Big Country Info Big Country Info


17 December 2016

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River of Hope – song DEEP DIVE by Svein and Tom

  • Trivia answer from episode 62: River of Hope was released as the fourth single from the album, but in the Dutch market only.
  • Comparisons with the version of River of Hope on the Eclectic album.
  • Stuart’s references to a more celtic-sounding demo of the song.
  • The basic, repetitive melody of the verses, vs the infusion of melody on the bridge & chorus.
  • Production choices preventing the song from living up to its potential.
  • The lyrics: a mixture of storytelling (a stream springing up in a cave, which is the source of this River of Hope, and he goes out to find it) and examples of wrongdoings that the world may need this stream to help save itself from.
  • Reviews of the album at the time, which singled out this song negatively.

Speakpipe from Richard Norton.

In This Place – song DEEP DIVE by Tom and Svein

  • A ballad, which feels more like Stuart singing over a Peter Wolf production, rather than a song featuring and played by Big Country.
  • The Jarring Chord ™. A jazzy chord which sounds like a mistake/out of place.
  • The great things about the song: the sentiment, Stuart’s vocal performance, the touching lyrics about the destruction of local communities and buildings in the name of profit.
  • Musically, it does not sound like a Big Country song. The production, the synths & the cheap “Casio keyboard” sound, the fake background vocals… all of this get in the way. Basically, this feels like a Peter Wolf performance.
  • Does the song remind us a bit of Bruce Hornsby?
  • A portion of this song stems from the song “You Lose Your Dreams”.
  • The strange balance between heartfelt words that pull you in emotionally, and a clinical, cheap synth production that drains the emotion away.
  • A case study: Kate Bush’s “Moments of Pleasure” vs. In This Place. Two very emotional songs, two very different results.
  • A bad review from LA Times which references In This Place.

Speakpipe from Arlin Bartels.

I Could Be Happy Here – song DEEP DIVE by Svein and Tom

  • From the get-go, this sounds like Big Country! Those opening guitar lines! The sound of the full band in free flow! This is how you open a Big Country song.
  • A song based on two demos, and apart from combining them and making them fit together, the individual parts sound a lot like the demos.
  • Possibly one of the songs where Peter Wolf didn’t insert himself as much as in other songs. It sounds like the band playing.
  • The Harmonica. Played by Bruce, but in reality sampled and played by Peter Wolf?
  • The lyrics contain a very direct and personal plea for someone to be with him; to stand by him. The chorus points to some of the issues the person is having and wanting help get over - things happening in his homeland, that is done in his name.
  • Looking at differences between the demo(s) and the album version.
  • Is the happy ending in the demo lyrics ruined on the album by the inclusion of the chorus section?
  • The band gets a good play-out at the end of this song – Mark all over the place on drums, band playing away, guitar solos etc. But is it a bit more muted than we’d like?

Speakpipes from Graham Leah and Andrew Braidwood.

Overall summarization of the album

  • Our combined rankings of the album.
  • The Facebook PIOT poll results.
  • The choices of singles and how well they did. Would we have picked other tracks as singles? Which, and why?

Speakpipe from Steve Coulter.

  • The “River of Hope” documentary about the band’s Moscow adventure.
  • The band’s  new associated member at the time: Josh Phillips.
  • The R.E.L. Tapes, and Bruce’s comment that they may play a few of those live later.
  • Farewell, and a final tribute to Peter Wolf, from Robot Lady.

“Peace In Our Time” – acoustic version featuring Bruce Watson, Jamie Watson and Thomas Kercheval.