For all the bagpipe-imitating, Celtic-fuelled power chords of the hits that introduced them 30 years ago, Big Country were a more fully rounded and adventurous band than most casual listeners might remember. Stuart Adamson’s apprenticeship in The Skids brought a punkish vitality to their rousing, sky-punching arena rock, which arguably made a greater impact on the stage.
Live performances comprise the bulk of the 48 tracks across these three CDs, 30 of which are previously unreleased, showcasing a fiery combo who forged a powerful bond with their devoted following. The additional DVD is the very definition of generous, comprising 39 clips from the likes of Top Of The Pops, Old Grey Whistle Test and Oxford Road Show.
Though still touring today, with Mike Peters behind the central mic since Adamson’s suicide in 2001, this bumper package exclusively covers the Adamson years. What’s evident from the DVD is how committed and emotionally connected Stuart was to his music, proud to be at the helm of a group who, on their best days, were nothing less than a force of nature.