Marillion – Script For A Jester’s Tear (1983)

FrontCover1Script for a Jester’s Tear is the debut studio album by British neo-progressive rock band Marillion, released in the United Kingdom on 13 March 1983 by EMI Records. The album reached number seven and spent 31 weeks in the UK Albums Chart, eventually achieving a platinum certificate, and produced the Top 40 single “He Knows You Know” and the Top 20 single “Garden Party”.

Script for a Jester’s Tear is the only studio album by Marillion to feature the band’s original drummer and founding member Mick Pointer, who was dismissed following the album’s UK tour. In Martin Popoff’s 2016 biography of Yes, the album is credited with being part of a “new wave” of British progressive rock which also helped to give a second life to earlier bands.

Marillion released their first single, “Market Square Heroes”, on 25 October 1982. It was a minor hit, peaking at number 53 on the UK Singles Chart. It was produced by David Hitchcock, who was also contracted to work on the group’s first full-length album. However, he was heavily injured in a car accident when he drove home after completing work on the single. EMI took advantage of the opportunity and persuaded the group to replace him with Nick Tauber, a producer known for his work with new wave band Toyah and regarded by the record label as more modern.

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Neither “Market Square Heroes”, nor the B-sides of the 12″ single, “Three Boats Down from the Candy” and the 17-minute-long epic “Grendel”, were included on Script for a Jester’s Tear, although a short radio segment of the A-side can be briefly heard prior to “Forgotten Sons”. As stated in the original liner notes, the music from the album was composed, arranged and performed by Marillion and the lyrics were written by Fish alone. However, in the 1997 remastered edition, four out of six songs are additionally credited to bass player Diz Minnit and keyboard player Brian Jellyman, who were both the initial members of the group. The recording sessions for the album started in December 1982 at The Marquee Studios in London and finished in February 1983, with Tauber producing and Simon Hanhart engineering.

The cover artwork was designed by Mark Wilkinson, who would be commissioned to the role on all Marillion releases through The Thieving Magpie (1988).

Script for a Jester’s Tear was released in the United Kingdom on 13 March 1983 by EMI on vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve. In the United States, it was available through Capitol Records.

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Dave Dickson in his review for Kerrang! said that “as a debut album this [Script for a Jester’s Tear] is extremely impressive, fully living up to the band’s previous promise”. John Franck has given the album a retrospective rating of four-and-a-half stars out of five on AllMusic. He has called it “a vital piece for any Marillion head and an essential work for any self-respecting first- or second-generation prog rock fan”.

Script for a Jester’s Tear was a commercial success, reaching number 7 in the United Kingdom and spending 31 weeks on the charts, the second-longest album chart residency for Marillion. It was awarded a platinum certification by British Phonographic Industry on 5 December 1997 for over 300,000 copies sold. In the United States, however, it failed to make any impact, peaking at number 175 on the Billboard 200 chart.

The album generated two hit singles in the United Kingdom. The first single, “He Knows You Know”, preceded the release of Script for a Jester’s Tear and launched the group into the Top 40, reaching number 35. The second single, “Garden Party”, was released on 6 June 1983 and became even more popular, peaking at number 16. “He Knows You Know” gained some airplay in the United States and reached number 21 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. (by wikipedia)

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At the time, Marillion’s remarkable, full-fledged 1983 debut Script for a Jester’s Tear was considered an odd bird: replete with Peter Gabriel face paint and lengthy, technical compositions, Marillion ushered in a new generation of prog rock that bound them forever to the heroics of early day Genesis. Intricate, complex, and theatrical almost to a fault, Script for a Jester’s Tear remains the band’s best and sets the bar for their later work. Filled with extraordinary songs that remained staples in the band’s live gigs, the album begins with the poignant title track, on which Fish leads his band of merry men on a brokenhearted tour de force that culminates with the singer decrying that “…the game is over.”

