And what better way to start than to continue with the herculean task of listening to every single CD in my collection. Thanks to my years living in the the Bordersverse — which meant more free demos and discounted tunes than you can even imagine — as well as my deep love for used CDs stores, I'm faced with the prospect of listening to more than 2,000 discs. (Most of which were...believe it or not...free or insanely cheap.)
Needless to say, I'm not even close to the end of this job.
Today's MP3 downloads are from Big Country. I blame speakr2customrs for putting a reference to this very CD in a fanfic for the happy bounce I experienced when I threw it on the CD player.
Big Country, The Crossing Rating=$$$
[Support the Artist]
How I Got This CD: The first used CD I bought in college, even though it was already a few years old by then
I have an confession to make. I love bagpipes. Love. Them.
This is why I love the Dropkick Murphys. This is why I love The Pogues. This is why I love Big Country.
For some reason, though, Big Country tends to be the red-headed step-child of my bagpipe love. I have invested in the Dropkicks, less well in The Pogues. I seem to have forgotten Big Country, although this CD reminds me why I shouldn't have.
Yes, yes. I know. Big Country's bagpipes aren't real bagpipes. They're E-Bow bagpipes. And yes, I know the E-Bow-produced sound is not an exact match for the real thing — compare Big Country's "bagpipes" with the real bagpipes used by Dropkick Murphys and the fakery becomes pretty obvious — but it's close enough to make me happy. I'm very sure that somewhere out there someone is ready to whack me with a claymore for admitting that.
The Crossing, the only Big Country CD I own, was the band's first CD and biggest hit in the U.S. Note that neither 'Fields of Fire' or 'In a Big Country' — both of which were hit singles in the U.S. — are included in today's sample downloads. Why? Because they're actually not a great representation for the overall feel of this CD. Instead, I went for four tunes — I couldn't whittle it down to three because it's such a solid CD — that better reflected the CD's character.
Yeah, I know. The review is gushing and the rating is low. Again, this comes down to economics. The Crossing is 22 years-old (Wait! How old?!?!?!) and can be found in just about any used CD and record store for $7 to $10. Good it may be, but why pay full price when you don't have to?
Sample Song Downloads: Chance, A Thousand Stars, The Storm, Close Action
You can download all files from the project page by clicking here.
To find previous thumbnail reviews, go to the Review Index.
After the donwload links expire, you can listen to streaming MP3 files linked with reviews at my Vox shadow blog for media.
None = Avoid at all cost. Worth cutting your ears off to avoid if someone threatens to play it for you. When faced with even the threat of its cellophane-wrapped presence, your best option is to RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!
$= If you stumble across it for cheap in a used bin, it might, maybe, perhaps could be worth the buy, but only if you need a cheap coaster for your cold drinks or a cool-looking frisbee.
$$= You might want to give this CD/artist a try, but only if the sample track tickles your fancy. Don't bother buying this one new because the good tunes you'd get out of this one ain't worth that kind of money.
$$$ = Worth looking for on a casual basis and maybe even buying new, but no big rush.
$$$$ = Definitely worth having in the ol' CD collection and definitely worth buying new, but don't re-arrange your personal "must have" list to get your hands on it.
$$$$$ = Why haven't you bought this CD yet? Go. This is a "Want. Take. Have." situation because you so want this.