Big Country

Greatest 12" Hits, Vol. 1

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Apart from being remixes and extended versions of some of their best-known hits, the first striking thing here is how big and full they sound compared to the somewhat muddy original LP versions that listeners are so used to. Now, Steve Lillywhite remains one of the great producers of our generation, but the first two Big Country albums that he produced still sound flat and lifeless, even after remastering. In fact, the production of the second album, Steeltown, is very disappointing, dragging the songs down the reverb and echo-strewn hallway of no return. The remixed versions of songs from that album, including "East of Eden," "Just a Shadow," and "Where the Rose Is Sown" sound full, thick, and robust, virtually exploding out of your speakers with gusto. Remixes of tracks from the first album receive the same treatment, jumping out of your CD player and right into your lap. "Fields of Fire," "Chance," and "In a Big Country" remain classics, even in their extended forms. Other tracks collected here include the single "Wonderland" and later album tracks like "Look Away," "The Teacher," "Save Me," and "One Great Thing," all still filled with excitement and energy. Of course, these are extended versions, so they may annoy the casual listener, but fans will be delighted to hear these remixes all collected on one disc.

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