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on 8 March 2016
I found this album through an article interviewing James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers, and it asked what his '10 Favourite Albums Ever,' were, so I decided to check this out. I confess, I had heard precisely zilch about Big Country before this, despite them being a pretty big deal in the 80's and are still touring today (thanks Wikipedia!)! I have since checked out their other albums, but this one towers above the rest in my opinion.
From what I gather from JDB's review (and the lyric book) this album, lyrically, is concerned with one of the most tumultuous periods in 'British' history - the dystopian Margaret Thatcher era, the closure of the titular Steel towns (and other industries) and the devastating effect it had on their local communities and its people, their relationships, livelihood, dreams, employment and so on.
Musically, I was pleasantly surprised how memorable and pretty heavy some of the riffs were! They sound at times like a more punky Thin Lizzy, complete with their trademark vocal and guitar harmonies, but with a distinctive The Edge from U2 vibe about their sound in terms of their heavy use of delay (who influenced who? I have no idea who came first!?) and also a lot of melody that's Celtic in nature.
Opener 'Flame Of The West,' is one of the all time best album opening tracks with its upbeat tempo, clever lyrics, memorable hooks and excellent guitar work, the title track is probably the best use of distorted delay guitar tones I've ever heard - rhythm-wise at least - and some great vocal melodies and epic chorus.' 'East Of Eden,' sounds like the best 80's rock hit that never was, and the heartfelt balladry of 'Come Back To Me' really tugs at the heart strings.
The rhythm section of the drummer and bassist also deserve a lot of credit as they're very tight and deliver fantastic canvases for the vocals and guitar to impose themselves on.
This Deluxe Edition features 'Radio Edit' version of some of the songs on the album and other rarities that will no doubt keep die hard fans happy, but to me its just an added extra really.
If you're a fan of all things rock, punk and 80's - you need this album in your life!
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on 16 March 2018
Big Country's second album fro 1984 followed their impressive debut. Again this is packed full of Scottish imagery and hard as nails tales of Caledonian life. The sound is a little heavier, a little more introspective and a little less tub-thumping than on the previous album. There are still some anthems on there though - "Steeltown", "Where The Rose Is Sown", "The Great Divide" and the impressive but sad "Just A Shadow".

I have always had a problem with the sound on this album - muffled, indistinct and decidedly lo-fi. This latest "deluxe edition" has finally remastered it acceptably, although I believe there will always be limitations from the original recording sessions. Just the way it was recorded at the time. No amount of remasterings can change that. Maybe the slightly dulled sound was intentional, like the crashes and thumps of a Glasgow sheet metal foundry. Maybe therein lies its appeal. Somehow tis album has to be listened to on a cold wet, winter's day. It is certainly not a "sunny day album".

Love the cover image too. A good album. Let nobody tell you otherwise.
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on 10 November 2014
This always was a favourite album of mine when it came out originally. However somewhere along the way I lent it out or misplaced it so when the new version became available I jumped at the chance to renew myself with it. Now it could just be time passing but I certainly do not remember the clarity of the production being as good as this all those years ago. Sometimes when you listen to a remix the difference is hardly audible. That is not the case here. Every part of the album jumps out at you but not overwhelmingly so. Stuarts vocals appear better balanced against the instrumentation allowing an even more pleasurable experienced. It has lost none of the hard hitting lyrical content which rather sadly still has a measure of resonance with today. A very fine body of work and perhaps still the best album they ever made.
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on 27 August 2016
For several decades, The Crossing was the only album by Big Country which I thought anyone needed. I've owned it on cassette and CD and it is one of the few albums I know where every song is excellent. Last week, I bought a copy of Steeltown, and realised that I had been missing something for years. This really is very good indeed. There is a much more 'political' overtone to many of the songs on here than on The Crossing; you can almost 'hear' the grime, grit and poverty of the people and places they write about. This is Big Country at their musical, lyrical and social best. Buy it; you won't be disappointed.
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on 12 August 2017
Always loved 'In A Big Country' and 'Look Away' but recently decided to delve into the band's back catalogue out of sheer curiosity. I was bowled over and puzzled as to how I'd missed their sheer greatness all these years. The Crossing and this album alone put Big Country up there with the greatest bands of all time. 'Where The Rose Is Sown' and 'East Of Eden' are the highlights but the main reason I bought this album is to get the cover signed by the remaining members as they are my new favourite band and have the pleasure of going to see them soon in my home town. 10/10.
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on 16 December 2017
I liked it . . . when it finally arrived, 3 days after latest ETA that is! The digital remastering has worked like a charm on some of my old favourites and brought my misspent youth back to me. "Just A Shadow" and "Where the Rose Is Sown" have lost none of their ability to lift you out of your seat. (If you want a challenge try matching some of the original 10 tracks to the events of 1982, which was the year most of them were written).

As usual, I was prepared for a bit of disappointment from the add-on tracks and still feel that "Wonderland" was too much like padding, but "Prairie Rose" was class and "Winter Sky" let us finish on a cheerful note after the dark feel to a lot of this album. Good stuff.
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on 11 December 2015
This is probably my favourie album, as it has been since I first heard it, on vinyl, way back in 1984. I have listened to so much music over the years but I keep returning to it. My 7 year son has now heard it and is hooked too - every song (whilst distinctive to Big Country) is a work of art in itself. Awesome.

RIP Stuart.
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on 23 January 2015
big country's second album,and a darker feel,reflecting industrial hardship and war lost love and illegitimate children more cheery than it sounds,big country were always accused of producing albums that sounded much like the album before,this is unfair as it did status quo no harm,big country did limit themselves slightly by their use of the 'bagpipe' celtic sound,but 80% of the songs from the first 3 albums have stood the test of time pretty well.Steeltown was a good solid follow up to the the crossing worth the price of download.
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on 22 March 2016
One of Big Country's finer moments! Some great songs on this album, 'Where the Rose Is Sown' being one of many. This deluxe version has some good additional tracks and as far as the sound reproduction is concerned, this version is better than the standard previously released CD.
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on 26 May 2014
I love this album from day one what a band both on record and live Stuart is missed by all and what a voice he had he could power out the songs I wish they could find more unreleased stuff demos anything even from his solo band buy this album when they release the 30th anavereray treat your self to the best scotish band in the world.
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