Big Country

Big Country is a Scottish rock band formed in Dunfermline, Fife, in 1981.

The height of the band’s popularity was in the early to mid 1980s, although it has retained a cult following for many years since. The band’s music incorporated Scottish folk and martial music styles, and the band engineered their guitar-driven sound to evoke the sound of bagpipes, fiddles and other traditional folk instruments.

“In a Big Country” is a song by Scottish rock band Big Country. It was released in May 1983 as the third single from their debut studio album The Crossing. The song reached No. 17 on the UK Singles Chart in June 1983. It was released in the US in the fall of 1983 and peaked at No. 3 on the Top Rock Tracks chart and No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December of that year. It reached No. 3 on the RPM Top Singles Chart in Canada on 26 November 1983.

The music video for the song received heavy airplay on MTV. It 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.


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