Big Country Info Big Country Info


23 December 2018

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Intro: Arlin Bartels reads his Christmas postcard to The Great Divide

Looking back at the year that has been in terms of musical releases and activities.

A lot was already covered in episode 77 (the “housecleaning” episode) and 78 (WKW). This includes:

  • 12 January: Skids - “Burning Cities”
  • 13 April: Tony Butler - “My Time”
  • 20 April: ESP 2.0 “- 22 Layers of Sunlight”
  • 29 June: Big Country - “Why the Long Face” 4CD Deluxe Edition
  • 1 October: WKW - “Hands Across the Ocean” EP

New since episode 78, covered in greater detail here:

  • 26 October: Big Country “Live At Rockpalast 1986 & 1991”

A look back at the podcast episodes of 2018:

  • Episode 78 – WKW
  • Episode 79 – The Crossing deep-dive part 1 “setting the stage”
  • Episode 80 – The Crossing deep-dive part 2 (IABC and Inwards)
  • Episode 81 – The Crossing deep-dive part 3 (Chance, 1000 Stars and The Storm)
  • Episode 82 – Yuletide
  • We look closer at numerous episode statistics through the years
  • The new video podcast “Beautiful People” by Dwayne Bunney, hosted on the TGD Facebook page

A new and very remarkable find

  • “James Last Plays Big Country” – a newly found trailer for an album that sadly remains unreleased.

The 2018 Yuletide Big Country Quiz Gameshow

  • Svein puts Tom on the spot, and Tom takes the challenge! 30 questions about Big Country – half of them from listeners, half of them from Svein.
  • Questions repeated here – for answers (Tom’s attempts and actual answers) you will need to listen!


  1. Kenny Henderson: Which other musician said this about Stuart: "Stuart has arrived at a guitar style which not only announces its own Identity but which loudly proclaims Scotland."
  2. Ayelet Weiss Sackstein: What are the longest and shortest tracks out of all BC's studio albums?
  3. Niall Featherstone: What is the name of the Bass Guitar Manufacturer from Bristol, UK who has produced “Signature Bass Guitars” for Scott Whitley and is currently designing a Signature Bass Guitar for Tony Butler?
  4. Andy #1 - The first commercially available dance remix of IABC. Can I have the artist, the name of the song, and year of release?
  5. Stuart Menzies: The singles collections vol 1–4. Three of them have 7 CDs in them, one has 6. Name the volume that has six CDs in it.
  6. “Dexter M.” from Washington, DC: What WTLF era songs are missing from the 2018 box set?
  7. Jason Allen: When 'Through A Big Country' was being planned prior to release, which song did the record company suggest re-recording for the compilation?
  8. CJ Wade - On which studio albums does the e-bow NOT make an appearance?
  9. Kaare Crowley - Was Driving to Damascus or The Journey released on cassette?
  10. Oliver Hunter - Can you name any 5 of the guest performers on the  'Eclectic' album?
  11. Andy #2 - Of 'The Crossing' b-sides, there were only two that were not performed live by the 'classic' BC line up. What are they?
  12. Alan Anbari - Big Country, small world: There are many Big Country songs that refer to specific places, countries, or regions. Can you think of songs that mention "the four corners of the world," perhaps suggested by the four points on the compass? Not all will use the directions North, South, East, or West, but try to think of specific places. For example, Kansas in "We're Not in Kansas." Bonus points if you can get a song for each of the 7 continents -- huge bonus, because I can't think of any that mention South America or Antarctica specifically myself!
  13. Dwayne Bunney - In the 2011 compilation "Fields of Fire - The Ultimate Collection", 3 of the 35 tracks are live versions. Name those tracks.
  14. JfnG: What BC song has a punctuation error?
  15. Svein: Who, in Dublin, mistook the hotel room door for the bathroom door, and found themselves in the corridor with nothing on?
  16. Svein: Which motel is featured in the ‘Fragile Thing’ video?
  17. Svein: Rank these BC releases from earliest released to latest released: Nashville Sessions, In the Scud, Das Fest, Rarities III, Fields of Fire: The Ultimate Collection.
  18. Svein: Name three Big Country songs containing sexual innuendo.
  19. Svein: Who played the piano on Beautiful People?
  20. Svein: What are Stuart’s and Bruce’s middle names?
  21. Svein: What song was the b-side to the Peace In Our Time 7’’ single?
  22. Svein: In 1998, Tony released a song for M.E. awareness. What was this song called?
  23. Svein: Which artist performed at the Hammersmith Odeon in November 1989 and had Stuart Adamson guesting on a song, even appearing on the home video release of the concert?

JERRY LEE LEWIS – “Great Balls of Fire” (live version from London November 1989, featuring Stuart Adamson, James Burton, Van Morrison, Brian May, Dave Davies from the Kinks, and several others)

  1. Svein: Name the bonus tracks on the “Somebody Else” single.
  2. Svein: Which band member played in the all-star backing band for the ‘Nelson Mandela 70th birthday Tribute’ concert at Wembley Stadium on 11 June 1988?
  3. Svein: Bruce and Jamie have released two live CDs – Live At Lathones and Another Concert For the Damned. Name all five Big Country covers they perform on these two live albums.
  4. Svein: When filming the IABC music video, who ended up getting damaged knee ligaments as well as a case of sea sickness?
  5. Svein: According to the Guinness book of hit singles, which BC single stayed in the UK top 75 for the longest time?
  6. Svein: In October 1988, Big Country performed in Moscow at the first Russian concert to be organised by a private promoter, but what were the audience allowed to do for the first time ever at a concert in Russia?
  7. Svein: Which Big Country member has recorded a cover version of the John Lennon song “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)”, and bonus point if you know who performed with them on that song.

TONY AND JOELLA BUTLER – “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” (acoustic version, featured on the Big Country MySpace during the Christmas season 2006)

Closing bits and bobs:

  • Our favourite new music from 2018
  • Speakpipe from Ayelet Sackstein about her Balmule trip
  • Speakpipe from Cara Cuiule

Tom shares his WKW hopes and plans for 2019
Svein shares his intention to travel to the UK in 2019 to see Big Country live