31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb, guitar based, rock album.
Many people had lost touch with Big Country's music by the end of the 1980's. Their first album, The Crossing, was a classic and sold millions of copies worldwide, and their follow-up album, Steeltown, reached number one in the UK album charts. The Seer was another superb album but their fourth album, Peace In Our Time, although full of great songs, was produced...
Published on 6 Mar. 2006 by Porrohman
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable Album
The album is ok although not to the standard of previous work. Having said that there are some interesting themes running through the lyrics.
Published 6 months ago by mountain22
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb, guitar based, rock album.,
Many people had lost touch with Big Country's music by the end of the 1980's. Their first album, The Crossing, was a classic and sold millions of copies worldwide, and their follow-up album, Steeltown, reached number one in the UK album charts. The Seer was another superb album but their fourth album, Peace In Our Time, although full of great songs, was produced in a very middle-of-the-road style which, in my opinion, detracted from the end result. As is the case with many bands, the record company were driving the artistic direction at that time. Personally, I think they did the band a disservice with Peace In Our Time, and sales of that album did not attain the expected levels.
Having left Mercury Records, The Buffalo Skinners was the first album where the band had complete artistic control over their music, and the result is one of the best guitar-based rock albums you're ever likely to come across. Originally released in the UK 1993, the album was, later that year, remixed for the USA market. The USA mixes took a superb album and made it even better but, until now, it has been very difficult to source this version in Europe.
This re-release of The Buffalo Skinners, from 2005, has these superb USA mixes and comes with four additional bonus tracks. Many people, myself amongst them, agree that The Buffalo Skinners was Big Country's finest album, but so many years had passed since their successes in the early 80's that the release didn't achieve the level of sales it undoubtedly deserved.
Despite their last studio album having been released nearly seven years ago in 1999, Big Country have recently been attracting a new generation of teenage fans, as well as some older ones. This is a remarkable testament to the quality and timelessness of their music.
The Big Country back catalogue runs to about 60 CD's and box sets, many of which are available from this site. If you choose to buy this CD and you enjoy it, there are plenty of other Big Country CDs and DVDs for you to collect.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars driving rock - incredible lyrics - VERY underrated band!,
By A Customer
Some of Big Country is not my cup of tea, but boy were this band heading in the right direction at this point. Stuart Adamson not only plays the guitar to match the best, he was (until he so sadly took his own life) a brilliant lyricist. The lyrics on this album are all Adamson's - they are just so thought provoking (full track lyrics on inside CD sleeve) - just buy it for the words - it's worth double the price just for these lyrics alone!
There is only one way to play this CD and that's LOUD! All tracks drive along, with the exception of the lightly sombre 'Ships'.
'Alone' has always been my fav BC track, closely followed by 'Long Way Home' but this album has no poor track (unusual on an album). If you have never listened to Big Country then buy this, and then search out their best live DVD 'Without the Aid of a Safety Net' which features some of these tracks.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 90s Rock Classic,
This is, of course, a re-release of the classic. If you only know Big Country from the first studio l.p., you might be in for a shock from the more conventional-sounding guitar sound. Well, the guitars are dense and still very B.C. This l.p. all-out rocks. It should have sold millions but sadly didn't. Many fans rank it, however, as their favorite or second most favorite B.C. l.p. If you like melodic hard rock with lyrics that make you think, you'll love this l.p.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock and a hard place,
Having been a massive Skids and BC fan I have to admit, like many that I got off the train to Wonderland in the early 90s. A combination of a confusing and over Americanised LP in No Place Like Home and (more powerfully) changing late teenage tastes (The Roses, Madchester, Pixies, Dance) meant that while I bought this I rarely listened to it. I suspect I was not alone as this did not sell well. If you look at what was going on at the time in music it's not hard to see why. Kurt's Death, Grunge everywhere the embryo of britpop forming, e/rave and commercial dance everywhere. Even U2 went post-modern with Achtung Baby. So in delivering a straight up full on rock/soft metal (in the best way) juggernaught of an Lp , it wasn't only me that BC were missing, it was the general zeitgeist.
However those who stuck with it have the last laugh. I bought this off Amazon recently and when you reappraise it the fusion of anger, melodic guitars, great lyrics and killer choruses make it one of the bands best. 'Alone' is one of the best BC songs of all time, and that includes all the better known classics. Truly clever lyrics, a minor chord undertone in a hard punching case - it's a true landmark. The rest of this more than passes muster and the sheer power drives you through to track 12. Other great tracks are 'The Winding Wind', 'All Go Together' and 'One I Love', the poppy one, but so much better than, say, One Great Thing, which was a mojor it in the 80s. It appears this was a minor US radio hit (their last thre) and rightly so. I was going to knock off a star for reissuing two songs ('Ships' and Kansas from the slightly disappointing No Place Like Home) but they are generally different so fair enough. Ditto the last two songs which don't quite fit the mould of epic BC LP closers (Just a Shadow, Sailor, I Could Be Happy Here, Grace) but they are extremely wistful and melodic so they pass the test. I was also going to knock off a star for Stuart's slight American lilt, but he uses it more on other lps and it still doesn't distract from the songs, in fact on Driving to Damsacus it really works. So 5 stars for a terribly underrated band who show true passion and euphoria in their music that few bands can carry in these ironic and image obsessed musical times. Buy. Should have been massive and I blame myself entirely for not realising at the time and falling foul of the old image and fashion trap myself!!! What was I thinking? This should have been revered alongside their other true classic lp's, Crossing, Steeltown, Seer, and Driving to Damascus. For all these, if you like anything from 'new wave of new wave' guitar bands of the 80s (Simple Minds, BC, U2, Alarm etc),or even if you like straight rock Bon Jovi to Springsteen, you should own.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of their best, if not THE best,
Against the odds, given the waning passion that seemed to emanate from their last two releases (`No Place Like Home' and `Peace in Our Time'), Big Country came out with the thunderous album that seemed to have been promised ever since their 1984 effort, `Steeltown'. 1993's `The Buffalo Skinners' is a self-produced, impassioned explosion of rock that - even without original dummer, Mark Brzezicki - roundly delivers on pulling this band's working class masculinity, love of full-throated guitar and sense of political and social outrage together in one rousing, melodic, lyrical onslaught.
