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STEELTOWN

4.8 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Vinyl
  • Label: MERCURY
  • ASIN: B0044PM84S
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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By Smiler on 26 July 2008
Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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").
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Format: 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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By A Customer on 10 Mar. 2002
Format: 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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Format: Audio CD
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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not so long ago, it seemed as though Big Country's "Steeltown" had been overlooked: once difficult to find on CD (I had to buy my copy from Amazon US a few years back - although it was eventually re-pressed in Europe) it was a pleasant surprise to find a deluxe version in the Amazon listings. When The Crossing [2CD Deluxe Edition] was given the full on re-issue treatment a couple of years ago, I only had a faint hope then that "Steeltown", whilst a strong favourite of mine (indeed I can't say whether I prefer "The Crossing" or "Steeltown"), would be deemed classic enough for the record company's powers that be. But, here it is...

Released at a turning point in popular music - when people's tastes were just starting to move away from guitar towards electronics, "Steeltown" has an unusual sound - metallic, dense and dark. Thematically it's a mix of wartime nostalgia (possibly brought on by the threat of nuclear war at the time?) and industrial. Lyrically, this is the band's Closer: "Why care about the weather, it always ends in dark" [from "East of Eden"] or "It's just a shadow of the man you should be, like a garden in the forest that the world will never see, you have no thought of answers only questions to be filled, and it feels like hell" ["Just a Shadow"]. I remember digging out "Steeltown" after hearing about Stuart Adamson's suicide in 2001 (not having played the LP in many years) and reflecting that (not unlike the surviving members of Joy Division on deciphering Ian Curtis's lyrics) that it was perhaps, in this context, no surprise that he had gone on to take own life.
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