The Crossing is the first studio album released by Scottish band Big Country. The album reached #3 in the UK; overseas, it hit #4 in Canada on the RPM national Top Albums Chart and #18 in the US on the Billboard 200 in 1983. It went on to be certified platinum in the UK and Canada. It contains the song "In a Big Country" which is their only U.S. Top 40hit single. The song featured heavily engineered guitar playing, strongly reminiscent of bagpipes; Adamson and fellow guitarist Watson achieved this through the use of the MXR Pitch Transposer 129 Guitar Effect. Also contributing to the band's unique sound was their use of the e-bow, a device which allows a guitar to sound more like strings or synthesizer.
The album has been remastered and reissued on three occasions. The latest version released by Universal in 2012 in advance of the album's 30th anniversary includes a second disc of previously unissued demos. Also included in the set is a track produced by Chris Thomas from the first abortive attempt to record the band's debut album. The demos include the earliest recordings done by Adamson and Bruce Watson, some of which were recorded on four-track prior to recruiting either a drummer or bassist for the band.
The set also includes a booklet with interviews (new in the case of the current band members and archived in the case of the late Stuart Adamson) by the journalist and author Tim Barr. Lyrics for all of the key songs are also included, and the album has been remastered by Paschal Byrne from the original master tapes. In total, ten previously unreleased tracks were included in the deluxe, digitally remastered edition.
Here's a big-noise guitar band from Britain that blows the knobs off all the synth-pop diddlers and fake-funk frauds who are cluttering up the charts these days. Big Country mops up the fops with an air-raid guitar sound that's unlike anything else around, anywhere ... Like the Irish band U2 (with whom they share young, guitar-wise producer Steve Lillywhite), Big Country has no use for synthesizers, and their extraordinary twin-guitar sound should make The Crossing a must-own item for rock die-hards.