Lost in the ’80s: Big Country, “Look Away”
It’s amazing to even consider now, but once there were debates on who’d be the bigger band – U2 or Big Country?
It’s obvious who won that little argument, but believe it or not, there was a time around 1983 where it was a dead heat.Â Both bands had critical acclaim, hotly touted live shows, and briskly selling albums.Â But Big Country had the lead when it came to mainstream acceptance, scoring a Top 40 hit with “In A Big Country” and a platinum album with their debut, The Crossing.Â U2 were just starting to break though with War, but singles “New Years Day” and “Two Hearts Beat As One” didn’t make much of a dent on the charts.
Things had changed a bit three years down the road.Â U2 were coming off the biggest album of their career at that point, The Unforgettable Fire, and had finally crossed over to Top 40 with “Pride (In The Name Of Love).”Â Meanwhile, Big Country remained one-hit wonders, with the EP Wonderland and their second full-length, Steeltown, both flopping in the States (while doing well in the UK).Â In 1986, Big Country could use a hit.
Things looked good for their third album, The Seer.Â It had peaked at #2 in the UK, and the lead single was the band’s highest charter.Â “Look Away” (download) was also issued as the album’s first single in the States and thanks to a snazzy video, MTV embraced the band again.Â Things looked hopeful and Big Country looked poised to hit big again: