Big Country Info Big Country Info


10 June 2017

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We welcome Tony Butler back for the second part of the interview! John Gouveia also jumps in on occasion.

Looking back at the release of “The Great Unknown” solo album in 1997. We take a closer look at some of the tracks:

  • “The Great Unknown” – how the song almost felt autobiographical at the time, with Tony looking at himself as “the great unknown” at the time.
  • “Living Side By Side” – Tony’s love letter to Cornwall.
  • “Oblivion Road” – the song Tony wrote for The Who about substance abuse.
  • Gigging for “The Great Unknown,” where Tony played guitar, and what instrument(s) Tony is looking to be playing live going forward.
  • “The May Queen Leads Her Parade” – including a very funny story involving Tony’s daughter and a local May Queen parade.

On early days and first time meeting people:

  • Memories of fist meeting Ian Grant at the Brockwell Park festival in May 1981.

“Body Language” by Pete Townshend, featuring Tony Butler and Mark Brzezicki – live at Brockwell Park, London on 30 May 1981.

  • Getting the call from Ian Grant to do a session with Stuart and Bruce.
  • Meeting Stuart and Bruce, the first session and the early material.

“Angle Park” – full instrumental studio run-through.

  • Meeting Chris Briggs, being offered a contract, and persuading the hesitant Mark to go for it.
  • Tony’s work with the Pretenders.
  • Tony’s sentiments towards the rewards of making music.
  • Tony’s book writing and whether there is a chance he one day will write down other stories from his career and life.
  • Tony’s voice and how his attitude to singing has changed.
  • Memories on singing lead on things like “On the Road Again,” the BBW project, and going back to “World On Fire.”
  • The band’s different musical backgrounds and approaches to music.
  • Bruce’s style, his immense value to Big Country and how much he specifically had to offer Stuart when the band got together.
  • Live Aid – missed opportunity or not? Memories from appearing the finale.
  • Memories of Stuart (and Mike Peters) playing with U2 at the Hammersmith Palais in 1983.
  • Recording Peace In Our Time – the L.A. experience, and recording with the “megalomaniac producer.”
  • The feeling in the band at how the album sounded.
  • The starting point with the R.E.L. Tapes, including a discussion of “Over the Border”.