The infectious opening track, `Alone' has distinct punk and new wave overtones that squarely announce that this album has arrived and it is not going to be quiet. Almost without pausing for breath, it leads straight into `Seven Waves', with its understated, irresistible bridge that fuses into soaring guitar solos, echoing the lilting Scottish sound of old. Another whiff of Scotland in `What Are You Working For', before the anthemic `The One I Love' and the outraged `The Selling of America' and `Long Way Home' ("Half a million Nixon babies, Some with toys and some with rabies, Hunted by the Men in Black, No room here man send them back") thunder past. The pace does not let up with a rerecorded and improved `We're Not in Kansas' and overdone redo of the ballad, `Ships' (the only thing that could be in any way considered a low point). A few more strong rockers follow before it all ends on the angry, science-gone-wrong, cloak and dagger horror tale of `Chester's Farm'. As this last track grinds to a halt, it is hard not to be left breathless from the sheer energy of it all.
Nothing much else to say. It might not have been a success, but `The Buffalo Skinners' is hands down one of Big Country's best - if not THE best - albums. Buy it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buffalo Skinners - Ear Splitters!!,
Firstly, a caution to those who do not like their music loud; DON'T LISTEN TO THIS ALBUM! If however, like me, you like a bit of volume then crank it up and enjoy the best album of your musical lives! This CD is awesome and like much of Big Country's later output is massively underrated and under-appreciated. The opening of the set is about as good as any album gets with 'Alone' charging headlong into 'Seven Waves' and then without pausing for breath into 'What Are You Working For?' The pace of the whole set never lets up, save for a brief interlude with 'Ships', and at the same time maintains the BC trademarks of faultless melodies and thought-provoking lyrics. The re-mastered version reviewed here is all the better and more complete for the bonus 'US' tracks. Big Country officianados will notice that the drumming is not quite up there with Mark Brzezicki's standard (but not far short), whilst the rest of the musicianship is faultless as usual. BC's guitar work has never been finer than on this album, particularly check out 'Chester's Farm'. Interestingly a couple of the bonus tracks have no drummer, only a drum machine ('Never Take Your Place', 'Eastworld'), presumably this was after the split with Mark B. but before a replacement was employed. How this album did not sell millions and become the widely recognised classic it deserved to be I will never know. Perhaps it is a little too hard and uncompromising for some, or perhaps Big Country were just 'out of fashion' at the time. P.S., if you like this CD, try out the 'Rarities V111' CD which includes stripped-down versions of songs from the same era and is also mighty good.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damn fine record!,
Ahhh the sound of a good band.
Alot of people only think of Big Country as the band who could make guitars sound like bagpipes.
Also Scotland is the other thing that comes to peoples minds too.
This album originally released in 1993 stands out as a return to form.
The previous 2 albums where abit of a let down,Peace In Our Time(1988) and No Place Like Home(1991) just didn't have enough drive or tunes to them.This album packs a hefty punch.
The great opening tune 'Alone' starts things off very well,Stuart's lead guitaring throughout has to be heard to be believed.It's such a shame his amazing talent went so unnoticed.
The guitar solo in 'Chester's Farm' is absolutely stunning.Fast,but not a stupid waste of notes like so many guitarists seem to do.Ohhh look I can make the guitar sound like a swarm of angry bees!!!
All in all if you like the Big Country of the first 3 albums this should get the blood pumping again.
Shame Stuart had to take his own life,the last album 'Driving To Damascus' was also hinting that more great things where to come.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be foolish like me!,
Like some of the other reviewers I had been a fan from the start but my interest waned a bit from "No Place Like Home". Not because it's a terrible album, it's not, but it didn't have the same quality feel as the earlier work. I was living in South Africa when this was released and unlike the previous albums I didn't even know this had been released as it got no media attention at all. Imagine my surprise when walking through a department store I saw this CD in a bargain bin of CD's. It was full of absolute rubbish like " The best of British marching bands" and gospel nonsense and the like. I was surprised to find an unknown BC album in with stuff like that. I thought it must be a mistake and there was only the one copy. Even though it was cheap at the time and I was a fan I didn't buy it because I was skint and thought my last few quid would be better spent elsewhere. I only listened to this for the first time a couple of years ago and have felt like an idiot ever since because it is a brilliant album and I should have rescued that copy from that bargain bin and by not I have denied myself the pleasure of listening to this for years, if you are a BC fan then don't do the same, buy it now while you can!
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Big Country's cd,
Have loved Big Country since 1987 and had not been convinced by the previous record...was it over? And then came the Buffalo Skinners....the harder and darker record they ever made...so full of energy and passion. And while BC had been doomed with bad recording quality, the Buffalo's Skinners had finally the best sound. One of the best record of all time for me....love you Stuart...
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Country - The Buffalo Skinners,
I am a rejuvenated BC fan (following recent gigs) recently buying up missing albums from the BC back cataloge that I did not have. Very surprised at how good this album is as I never really heard of it the first time round. Just like the recent gigs this albums lights me up with the Big Country unique sound. Stuart Adamson & the boys fantastic sound. Excellent!
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