (acoustic version) – from “On the Edge” radio show 1993

“We’re Not In Kansas” (acoustic version) – from the “On the Edge” radio show 1993