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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their Best work.
This was by far and away 'Big Country's' best album. It sold well but should have been absolutely massive. In fact this group never did get the recognition they deserved.
Since learning of the untimely death of Stuart Adamson, I have been listening to their music more than ever and realise that GREAT music never sounds dated.
Steeltown - Superb!
RIP stuart.
Published on 7 Jan 2002 by thief@darkproject.freeserve.co.uk

versus
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deluxe in a Flux
If you're going to do a deluxe version that does the body of work credit then you have to include everything worthwhile from that era.Now i know Big Country have released 12" versions on cds before but heralding in this release it is criminal that the extended versions of Wonderland, East of eden, Just a shadow and where the rose is sown are missing, I guess it's...
Published 3 months ago by In Bloom


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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their Best work., 7 Jan 2002
This review is from: Steeltown (Audio CD)
This was by far and away 'Big Country's' best album. It sold well but should have been absolutely massive. In fact this group never did get the recognition they deserved.
Since learning of the untimely death of Stuart Adamson, I have been listening to their music more than ever and realise that GREAT music never sounds dated.
Steeltown - Superb!
RIP stuart.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice to see, 2 Mar 2004
By 
Broonster (Milano, Italy) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Steeltown (Audio CD)
I remember loving this album when it first came out and being disappointed by the relatively poor reception it got from the music press at the time.
Where the Rose is Sown is a truly great song. Just can't understand people who think it was one of the weakest BC singles
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 26 July 2008
This review is from: Steel Town (Audio CD)
Remember buying this on vinyl the 1st day it was out & nearly crying when I gave it it's first listen. I was so dissapointed but that all changed the more I played it. One of my all time great albums, no wonder:- Tall Ships Go, Steeltown, Raindance, Where The Rose Is Sown, Come Back To me..... Hell, not a weak song on the whole record! Big Country still mean a lot to me to this day. RIP Big Man, you're sorely missed.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 4 Aug 2009
This review is from: Steeltown (Audio CD)
This is easilly the best album Big Country ever made, and in my opinion one of the best albums made in the last 30 years. Woefully underated, this should be regarded as a rock classic.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and lyrical, 29 Jun 2010
By 
B. S. Marlay (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Steeltown (Audio CD)
For their second album, Big Country took a heavier direction, both in terms of sound and in lyrical content. Where their exuberant, mega successful 1983 debut, `The Crossing', used their bagpipe guitar technique to tell somewhat mythical `Boys Own' stories of heroic soldiers, ships and soaring romance, `Steeltown' was a darker, more political work. It was full of social observation and examinations of the problems of the British working classes. The romance was still there, but it had become muted and tragic, the soldiers angry and disillusioned. In a way, `The Crossing' could be seen as a patriotic call to arms and `Steeltown' the awful post-war reality of husbands killed in war, dole queues and domestic violence.

Lead singer and guitarist, Stuart Adamson's lyrics are more developed and poetic on `Steeltown', telegraphing that he had very serious intentions for this band, which went far beyond the gimmick of their guitar sound. In grand imagery, the soaring hard rock attack of the opening track, `Flame of the West', tells the tale of a visit by a rich politician or industrialist (US movie star President, Ronald Reagan?), to the impoverished mining towns. Adamson sets the tone for the album here - it is working class outrage. The slower, dirgier second track, `East of Eden', is beautiful and angry, as he takes on the part of a worker in the modern industrial machine ("I looked west in search of freedom and I saw slavery, I looked east in search of answers and I saw misery"). Then the aggression of the towering, anthemic title track makes it abundantly clear that exploitation of the working classes is his main concern this time out ("We built all this with our own hands, But who could know we built on sand").

The songs that follow look at the hypocrisy used to motivate young men to go to battle (`Where the Rose is Sown'), the plight of a young mother whose husband is killed in war (`Come Back to Me') and the frustration of dead end work that ends in relationship breakdown (`Just a Shadow'). Other songs are less overt, but take on a resonance from those around them (`The Girl with Grey Eyes', `The Great Divide').

Adamson's vocals are an impassioned cry on much of this album, but beautifully tender and sadly contemplative on the slower tracks (`The Girl with Grey Eyes', `Just a Shadow). The musicianship is first rate throughout and Mark Brzezicki's drumming is fantastic. Steve Lillywhite (U2, Peter Gabriel, Souxie and the Banshees, XTC) once again produces, coating proceedings with a slick sheen while retaining just enough grit to keep it sounding authentic.

