Big Country are a Scottish rock band formed in Dunfermline, Fife, in 1981.
The height of the band’s popularity was in the early to mid 1980s, although it retained a cult following for many years after. The band’s music was most recognisable for the sounds it infused with Scottish folk and martial music styles, as well as for playing and engineering their guitar driven sound to evoke the inspirational spirit of bagpipes, fiddles and other traditional folk instruments.
The first Big Country lineup comprised Stuart Adamson (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Bruce Watson (guitar, mandolin, sitar, vocals), Peter Wishart (keyboards), Alan Wishart (bass), Clive Parker (drums).
When it came to record the debut single, “Harvest Home”, Alan Wishart and Clive Parker had been replaced by Tony Butler (bass, vocals) and Mark Brzezicki (drums, percussion, vocals), respectively, and Peter had also been dismissed. The song did not chart but the follow up, “Fields of Fire (400 Miles)” went top 10.
Stuart Adamson (April 11, 1958 – December 16, 2001) was a Scottish guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. He was the co-founder, lead vocalist, and guitarist of rock group Big Country, which rose to prominence in 1983. Prior to that he founded Scottish art-punk band Skids. He was once described by DJ John Peel as “the new Jimi Hendrix“.
After splitting from his first wife in 1996, Adamson moved to Nashville, where he married his second wife. He founded his final band, The Raphaels, in 2001. Later that year after being estranged from his wife for several weeks, she reported him missing. A recovering alcoholic who had been sober for 10 years, he had resumed drinking and was facing a drink-driving charge. He was found in a hotel room in Honolulu, hanged with electrical cord inside a wardrobe.
Bruce Watson (born March 11, 1961) is a Canadian-born Scottish guitarist, best known for being a Big Country member. He moved with his family to Scotland as a toddler.
Prior to joining Big Country, Watson had been a member of several Fife-based New Wave bands including the Delinquents and Eurosect.
Tony Butler (born February 13, 1957) is an English musician and rock bassist, best known for his work with the Scottish rock band Big Country. He has also worked with On the Air, The Pretenders, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, among others.
Mark Brzezicki (born June 21, 1957) is a rock drummer, who is primarily known for his work with Big Country, and was a member of the groups The Cult, Ultravox, From The Jam and Procol Harum. He has also played with Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Midge Ure, Fish, The Pretenders, Nik Kershaw and many others. He was also the drummer on Shine, the second and final English language album by Frida of ABBA. He uses both the traditional and matched grips.
Selected 20th Century Discography
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