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77 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the Edge, Stuart Adamson was the main man
From the first time I heard this album on vinyl back in 1983 I loved it. From the wall of sound drum intro of In a Big Country to the lengthy atmospheric build up of Porroh Man, The Crossing is not just a masterpiece of guitar rock, it is an album that perfectly captured the zietgiest of the early eighties. An album that musically and emotionally outstripped other...
Published on 2 Jan 2002 by PlusOne

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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The trademark first album
Being their debut album, `The Crossing' established the lilting Scottish guitars-as-bagpipes sound for Big Country, making the atmospheric use of the e-bow their trademark. As such an original sound, it burst onto the music scene, instantly positioning them with the new guard of bands from the British region. They were hard to miss and their first single. `In A Big...
Published on 6 July 2010 by B. S. Marlay


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77 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the Edge, Stuart Adamson was the main man, 2 Jan 2002
By 
This review is from: The Crossing (Audio CD)
From the first time I heard this album on vinyl back in 1983 I loved it. From the wall of sound drum intro of In a Big Country to the lengthy atmospheric build up of Porroh Man, The Crossing is not just a masterpiece of guitar rock, it is an album that perfectly captured the zietgiest of the early eighties. An album that musically and emotionally outstripped other highly lauded contemporary works such as War by U2 and Sparkle In The Rain by Simple Minds. An album that recieved two Grammy nominations. The drums are faultless, intelligently using polyrhythms, parradiddles and some very impressive high-hat work , the bass playing is up and down the fret board a la John Entwistle and the dual guitars are a tour de force. To say that this is the greatest ever debut album is not strictly true as the rhythm section had already worked with Pete Townshend on Empty Glass and Stuart Adamson had already produced three albums with The Skids (I highly recommened these albums also!!!) a group which heavily influenced a young U2 and metamorphasised from Punk(Scared to Dance), to producing some of the most intelligent use of synthesiser in Rock since The Who(Days In Europa) and finally to a musical style which Big Country continued(The Absolute Game); The Crossing just reaffirmed the fact that Adamson was among the most innovative and talented guitar players that rock has produced. Looking back now, two weeks after his tragic death it is hard to imagine that someone whose music was always so uplifting and life affirming chose to leave life and some of the most ardent fans behind, but if he is to be remembered as he certainly deserves to be, The Crossing is a truly great legacy.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Scottish Romanticism, 20 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Crossing (Audio CD)
The Crossing is one of the seminal albums of the '80's. Highly influential on any number of artists, Stuart Adamson's lyrics and the unique Celtic instrumental sound rang out across the decade like a skirl of bagpipes on the lonely highlands. Adamson has been compared in his country to Robert Burns, one of the finest poets who ever lived. The compliment is apt, with lines like "Just take that look off here, it doesn't fit you, Because it's happened doesn't mean you've been discarded - Pull up your head off the floor, come up screaming, run after everything you ever might have wanted" stunning in their passion and compassion for the human condition. The energy of punk fuels the propulsive sound of the album, tempered with melodious charm. This record is a must-have classic.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sounds like nothing else - unique and wrongly ignored today, 12 Aug 2010
By 
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This review is from: The Crossing (Audio CD)
Probably the best debut album by a British Rock band of its era. How it never gets mentioned in those top 100 lists/books you see amazes me. It wasn't as if it was cult thing or an abberation that should be forgotten - it sold by the bucketload. Give those folk who bought it some respect, music journos out there!! Following on from the superb Skids, BC's & Stuart Adamson forged a career that continued to spawn hits in the 80s and early 90s before critical aclaim diminished, though their output; notably Steeltown (the more dense, dark, messy brooding and political follow up to this), The Seer, The Buffalo Skinners and Driving to Damsacus; had many high points on a par with much of this. Their sound did evolve but definately one of those bands who, while ending up with small but avid fanbases, probably should have crossed over more. Sadly, the memory of their initial impact and pidgeonholed appeal was hard for later record buyers to shake off. This process was fuelled as the critics weaved their ink thick and heavy in consigning such a talented outfit to the novelty act filing cabinet.

Whatever the naysayers write one thing cant be denied.

What a sound!!

On hearing of the sad death of Adamson I read a tremendous retrospective which, instead of focussing on the 'bagpipe sound' spotted echoes of Joy Division, The Clash, The Jam as well as folk in its complex sound. I think that was a very good insight. Its not just about the skirl its about the unbridled passion contained in the sound and the haunting melancholy undertones. Unique, a sound and spirit that scrapes the sky with almost every note.

My personal favourite is 'Inwards' (about the death of Stuart's Grandmother) probably because the other singles, while amazing, are a little more familiar. I wish I could hear 'In a big country' again for the first (or even fifth time) tears of joy from its sound and sentiment. Still works for me today but I envy those who unpeel its magnificence from buying this afresh. 'Chance' will envelop you in waves of sadness however heard a heart you have and 'The Storm' is a pulse racing folky epic that blows any modern stylised use of the genre out of the water.