Mark Wilkinson

“He Knows You Know,,” a song sprinkled with drug paranoia and guilt; as the song veers to its chorus, Fish announces, “Fast feed, crystal fever, swarming through a fractured mind.” If “The Web” hints at a grain of commercialism, “Garden Party” is a joyous anthem that showcases Marillion at the peak of its powers. Bogged down by some hilariously over-the-top British poetry, “Chelsea Monday” may be one of the album’s lesser moments (if there are any), but the magical “Forgotten Sons” concludes the opus magnificently. Luckily for Marillion fans, EMI released a remastered version of Script with two different versions of “Market Square Heroes,” “Three Boats Down from the Candy,” “Grendel,” “Chelsea Monday,” the demo of “He Knows You Know,” and an alternate track titled “Charting the Single.” A vital piece for any Marillion head and an essential work for any self-respecting first- or second-generation prog rock fan. (by John Franck)

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Personnel:
Derek William Dick “Fish” (vocals)
Steve Rothery (guitar)
Pete Trewavas (bass)
Mark Kelly (keyboards)
Mick Pointer (drums, percussion)
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Marquee Club’s Parents Association Children’s Choir (choir (on 06.)
Peter Cockburn (newscaster’s voice (on 06.)

Singles

Tracklist:
01. Script For A Jester’s Tear 8.43
02. He Knows You Know 5.24
03. The Web 8.52
04. Garden Party 7.20
05. Chelsea Monday 8.18
06. Forgotten Sons 8.24

Music: Derek William Dick “Fish” – Steve Rothery – Pete Trewavas – Mark Kelly – Mick Pointer Derek William Dick “Fish”

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Prog Issue 104

I add a long article about this album, from the Magazine “Prog” called
“How Marillion made Script For A Jester!

Dr. John With Chris Barber – Same (Marquee Club London; VHS-rip) (1983)

FrontCover1In 1983 the famous London music venue the Marquee celebrated its silver jubilee. One of the founders in 1958 (it was then in Oxford Street, now situated in Wardour Street) was Chris Barber; so it was fitting that he should do something special with his Jazz & Blues Band to mark the occasion. He therefore asked well known New Orleans musician Mac Rebennack, better known as Doctor John, to tour again with his band and to give two special concerts at the Marquee which would be recorded for future audio and video release; the recordings being made on the second night.

Julian Purser, co-compiler of the Chris Barber Discography, was there and reminisces: “When you enter the Marquee for the first time it is amazing, almost as though time has stood still for a couple of decades; it is cellar like and small; the dressing room is not much more than a broom cupboard. On the night of the 15th of April it was standing room only, and with the cameramen, technicians, cameras and cables there was hardly space for the very large crowd, and how the band managed to march around and through the audience was astonishing. Doctor John was a very tall, striking figure, with his carved walking stick and had a magnetic stage presence. He was happy to be either band pianist or solo vocalist and pianist.”

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Both evenings were sold out, and fans of Doctor John and Chris Barber all enjoyed themselves listening to the feast of music. Alexis Korner was there on the second evening immersed in the music. It was an evening full of interesting and differing New Orleans Jazz and Blues. Listening again brings the memory of the evening very much back to life. (by Gerard Bielderman)

This 59 minute concert (listed as 55 minutes on the package) was recorded in 1983 Dr. John in his prime! And great camera work in this rare Marquee Club gig!

DrJohnChrisBarber01during the 25th anniversary of London’s famous Marquee Club. It features the NOLa legend Dr. John (Mac Rebennack) playing on stage with British band leader and trombonist Chris Barber and his “Jazz and Blues Band”. Dr. John starts it off with a solo and then the band gets a shot and then they combine efforts – with solos throughout). There are 10 numbers, with some running almost 1o minutes.

Mac Shows his Professor Longhair piano chops on “Mac’s Boogie Woogie” and his blues vocals on “Stranded”. Barber and the band shine on “New Orleans Memories (Medley) and “Little Liza Jane”. Of, course, it all culminates with “When the Saints Go Marching In”. Of particular mention is the camera work which has some amazingly sharp images of Dr. John’s fingers on the piano keys and Barber on Trombone.

