Big Country: Reissued As An Expanded Edition
16th May 2019
Title: The Crossing
Label: Music On Vinyl
The band’s debut release from 1983, this rock outing had an expansive and anthemic feel to it. Big, bold rhythms and arrangements with hooks a-plenty and a serious, even dramatic tone to the lyrics. Then there was that whopping great single hit, In A Big Country. Whoever heard it was bound to be shouting “Shaaa!” to friends and family for the duration.
This edition is a little bit different because it arrives on two slabs of vinyl. Hence, you receive the original album but you also get four bonus tracks: Angle Park, All Of Us, The Crossing and Heart & Soul. More than that, you receive an insert with song lyrics and a drawing. “But hang on,” you say, “you need an entire disc to populate four bonus tracks?” Not exactly, what MOV has done is to spread the original Big Country album over three sides with the bonus tracks on Side D.
As for mastering? Top notch and no mistake and you can partly point at the fact that the original tracks are spread over those three sides. They have more room to manoeuvre as the groove cut is not as tight. Hence, there’s a generally low noise presentation to the mastering with no obvious compression evident. This meant, certainly in my own case, that I as able to apply lots of gain and still not encounter any stridency in the upper mids while the treble retains its fragility.
I was glad to hear a mature presentation on this pressing which meant that percussion often separated itself, sounding like it was being added as a separate layer, adding a sense of depth around the stereo image while ranging to the left and right channels. It also enhanced the percussive power of the drums.
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