In a Big Country

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"In a Big Country"
Single by Big Country
from the album The Crossing
Released May 1983
Recorded 1982-1983
Genre
Length 4:44 (Album version)
3:56 (Single edit)
Label Mercury
Writer(s) Stuart Adamson, Mark Brzezicki, Tony Butler, Bruce Watson
Producer(s) Steve Lillywhite
Big Country singles chronology
"Fields of Fire"
(1983)
"In a Big Country"
(1983)
"Chance"
(1983)

"In a Big Country" is a song by rock band Big Country from their 1983 debut studio album The Crossing released in early summer 1983. The single reached its highest overall national position in Canada, hitting No. 3 on the RPM Top Singles Chart on November 26, 1983.[1] The song reached No. 17 on the UK Singles Chart in June 1983.[2] The song was released in the US in the fall of 1983 and peaked at No. 3 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks and No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December of that year.

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song follows the four band members as they track down an unspecified treasure, while constantly being pursued and bested by a woman who appears to be a rival treasure-hunter.

The first half of the video follows the band as they ride through lush green fields on sports three-wheelers and a motorbike while the woman watches them through binoculars. The group soon locates a black box emblazoned with the band's logo and a map. What is inside the box is never shown. The opening scenes are filmed at the then-derelict Corfe Castle railway station including the 'down' platform shelter and show the ruins of Corfe Castle in the background. The station is now part of the restored Swanage Railway.

The woman lures them to her by starting a fire in a barn, the smoke drawing the band members' attention. She (unintentionally and comically) defeats all four with a single punch. They then consult their map and head off again.

The second half of the video takes place at sea in Swanage Bay. The band head towards Swanage Pier where they don wet suits and scuba gear and set out on a motorized inflatable raft. The woman, who has followed them, overtakes them on a jet ski. The band reach their destination at sea, but have apparently no luck in locating the treasure after attempting some underwater diving (however, since nobody in the band was actually scuba certified, this meant having to stay on the surface).

The video concludes with the woman trapped on a small island surrounded by a cliff with a rescue fire burning. The band appears overhead and lead singer Stuart Adamson tosses a rope down the cliff edge. He and drummer Mark descend. Stuart and the woman embrace (perhaps revealing they knew each other and had an ongoing relationship/rivalry) while Mark discovers the black box floating amongst the seaweed in the inlet.

Interspersed throughout the video, in between the action, the band is shown in flannel shirts and blazers performing the song onstage. The video ends on this note, with Stuart dancing and the rest of the band playing. The video itself appears to have little to do with the actual lyrics and meaning of the song.

Legacy[edit]

The band is often described as a one-hit wonder for the popularity of "In a Big Country" in the United States, though they continued to have success in Europe and were a prolific touring band famous for their live shows more than their studio albums. Frontman Stuart Adamson once remarked about the song in an interview, part of which was shown on a VH1 special celebrating "one-hit-wonders" that, "If we're known for nothing more than just that one song, I'd be pretty happy with that."[citation needed]

Chart positions[edit]

Charts (1983-1984) Peak
position
Canadian RPM Top Singles 3
New Zealand Singles Chart 34[3]
UK Singles Chart[2] 17
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 17[4]
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 3

American Authors version[edit]

"In a Big Country / You Make My Dreams Come True"
Single by American Authors and The Mowgli's
Released April 19, 2014
Recorded 2014
Genre Pop rock, dance-rock
Label Island Def Jam
American Authors chronology
"Luck"
(2013)
"In a Big Country"
(2014)
TBA
The Mowgli's chronology
"Love's Not Dead"
(2013)
"You Make My Dreams Come True"
(2014)
TBA

"In a Big Country" was covered by American alternative rock band American Authors. The song was recorded by the band for the 2014 single "In a Big Country / You Make My Dreams Come True", with American alternative rock band The Mowgli's. The single was released by Island Def Jam on Vinyl on April 19, 2014 as a Record Store Day release. The track appeared as the A-side of the single. It was charted on Billboard in 2014-2015.

Track listing[edit]

7"
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "In a Big Country" (performed by American Authors) Stuart Adamson, Mark Brzezicki, Tony Butler, Bruce Watson    
2. "You Make My Dreams Come True" (performed by The Mowgli's) Sara Allen, Daryl Hall, John Oates    

Personnel[edit]

American Authors
  • Zac Barnett – lead vocals, guitar
  • James Adam Shelley – lead guitar, banjo
  • Dave Rublin – bass
  • Matt Sanchez – drums

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
United States[5] 19 April 2014 7" vinyl The Island Def Jam Music Group

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 56–7. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ Steffen Hung. "Big Country - In A Big Country". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  4. ^ "The Hot 100 : Oct 29, 1983 | Billboard Chart Archive". Billboard.com. 1983-10-29. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  5. ^ Billboard staff. "Record Store Day Unveils 2014 Releases: David Bowie, Jay Z, Coldplay, Haim + More". Billboard. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 

External links[edit]