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As I said, this was 1983 and Dr. John was in his prime them, not relying on the “same old” that he kept doing in the 1990s. He was wearing no “hair jewelry” that he did in later years and you can tell that the older – and more experienced Barber was really into Dr. J’s playing that night. (Steve Ramm)

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Personnel:
Dr. John (piano, vocals)
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Chris Barber (trombone)
John Crocker (saxophone, clarinet)
Norman Emberson (drums)
Pat Halcox (trumpet)
Roger Hill (guitar)
Johnny McCallum (guitar, banjo)
Vic Pitt (bass)
Ian Wheeler (clarinet, saxophpne, harmonica)
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The Chris Barber Brass Band on 10.:

Chris Barber (trombone)
Roy Maskell (trombone)
Pat Halcox (trumpet)
Teddy Fullick (trumpet)
John Crocker (saxophone)
Ian Wheeler (saxophone)
Dick Cook (clarinet)
Johnny McCallum (snare-drum)
Vic Pitt (tuba)
Norman Emberson (bass drum)

Alternates frontcover:
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Tracklist:
01. Stack-A-Lee (Lopez) 3.33
02. New Orleans Memories / Panorama (Barber/Tyers) 13.50
03. Right Place, Wrong Time (Rebennack) 4.46
04. You Lie Too Much (Rebennack) 4.54
05. Memories Of Smiley (Rebennack) 5.00
06. Blues Down In San Antone (Stranded) (Rebennack) 5.54
07 The Wicked Shall Cease (Rebennack) / When The Saints Go Marching In (Traditional) 7.46
08 Mac’s Boogie-Woogie (Rebennack) 1.58
09 Little Liza Jane (Rebennack) 4.07
10 When The Saints Go Marching In (Tradtional)
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11. Marquee Club London; VHS-rip) 54.44

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My copy of this old VHD-Tape was signed by Dr. John:
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Whitesnake – Sapporo (2nd Night) (1983)

FrontCover1Whitesnake are a hard rock band formed in England in 1978 by David Coverdale, after his departure from his previous band Deep Purple. Their early material has been compared by critics to the blues rock of Deep Purple, but they slowly began moving toward a more commercially accessible rock style. By the turn of the decade, the band’s commercial fortunes changed and they released a string of UK top 10 albums, Ready an’ Willing (1980), Come an’ Get It (1981), Saints & Sinners (1982) and Slide It In (1984), the last of which was their first to chart in the US and is certified 2x platinum. (wikipedia)

And here´s a pretty good bootleg (excellent audience recording):

This work recorded at such a show is exactly an audience recording of shock. First of all, full show recording. As a matter of fact, this show has been around for a long time, but it is an incomplete version in which the solo time of “Love Hunter” and each member has been greatly dropped, probably to fit on one CD. On the other hand, this work can enjoy a full show from before the start to “We Wish You Well”. And even better is the sound. It has been made into a CD from a master cassette that was directly transferred from the recording artist himself, and it is fiercely neat anyway! Although it is not a sound board-like close feeling, its sound is mellow and mellow, but it does not conceal details. The essence is a wicked core. The core of each musical instrument arrives at hand so that the sound of the hall can be forcibly swept away, and it is vivid to the sense of separation without clumping.

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Such a show could be enjoyed all over Japan, but here in Hokkaido, the special performance is amazing. The essence is cozy. In 1984 there was even heavy metallic due to a chemical change with John Sykes, but in 1983 it was powerful but hard rock. Of course, it’s totally different from the suppleness of Ian Pais, but it’s groovy with a powerful attack. I guess Colin Hodgkinson is a big part of this. It is said that he did not hear what Koji said, but that is why he does not lose the groove. Just like the jazz rock rise, it’s in sharp contrast to Neil Murray, who is dexterous and reads the air, who has been accustomed to the metallic style.
And the sound of this work can taste the taste of such 1983 to the maximum. Hodgkinson is a bassist whose attack sound is too sharp (depending on the sound), although the bass is actually somewhat round. However, in this work, the sense of unity with the drum is turned into power by the sound, and the gap between the grooves in the core of the rugged feel emerges. In this case, the cozy suddenly comes to life. Bashabasha Dokandkan and the rampage roar with a tremendous force, but still do not buzz, the guitar, organ, and the singing voice of the majestic Cavadale come in clearly. Even if you pay attention to the melody and beat that each person spins while fully enjoying the power and groove, it is clear. It is a name recording like a special sound to taste “1983 white snake”.

