One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1983 – Big Country

“In a Big Country” by Big Country

Big Country were very successful in Europe, but they only had one big hit in the U.S. – “In a Big Country”, which peaked at #17 on December 3, 1983.

Big Country are a Scottish rock band that formed in 1981. In 1983, the band released the single, “Fields of Fire”, which reached the UK’s Top Ten. They quickly followed this up by releasing the album The Crossing. The album contained the hit “In a Big Country”, which helped it become a big seller in the U.S.

Their second album Steeltown (1984) was a hit as soon as it was released in the U.K. However, it was a commercial disappointment in the U.S. The band continued to release albums and tour throughout the ’80s.
Throughout the ’90s, Big Country became a popular ‘opening act’, supporting such bands as Rolling Stones and The Who. Meanwhile, lead singer, Stuart Adamson struggled with alcoholism. In 1999, Big Country released their eighth album, Driving to Damascus, and it did not do well at all. Adamson said publicly that he was disappointed that the album did not fare better on the charts, which led to depression. Later that year, he disappeared for a while before resurfacing, stating that he had needed some time off. Adamson returned for the band’s ‘Final Fling’ farewell tour, with their last concert being in October 2000 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In November 2001, Adamson disappeared again. He was eventually found dead in a room at the Best Western Plaza Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii on December 16, 2001. The official autopsy revealed that he had hanged himself. At the time of death he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.279%.

In 2007, to celebrate 25 years of Big Country, founding members Bruce Watson, Tony Butler (now lead vocalist for the first time), and Mark Brzezicki reunited to embark on a tour of the UK with dates in Scotland and England and a gig in Cologne (Germany). They also released a new album, twenty five live, on the trackrecords label.

This past year, the band permanently reunited by touring and recording. In August, they released a single called “Another Country” with Mike Peters on lead vocals. As good as this song sounds, “In a Big Country” remains Big Country’s lone top 40 hit. So here it is:

2 thoughts on “One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1983 – Big Country”

  1. Too bad this absolutely wonderful song didn’t make the ’83 Top 100, or I would have put it in my Top Ten!

    That new song is pretty good, too. Glad to see they’re making a go of it again.


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