Big Country – Eclectic (1996)

FrontCover1 Big Country’s 1995 comeback with their album Why the Long Face included an accompanying tour. This CD is a representative package of that tour and it is also a terrific album. Culled from two stripped down, acoustic performances, this particular live recording is interesting due to the choice of songs. None of the hits are here, with the exception of “King of Emotion,” but rather favorite album cuts, as well as cover versions. Quite honestly, the cover versions, while remaining faithful to the originals, become Big Country songs. Although this is an acoustic set, this is not an “unplugged show.” Their trademark guitar sound is there, accompanied by Mark Brzezicki’s heavy beat. “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” is a prime example. The basic song structures remains somewhat the same, however Adamson’s tone and the tight playing of the band make it their own.

LiveThe same can be said for all the covers, and what interesting choices they are: “Eleanor Rigby,” “Summertime,” “Big Yellow Taxi” (featuring stunning vocals from Carol Laula), “I’m on Fire,” and Steve Harley’s “Sling It,” featuring Steve Harley on vocals. It is a strong CD full of great songs, played very well. While fans of Big Country will love this collection, it has a wide appeal to music fans in general. (by Aaron Badgley)

Recorded live at Dingwalls, London, March 20-21, 1996

Stuart Adamson (vocals, guitar)
Mark Brzezicki (drums, background vocals)
Tony Butler (bass, background vocals)
Bruce Watson (guitar, mandolin)
Aaron Emerson (keyboards on 02., 04. – 06., 08., 12. + 13.)
Steve Harley (vocals on 09.)
Carol Laula (vocals on 03.)
Kym Mazelle (vocals on 02., 05.)
Hossam Ramzy (percussion on 01., 03., 07., 09., 11. + 12.)
Mohammed Toufiq (percussion on 01., 03., 07., 09., 11. + 12.)
Bobby Valentino (violin)

01. River Of Hope (Adamson) 4.06
02. King Of Emotion (Adamson) 4.10
03. Big Yellow Taxi (Mitchell) 3.50
04. The Buffalo Skinners (Watson/Adamson) 5.58
05. Summertime (G.Gershwin/Heyward/I.Gershwin) 3.57
06. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Robertson) 3.44
07. Eleanor Rigby (Lennon/McCartney) 3.47
08. Winter Sky (Watson/Adamson) 4.06
09. Sling It (Harley) 3.04
10. I’m On Fire (Springsteen) 2.39
11. Where The Rose Is Sown (Watson/Brzezicki/Adamson/Butler) 4.10
12. Come Back To Me (Watson/Brzezicki/Adamson/Butler) 4.43
13. Ruby Tuesday (Jagger/Richards) 4.14



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