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WHITESNAKE is different from the delicate feeling of Bernie Marsden era and the aggressive metal feeling of John Sykes era. This live album allows you to enjoy the whole body of blues rock specializing in strong power and grooves. It’s not just a first-time rarity, it’s not a piece that fills the collection. Permanent preservation press 2CD that plenty of “real value of 1983” that can be drawn only by the audience. One of the rich and powerful British blues rock extremities. Please enjoy it to your heart’s content. (giginjapan.com)

Recorded live at Hokkaido Koseinenkin Kaikan,
Sapporo, Japan 8th February 1983

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Personnel:
David Coverdale (vocals)
Mel Galley (guitar, background vocals)
Colin Hodgkinson (bass, background vocals)
Jon Lord (keyboards)
Micky Moody (guitar, background vocals)
Cozy Powell (drums)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Intro 1.02
02. Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues (Coverdale/Marsden) 4.12
03. Rough An’ Ready (Coverdale/Moody) 4.12
04. Ready An’ Willing (Coverdale/Paice/Lord/Moody/Murray) 5.04
05. Don’t Break My Heart Again (Coverdale) 5.52
06. Here I Go Again (Coverdale/Marsden) 6.33
07. Love Hunter (Coverdale/Moody) 4.11
08. Micky Moody Solo (Moody) 1.09
09. Colin Hodgkinson Solo (Hodgkinson) 4.21
10. Micky Moody Solo (Reprise) (Moody)
11. Love Hunter (Reprise) (Coverdale/Moody) 2.38
12. Crying In The Rain (Coverdale)  / Mel Galley Solo (Galley) 11.11
13. Soldier Of Fortune (Coverdale/Blackmore) 2.29

CD 2:
01. Jon Lord Solo (Lord) 7.21
02. Cozy Powell Solo Feat. 633 Squadron & 1812 Overture (Powell/Goodwin/Tchaikovsky) 10.36
03. (Ain’t No Love) In The Heart Of The City (Price/Walsh) 8.00
04. Fool For Your Loving (Coverdale/Moody/Marsden) 5.25
05. Thank You
06. Wine, Women An’ Song Murray/Paice/Marsden/Moody/Coverdale/Lord) 6.00
07. We Wish You Well (Coverdale) 0.48

CD2A

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Larry Coryell & Michal Urbaniak – A Quiet Day In Spring (1985)

FrontCover1Although originally associated with fusion and then acoustic explorations, Larry Coryell has often shown that he can play practically any style. This little-known set finds him jamming with violinist Michal Urbaniak and bassist Jesper Lundgaard in a trio.

Although the music is generally straight-ahead, all seven of the selections were composed by either Coryell or Urbaniak, and the music is never all that predictable. Worth exploring.(Scott Yanow)

This is Larry in full acoustic flow in 1983 with Jesper Lundgaard on bass and Michael Urbaniak on Violin. Lots of fine 12 string playing here ,which sounds like nothing else in his repertoire, both behind the violin and in the soloing. Urbaniak is clearly influenced by violonist, Stuff Smith, who gets a name check on Stuff’s Stuff.

It’s a difficult style of violin playing to jump into but take your time and it all hangs together to create a fabulous album. (A. Garside)

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Personnel:
Larry Coryell (guitar)
Jesper Lundgaard (bass)
Michal Urbaniak (violin)

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Tracklist:
01. Rue Gregoire Du Tour (Coryell) 7.34
02. Waltz No. 6 (Coryell) 4.55
03. Polish Reggae (Urbaniak) 6.34
04. A Quiet Day In Spring (Coryell) 6.43
05. Waltz No. 12 (Coryell) 9.28
06. Stuff’s Stuff (Urbaniak) 5.36
07. Miss Julie (Coryell) 10.19

CD1

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Chet Baker Trio – Estate (2008)