Though `Steeltown' indisputably retains the Big Country sound, it is not an immediately accessible album, but it is one that delivers great rewards with repeated listens.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Steeltown' - Universal Finds 'Eden' With Deluxe Release!, 30 Sep 2014
By 
David Robb (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Steeltown (Audio CD)
Woohoo!! At long last there exists a version of Steeltown that is actually listenable!

Universal have done a wonderful job with the release of this deluxe and remastered edition of Big Country's Steeltown album. The extra disc included here contains many curios in good sound quality that will sate the appetite of many Big Country fans.

The previous cd release of this record was, to be very blunt, abysmal. The sound was faint and, what noise the listener could make out, was a muddy indecipherable mess. I tried listening to it a handful of times but gave up eventually as the poor sound quality made the record impossible to enjoy.

In contrast, on this release, the sound is immediately apparent as being bright and there is a clarity to the instrumentation and vocals that just couldn't be discerned on the old cd. The only real, minor criticism i could make of the sound here, is that it perhaps lacks a bit of depth. Too much focus on the 'top end' of the range. However, a bit of tinkering with sound levels helps to rectify this for the most part and certainly doesn't detract from the listener's enjoyment.

The quality of the songs here is generally outstanding. The only duffer being the painful 'Girl WIth Grey Eyes', which shouldn't really have passed muster as even a 'B' side for single releases. At the other end of the quality scale, we have the still astonishing 'Where The Rose Is Sown' followed by it's aftermath 'Come Back To Me'. Never before or after did Stuart Adamson adequately capture in his lyrics the true nature of the topics that he chose to write about. The stories of a young man going off to war with romanticised notions of fighting for King/Queen and country and then, the harsh reality of the aftermath and the pregnant girlfriend or wife who gets notice of his death, while homecoming parties are thrown for the lucky few survivors, is still poignant and continues to carry relevance now with the conflicts for our soldiers over the last thirteen years.

'Steeltown' itself is still a vivid reminder of the reality that many communities experienced in the 1980's with the destruction of the steel, coal and other previously nationalised industries. Written right at the time that those things took place.

Adamson and co. went on to write and record many more wonderful songs under the Big Country banner but, they never again made an album of such consistently high quality and, one which provided incisive social commentary for the time in which it was written.

So, you can safely enjoy this fantastic record in, so far, the best sound quality in which it has been released. The second disc adds a lot of extra value to this package too.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of their best albums, 10 Mar 2002
This review is from: Steeltown (Audio CD)
This is classic Big Country - thumping drums, rumbling bass, loud guitars and great lyrics sung with great passion.
This and The Crossing are a great introduction to the most underrated band of the past 20 years - RIP Stuart Adamson.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only One Song? Do Me A Favour!, 8 Jun 2007
Big Country were often accused of only having one tuen, but I challenge anyone to listen to "Steeltown" and say honestly that all the songs are the same tune. From the opening bass riff on "Flame of the West" to the final chorus of "Just a Shadow", this album is a real tour-de-force, with intelligent musicianship throughout.

The late Adamson's lyrics are intelligent and thought provoking and he has an amazing voice, doing his own harmonies along the way. To think that the guy also does some of the main guitar lines as well just goes to show what talent he really had.

So put all the misconceptions to one side and give this album a listen - you won't regret it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh the memories!!, 30 Jan 2010
This review is from: Steeltown (Audio CD)
Just downloaded this from Amazon and listening... What an absolute joy.

I'd forgotten just how brilliant this album was. I played the tape to shreds when it first came out. It was one of regular plays on my walkman on the way to work and made the walk fly.

Big Country were one of many bands in the 80's that didn't get the recognition they deserved, but does that really matter when the music still lives on. I can now close my eyes and listen to a time when my life wasn't quite as complicated as it is now.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gaelic temperament, 24 May 2004
By 
DocBhoy (Invercargill , New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Steel Town (Audio CD)
It was with some sadness that I had learnt of Stuart Adamson's passing , so on reflecting on his previous works , I felt that this album showed off most of what made Big Country a great band . The usual e-bows are present , but there are the rousing choruses , the plaintive lyrics , and the poignancy of some songs now when revisited . Without a doubt , their best effort , and to be treasured .
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