Big Country

Why the Long Face

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Big Country's seventh studio album was released on an indie, reflecting the group's relative decline into obscurity and making the title ironic. Notwithstanding their low profile, the band actually put on a brave face here, turning in a set full of impassioned guitar-dominated rock that sometimes bordered on heavy metal. But no matter how loud the guitars got, they still took a backseat to Stuart Adamson's impassioned vocals, his lyrics conflating the anguish of romance with the anguish of social conditions. The band's career may bave been embattled, but Adamson's conflicts were of a smaller, and a larger, nature. The CD version contained two bonus tracks, a cover of Lou Reed's "Vicious" and an "unplugged" version of the band's early hit, "In a Big Country."

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