FrontCover1This 1983 studio date, titled Crystal Bells here yet previously released under other titles, features trumpet Chet Baker performing within a trio setting with the Belgian duo of guitarist Philip Catherine and bassist Jean-Louis Rassinfosse. Although famously known as an intuitive musician who played by ear, by the ’80s Baker’s improvisation had coalesced into a beautifully logical, root harmony-based style in which one can discern the exact progressions of any given tune simply by listening to him. Here, his lines connect, turn by turn, melody upon melody like a pastel jigsaw puzzle forming before your eyes. Subsequently, Baker thrived in the company of the like-minded Belgians, whose bop-inflected technical prowess on their instruments was also matched by their deft sense for melodicism and sympathetic group interplay. As accompanists alone, they’re superb cohorts for the jazz legend, hanging their ears on each of his notes, outlining the harmonies behind him, and buoying his soft, lyrical phrases. There are also subtle stylistic juxtapositions within the trio with Catherine’s choice of electric, amplified guitar allowing for the occasional foray into country twang, or ambient, fusion-infused colorations. Similarly, though, Rassinfosse’s velvety double-bass lines reveal the influence of the impressionistic tone of Ron Carter, and he never fails to imply a clipped rhythmic pulse; a necessary skill in the drummerless setting Baker often favored in his later years. Ultimately, Crystal Bells is an absolutely magical session with inspired performances that still ring true so many years after Baker’s passing. (by Matt Collar)

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And here´s a review of this re-isssue edition:
Recorded in Belgium in 1983, Estate features Chet Baker backed by one of his best European trios with guitarist Philip Catherine and bassist Jean-Louis Rassinfosse. A lithe guitarist with a sophisticated style well matched to Baker’s melodic lyricism, Catherine is as much a featured player here as sideman. Although Great American Songbook compositions were always Baker’s preference, here he primarily eschews the Broadway canon in favor of lesser-played jazz standards including Horace Silver’s “Strollin’,” Charlie Mariano’s “Crystal Bells,” and Richie Beirach’s softly played tango “Leaving.” Although the aforementioned tracks have been released under alternate album titles, the trio’s 1985 live recording of “My Funny Valentine” is included here as an added bonus. For longtime fans, Estate is essential latter-career Baker. (by Matt Collar)

Original front + backcover:
OriginalFront+BackCover

Personnel:
Chet Baker (trumpet, vocals on 07.)
Philip Catherine (guitar)
Jean-Louis Rassinfosse (bass)

Chet Baker Trio
Tracklist:
01. Crystal Bells (Mariano) 6.14
02. Strollin (Silver) 7.26
03. Lament (Johnson) 7.37
04. Leaving (Beirach) 9.43
05. Cherokee (Noble) 6.49
06. Estate (Martino)
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07. My Funny Valentine (live) (Rodgers/Hart) 10.19

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Alternate labels:
AlternateLabels

 

Donovan – Lady Of The Stars (1983)

FrontCover1.JPGLady of the Stars is the seventeenth studio album, and nineteenth album overall, by the British singer-songwriter Donovan. It was released in the UK (RCA PL 70060) and the US (Allegiance Records AV 437) in January 1984.

By 1983, Donovan’s albums were receiving little distribution in the UK and none in the US. His popularity had steadily decreased through the 1970s and early 1980s and mainstream record companies were not convinced that Donovan’s albums could generate enough record sales to warrant release. Donovan decided that to win over the record companies and reach his American and British fans, he would record new versions of both “Sunshine Superman” and “Season of the Witch” for inclusion on his next album. Both songs were released on the Sunshine Superman album in 1966 and Donovan’s Greatest Hits in 1969. The name recognition of these two songs would give the record companies marketing leverage and guarantee release.

In addition to “Sunshine Superman” and “Season of the Witch”, Donovan updated three other songs from his canon. Two of these songs, “Lady of the Stars” (written for Donovan’s wife Linda Lawrence) and “Local Boy Chops Wood” (written about Brian Jones) were as well recorded and released on Donovan in 1977, “Boy for Every Girl” had been recorded for his 1973 album Essence to Essence. Donovan also included five new songs and titled the album Lady of the Stars for his wife Linda.