No one I know who hears this now looks at me with anything other than joy in discovery (for first timers) or delight in remembering (for old timers around in the 80s).

To that end you cant lose. Buy this. Its appeal pretty much covers anybody that likes the sound of an electric guitar. Rock, folk, punk, pop. This is great music, this is not fan fodder, it's a gem from the 80s that has eternal appeal. It harks back to that age that many wistfully yearn for now where certain while there was a vast array of images and looks, you knew that the players were actually put their hearts into it. No calculation, no career musical moves, no genre mashing, little knowing faux irony, just pure naive passion in 'their scene.

You want to see what the fuss was about, why it sold millions worlkdwide? Play it, It will make you want to turn back the clock, while also enjoying the present listening to its greatness unfold.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So glad I bought this, 9 Feb 2012
By 
Robert Coogan (UK) - See all my reviews
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I hadn't realised this deluxe edition was coming out until I saw Tony Butler and Bruce Watson interviewed on the BBC a couple of weeks ago.

I have been playing Big Country recently as I am currently reading "In a Big Country - The Stuart Adamson Story" by Ian Glen.

I never had the pleasure of seeing Big Counrtry live, but consider myself a fan, having most of their albums, this is the fourth time I have bought this album, having bought the cassette, CD, remastered CD (1996) and now this deluxe edition.

This new version is 24 bit remastered and the sound quality is a massive improvement over the '96 remaster which to me sounded harsh and a bit tinny.

The poor reviews of this album make no sense to me. I ordered the album on Feb 8th and received it on Feb 9th. Also saying it doesn't sound good is rubbish.

I have been disappointed in the past with some deluxe editions, but this is a real treat. It is great to have these songs sounding so good, and the extra tracks and demo are a great addition.

I hope this album sells well and this encourages the Phonogram to do a proper remastering job on their other albums too.

If you are unfamiliar with Big Country you will not be disappointed with this purchase, it is rousing music, superlative musicianship and a great testament to Stuart Adamson's passion and talent.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A under-rated classic, 21 Aug 2009
This review is from: The Crossing (Audio CD)
I bought this album on cassette on it's release all those years ago. On losing my entire cassette collection in a house flood, I decided to replace the better ones with CD's. (There were some dodgy cassette choices that were better off under 2 foot of water). This was a bargain on Amazon and I picked it up. I couldn't believe how good it was. Big Country to me were very under-rated and I will be having a look around for the rest of their early catalogue. Stuart Adamson was a quality song writer and the group were very accomplished musicians producing excellent albums. For 2.98, it is a must buy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another season passes by ..., 2 Sep 2008
By 
This review is from: The Crossing (Audio CD)
...and after 100 seasons of listening to Big Country, i just want to say ,Thank's guys !,for making one of rock's Greatest Albums, in The Crossing. (and that was just the start of a stunning collection of discs). Stuart man,you are seriously missed .Much has been rightly made of the collective musicianship of the band...so,all i want to add is that, it is the beautiful original heartfelt and always inspirational lyrics that complete this masterpiece !. Missed more than ever, the scottish poet - Stuart Adamson . "And nobody smiled when we knew what was lost , We knew well enough only time proves the cost".
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best album of all time, 20 Dec 2001
This review is from: The Crossing (Audio CD)
I purchased this record as it was then back in 84 and it's been played many hundreds of times if not thousands..
There is so many brilliant songs on this cd that it's hard to choose the best one. Personally I love Fields of Fire, The Storm, Porrohman and of course Chance.
The Crossing is a fabulous album if you like atmospheric, moody, creative rock.
Pure brilliance.
** I am truly gutted that Stuart has died. It feels like a member of my family has gone and I cannot believe it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brill!, 1 Dec 2006
This review is from: The Crossing (Audio CD)
Having owned the original blue cover version of the vinyl LP, i hadn't heard this album for many years. As a MOD in my younger days, i too found that this album was as brilliant as any other in it's hey day, and it is nice to be able to hear it again in all it's splendour. I am impressed however, with the extra bonus tracks which are not mentioned in the product review. Well worth the money.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What more can be said?, 31 Jan 2007
By 
D. Storm (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Crossing (Audio CD)
This review is a plea to anyone who has missed out on Big Country, the most underrated British band in musical history. Forget U2, Oasis etc. and just listen to this stuff! Searing guitars, pounding drums, haunting melodies and faultless musicianship. These are themes which followed Big Country throughout their amazing career, in the studio and live on the stage. "The Crossing" blew us all away in the '80's and set a standard that others have rarely (if ever) reached. How Big Country are not revered as the greatest British band ever I'll never know (maybe it's something to do with not being "in fashion"). Look up their back catalogue and just buy all of it!!!!!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never grows Old, 3 Jan 2004
By 
Aidan (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Crossing (Audio CD)
Big Country accompanied me through my early teens through to today, my early thirties. No other group has moved me so much with their music. This Album remains for me the finest, perhaps because it was the first i bought. The rubbish that my peers used to listen to is long forgotten but BC still deliver the goods on every level. To all Big Country fans out there: Come Up Screaming!
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