Big Country formed in Dunfermline, Scotland in 1981, although only one of the members was born Scottish. Initially, band members came and went, and in 1982, Big Country was out of their league when they agreed to open up for Alice Cooper. Expecting more guitars and not keyboards, the crowds were not kind, and Big Country was let go from the tour only after two shows. It is worth noting as far as Top 40 80's bands go, Big Country was a tad heavier than most. As the band picked themselves up and the members of the band had solidified, things began looking up.
Big Country's first single, "Harvest Home", was released in 1982 and made it into the Top 100 UK Singles Chart. "Fields of Fire", the bands 1983 single, made the top 10, and both songs were released on the band's first full release, The Crossing. Also from this album was the song "In a Big Country", which was a Top 40 US hit. Another UK hit from the album was "Wonderland". By this time, Big Country was big hit, and could be found on the Grammy's and guest starring on shows like Saturday Night Live.
Big Country's follow up album, Steeltown, was released in 1984. This album was a huge success in the UK, but did not fare nearly as well in the USA. You may remember the song "East of Eden" from this release. In 1984, A Big Country contributed to the "Do They Know It's Christmas?" Band Aid single. The Seer (1986), also proved to be a hit in the UK, and featured the hit song "Look Away". Peace in Our Time (1988), which was an attempt to regain lost US fans, was once again a hit in the UK.
By 1991, things were going down hill for Big Country as they tried to shake their 80's image. They had some mild success with 1993's The Buffalo Skinners, which featured the songs "Alone" and "Ships", but that was the last decent push at national success for the band. In 2001, vocalist Stuart Adamson committed suicide. Without Adamson, A Big Country continued to stay active. At the time of this writing in early 2013, they had just finished up a 2012 tour with hints of more to come. The Big Country Discography is as follows:
- 1983: The Crossing
- 1984: Wonderland (EP)
- 1984: Steeltown
- 1986: The Seer
- 1988: Peace In Our Time
- 1990: Through a Big Country: The Greatest Hits
- 1991: No Place Like Home
- 1993: Buffalo Skinners
- 1994: The Best of Big Country
- 1995: Why the Long Face
- 1995: BBC Live in Concert
- 1997: King Biscuit Flower Hour Live
- 1999: Driving to Damascus
- 2001: 20th Century Masters - The Best of Big Country
- 2002: Singles Collection Vol 1 and 2
- 2003: Singles Collection Vol 3 and 4
- 2011: Fields of Fire - The Ultimate Collection