Lady of the Stars was released in Britain through RCA, and licensed in the US to Allegiance Records. It became the first Donovan album to receive a US release since Donovan in 1977.

After this, Donovan took an extended hiatus from recording, and would not release another studio album until Sutras twelve years later. (by wikipedia)

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Donovan re-recorded some old hits — “Season of the Witch” and “Sunshine Superman” — and cut some new songs for this independent label release. The result is a pleasant, but inconsequential, effort. (by William Ruhlmann)

Back in the early 1980s I became interested in Donovan and his music. Donovan had been most succesful during the 1960s and early 1970s. At that time it was very difficult to get hold of any of his back catalogue on vinyl. His album success had declined anyway and in order to gain interest from record companies Donovan decided to update a few songs for his next album.
In 1983 Donovan recorded the new album which was released at the beginning of 1984. This was that album,. Lady of the Stars. It was great to get a brand new album from Donovan. For this album there were new versions of Sunshine Superman and Season of the Witch. Both tracks originally on the Sunshine Superman album in the mid 1960s were very popular. Also there is an update version of Local Boy chops wood that appeared on the album Donovan from 1977.

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There is another update with the song Boy for every girl, that appeared on the Essence to Essence album from 1977. The last update is for the title track Lady of the Stars originally written for his wife Linda. Finally the album does have five new songs. The albums new tracks were welcome additions and the updated tracks only add familiarity and I much prefer the original versions. However as an album it is not too bad. Not the best Donovan album by any means but it was welcome back in the 1980s and the new and more original five tracks make it worth it. (by Marcia)

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Personnel:
Barry Beckett (keyboards on 01. – 04., 06. + 07.)
Bonnie Bramlett (background vocals on 06.)
Pete Carr (guitar on 01. – 03., 05., 06. – 08. + 10)
Paulino De Costa (percussion on 07.)
Wilton Fender (bass on 08. + 10.)
James Gadson (drums on 03.)
Bob Glaub (bass on 03., 04., 08. + 09.)
Rayford Griffin (drums on 04., 05, 07. – 10.)
Jim Horn (saxophone, flute on 02., 04. – 06. + 09.)
Donovan Leitch (vocals, guitar)
Astrella Leitch (background vocals on 04.)
Dave Mason (guitar on 06.)
Graham Nash (background vocals on 01., 02. + 09.)
Jeff Paccaro (drums on 02.)
Lezlee Pariser (background vocals on 06.)
Billy Payne (keyboards on 01., 03., 05., 06. + 09.)
Mike ‘Reedo’ Reed (drums on 01. + 06.
Bruce ‘Fingers’ Robb (organ on 02.)
John Sebastian (autoharp on 02.)
Jim Strauss (bass on 06.)
Lee Sklar (bass on 02.)
Jim Strauss (bass on 01.)
Jai Winding (keyboards on 05. + 07.)
Richie Zito (guitar on 04.)

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Tracklist:
01. Lady Of The Stars 4.37
02. I Love You Baby 3.28
03. Bye, Bye Girl 3.24
04. Every Reason 3.06
05. Season Of The Witch (New Version) 5.26
06. Boy For Every Girl (New Version) 4.36
07. Local Boy Chops Wood (New Version) 3.27
08. Sunshine Superman (New Version) 4.03
09. Living For The Love Light 3.47
10. Till I See You Again 3.16

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Big Country – Wonderland (Special Limited Edition) (1984)

FrontCover1.jpgBig Country are a Scottish rock band formed in Dunfermline, Fife, in 1981.

The height of the band’s popularity was in the early to mid 1980s, although it retained a cult following for many years after. The band’s music incorporated Scottish folk and martial music styles, and the band engineered their guitar-driven sound to evoke the sound of bagpipes, fiddles and other traditional folk instruments.
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Big Country comprised Stuart Adamson (formerly of Skids, vocals/guitar/keyboards), Bruce Watson (guitar/mandolin/sitar/vocals), Tony Butler (bass guitar/vocals) and Mark Brzezicki (drums/percussion/vocals). Before the recruitment of Butler and Brzezicki an early incarnation of Big Country was a five-piece band, featuring Peter Wishart (later of Runrig and now a Scottish National Party MP) on keyboards, his brother Alan on bass, and Clive Parker, drummer from Spizz Energi/Athletico Spizz ’80. Parker had approached Adamson to join his new band after the demise of Skids.

