Thursday, September 3, 2009

Big Country Chronicles: 'East of Eden'

One month prior to the release of Big Country's second full-length LP, 'Steeltown', the band hit the airwaves with its first single. The date was Sept. 21, 1984, and all indications were the album and this song would be a smash. It was... at least across the pond.

In a trend that began after the "In A Big Country" single, we fickle Americans were finished with these Scots. Big Country was already in the process of being labeled "one-hit wonders" and "cult figures". 'Steeltown' peaked at No. 70 here while it debuted at No. 1 in the UK. Every single, including this one, made it to at least No. 30 over there. MTV maniac that I was, I never once saw a 'Steeltown' video on the channel.

I love 'Steeltown' at least as much as 'The Crossing', but I have to admit I don't spin it as much as their debut. The B-sides on this 12" single were the album version of "East of Eden" and "Prairie Rose". I can't believe this stellar song didn't make the album. This Roxy Music cover from 1974 is my favorite Big Country B-side. I especially like the line "I hear your voice and it keeps me from sleeping" at the end of the song. Fans know this lyric from the 'Steeltown' song "Tall Ships Go". Up next are my two favorite singles from the Big Country catalog.

Big Country - East of Eden (extended version) (mp3)
Big Country - Prairie Rose (mp3)
Big Country - East of Eden (album version) (mp3)

See Also:
Big Country Chronicles: 'Wonderland'
Big Country Chronicles: 'Chance'
Big Country Chronicles: 'In A Big Country'
Big Country Chronicles: 'Fields of Fire'
Big Country Chronicles: 'Harvest Home'

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