Monday, 4 June 2018

Big Country - Steeltown (1984)


Released October 1984

Recorded in Stockholm, Sweden and London


1. Flame Of The West
2. East Of Eden
3. Steeltown
4. Where The Rose Is Sown
5. Come Back To Me
6. Tall Ships Go
7. Girl With Grey Eyes
8. Rain Dance
9. The Great Divide
10. Just A Shadow

Big Country's second album from 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. Some critics reacted negatively towards the album, calling it muddled and overly dense, in many ways I have to agree, however, 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 this 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 say otherwise.


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