BigCountry1.jpg

Adamson auditioned Parker (1980) at The Members’ rehearsal room in Ladbroke Grove, London and the next day was called on to play drums on demos for CBS Records at their Whitfield Street studios. The demos were produced by Adam Sieff and just featured Adamson, Parker and Watson. Adamson had asked bassist Dave Allen from Gang of Four to join the band but he declined. Adamson asked Parker to join the band, which led to eight months of rehearsal in Dunfermline in a disused furniture warehouse.

The culmination was a concert at the Glen Pavilion at Dunfermline and an interview with BBC Radio Scotland where the CBS Studio demos were utilised. The band then played live with Alice Cooper’s Special Forces tour for two concerts in 1982 at The Brighton Centre.

Butler and Brzezicki, working under the name ‘Rhythm for Hire,’ were brought in to play on “Harvest Home.” They immediately hit it off with Adamson and Watson, who invited them to join the band.

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Big Country’s first single was “Harvest Home”, recorded and released in 1982. It was a modest success, although it did not reach the official UK Singles Chart. Their next single was 1983’s “Fields Of Fire (400 Miles)”, which reached the UK’s Top Ten and was rapidly followed by the album The Crossing. The album was a hit in the United States (reaching the Top 20 in the Billboard 200), powered by “In a Big Country”, their only US Top 40 hit single. The song featured heavily engineered guitar playing, strongly reminiscent of bagpipes; Adamson and fellow guitarist, Watson, achieved this through the use of the MXR Pitch Transposer 129 Guitar Effect. Also contributing to the band’s unique sound was their use of the e-bow, a device which allows a guitar to sound more like strings or synthesizer. The Crossing sold over a million copies in the UK and obtained gold record status (sales of over 500,000) in the US. The band performed at the Grammy Awards and on Saturday Night Live.

Big Country released the non-LP extended play single “Wonderland” in 1984 while in the middle of a lengthy worldwide tour. The song, considered by some critics to be one of their finest, was a Top Ten hit (No. 8) in the UK Singles Chart[2] but, despite heavy airplay and a positive critical response, was a comparative flop in the US, reaching only No. 86 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the last single by the band to make the US charts. (by wikipedia)

And here´s is of their many “Special Edition” singles from the Eighties:

Booklet03A.jpg“Wonderland” and “Giant (one of their rare Insrumentals; it was the instrumental version of “All Fall Together”)  … not released on their second album “Steel Town” and “Lost Patrol” recoded live at their legendary New Year´s Eve Concert at Barrowland, Glosgow 1993/1994.

So, here´s another cance to discover “Big Country”, one of the finest bands from the Eighties … Listen and enjoy !

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Personnel:
Stuart Adamson (guitar, vocals)
Mark Brzezicki (drums)
Tony Butler (bass)
Bruce Watson (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Wonderland 3.51
02. Giant 5.12
03. Lost Patrol (live) Part 1) 2.27
04. Lost Patrol (live) Part 2) 2.26

All songs written by Stuart Adamson – Mark Brzezicki – Tony Butler – Bruce Watson

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Adamson returned for the band’s ‘Final Fling’ farewell tour, culminating in a sold-out concert at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom on 31 May 2000. They played what turned out to be their last gig in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in October that year.

In November 2001, Adamson disappeared again. Numerous appeals were put on the Big Country website asking for Adamson to call home and speak to anyone in the band, the management company, or his ex-wife. The website also requested that any fans who might have been ‘harbouring’ the singer to contact the management company and alert them to his whereabouts. Mark Brzezicki and Tony Butler had indicated they were concerned but the reason Big Country had lasted so long was they stayed out of one another’s personal lives, and both later noted they were unaware of the extent of Adamson’s problems. He was found dead in a room at the Best Western Plaza Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii on 16 December 2001. (by wikipedia)

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