Revenge Recommends: "The Storm" by Big Country


The release of Big Country's The Crossing in 1983 was one of those "What the Fuck?!" moments in the history of rock. Infusing traditional Scottish folk and martial music into guitar rock created a potent sound that completely stood out against the more conventional musical styles of the day.

The punters were impressed too, with the album reaching number three in the UK and staying in the charts for 80 weeks, an astounding feat for a debut album that was such a departure from the musical mainstream. The strength of the album can be gauged by the fact that this outstanding track wasn't even released as a single.

Big Country's music was very cinematic, in that it evoked dynamic imagery, something the band's chief songwriter and lead guitarist Stuart Adamson recognized in the liner notes for the 1998 compilation album Kings of Emotion "The sound made pictures. It spread out wide landscapes. Great drums were played out under turbulent skies. There was romance and reality, truth and dare."

The Storm is particularly effective in this sense, with its music and lyrics conjuring up a storm-tossed scene of desolation, bloodshed, and revenge:

I came from the hills with a tear in my eye
The winter closed in and the crows filled the sky
The houses were burning the flames gold and red
The people were running with eyes full of dread

Ah, my James, they didn't have to do this

We chased them for miles, I had tears in my eyes
through forest and moor as the clouds filled the skies
The storm broke upon us with fury and flame
Both hunters and hunted washed out in the rain

Ah, my James, they didn't have to do this

I know, I can never return
to the time of hope when I was born
Let the strength of peace run through my hand

When we walk away from the storm's shore
then I will be afraid no more
and now I'm sure of where I stand
Let the strength of peace run through this land

Nobody smiled as we took back our own
The rain beat upon us. The thunder would moan
Nobody smiled when we knew what was lost
We knew well enough only time proves the cost

Ah, my James, they didn't have to do this
Ah, my James, they didn't have to do this

Meanwhile....

I know, I can never return
to the time of hope when I was born
Let the strength of peace run through my hand

When we walk away from the storm's shore
then I will be afraid no more
and now I'm sure of where I stand
Let the strength of peace run through this land



C.B.Liddell
Revenge of Riff Raff
22nd April, 2012

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