First Limited Edition to 15, 000 Pieces. Features Four Unreleased Bonus Tracks.
The last BC studio album?
A. A. Wilcox | 10/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is another excellent Big Country album, though unfortunately, probably their last. As always, the layers of music that these four guys create is as good as ever and better than most everyone else. Song Listing (with a few comments):1) Driving to Damascus - Excellent song with great lyrics. References Paul's conversion in the desert, but is that all it's about? (Watch out for the keyboards in the third act. Where did they come from... and why?) 2) Dive in to Me - Great song. Amazing lyrics. "I had a chill in my heart like the start of the winter." A not-quite-ballad?(Beat reminds me vaguely of Midnight Oil's Redneck Wonderland. Hmmm....) 3) See You - Nice little song about break-ups. Sincere and subtle? I like it. 4) Perfect World - Is this the first real rock-out song? Hmmm... maybe not. Reminds me of some of BC's B-sides from the last album "Why the Long Face". Which is a good thing in my opinion. 5) Somebody Else - Another break-up song. Laced with humor and a nice touch of bitterness. Excellent. 6) Fragile Thing - The first single. Good song, though not much stands out about it. 7) The President Slipped and Fell - Another rock-out song! I like this one a lot, but where is the call to arms? This song is the beginning of the best sequence on the album. 8) Devil in the Eye - In my opinion, the really great song on the album. BC and Ray Davies really nailed this one. Read the lyrics such as "one kiss will be too much, a hundred not enough", then you'll know what the song is really about. 9) Trouble the Waters - Tragedies from the news. Very well done. Not preachy, but very very honest. 10) Bella - Very catchy song. File with "Bianca", "Charlotte", "Monday Tuesday Girl", etc 11) Your Spirit to Me - Nice song. Sound like Springsteen anyone? 12) Grace - Only BC can make a rock-out song you can bounce to about Grace. "I wouldn't want to spoil this moment by just talking."Bonus Tracks: 13) Loserville - Loserville is a great song. Too bad that this song isn't Loserville. This song is "Dust on the Road". Good song, B-side material. I like it, but it's not Loserville. (Great intro licks though!) 14) This Blood's for You - Could have been on the album proper. Is that slide guitar I hear? 15) I Get Hurt - B-side rock-out 16) John Wayne's Dream - Decent song, better lyrics. Big Country rating (vs other BC albums) 3.5 of 5; Overall Rating (vs all other albums) 4.5 of 5."
Best BC Album in Years!
Colette Swan | Malibou Lake CA | 12/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you have forgotten how good Big Country are/were, pull up a chair, put this in the CD player and turn up the volume. Driving to Damascus is full of strong material from the eponymous opening track to the haunting 'Your Spirit to Me' (Think of 'One' by U2, but better). The songwriting is undoubtedly influenced by Stuart Adamson's domicile in the USA, as it has been since the 'No Place Like Home' album, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. 'The President Slipped and Fell' is a barnstorming track and surely deserved major radio airplay and 'John Wayne's Dream' should have made the original cut for the album. This album is notable for some perfect collaborations, firstly Stuart and Ray Davies 'Somebody Else', an excellent track with too much passion about a messy break-up, not to have some bearing in truth. The second interesting duo is Stuart and Eddi Reader, who provides sympathetic harmony on 'Fragile Thing.' There are a few surprises, notably 'See You', which had me checking the CD to make sure it was really Big Country. I turned it off on first hearing, but it grows on you.'Dive Into Me' is more typical of BC anthem rock, although the live version on the 'Come Up Screaming' album puts this recording in the shade.I guess that with the departure of bass player extraordinaire, Tony Butler and Ian Grant throwing in the managerial towel, this is the end of the road for Big Country. It is fitting for a band that produced so much good album rock, they should come up with this gem as a swansong."
Powerful, beautiful, and sad
A. A. Wilcox | Rochester, NY | 05/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm rediscovering Stuart Adamson and Big Country after many years of having forgotten them. As brilliant and unique as The Crossing was, it seems that Adamson was really just getting rolling artistically when he decided life wasn't worth living. The last project he worked on, The Raphaels, yielded a fabulous debut.But the final Big Country recording, Driving to Damascus, is just stunning. It retains the best qualities BC and Adamson always possessed: fabulous playing, unique sounds and song structures, and poetic lyrics. But it's all distilled into a ferociously powerful and seemless package.The influence of Nashville on Adamson results in a couple of great songs that sound nothing like anything BC has done before ("See You" and "Fragile Thing" in particular). Two collaborations with Ray Davies work beautifully ("Somebody Else" and "The Devil in the Eye"). And the rockers should be rocking arenas everywhere (especially the stunning "Dive into Me").I find all this late work by Adamson enormously moving. In "Dive into Me" he sings, "Sometimes swirling waters drag you down/Knowing how to swim doesn't mean you never drown/Come the storm you hold in fear whoever's by your side/Sometimes you're just drifting on the tide." If that doesn't rip you up, you need therapy."
One can only hope for a reunion tour.
Charles Hopkins | Fleming Island, Fl USA | 09/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As Big Country's self proclaimed final album, "Driving to Damascus" hits home with the subtleness of a jack-hammer. With Adamson's powerful lyrics accompanied by a majestic string section, keyboards, loop drums as well as the "usual" wall of sound provided by Watson, Butler and Brzezicki. The dynamic range of Adamson's vocals can be heard on songs ranging from the symphonic chorus on the title track to the classic rock sound of "Bella" to the heart-found blues of "Fragile Thing". This album is as close to the classic Big Country sound since their 1986 release, "The Seer". With the 4 bonus tracks and a price tag of under $20, I would regard this as a must have for Big Country fans and anyone who enjoys meaningful music."
Bury me where the rose is sown
Eric E. Weinraub | Issaquah, Washington United States | 12/31/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Unfotunately, Stuart Adamson took his own life and this album is the last Big Country recording he gave it his all to. What is most evident is the influence of his new home, Nashville, on the sound. Instead of a blast of Scotland, we get a much more country feel, which is fine. Fragile Thing is one of the finest songs recorded by this band. This album is a fine swan song."