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 Recent updates to this site:

March 12, 2008: I just realized that most of the "news" over the past year has been reported on the front page. Oh, well.

May 17, 2007: Big Country is going to play live again! See the News page on the Official Big Country web site for more information. This follows recording sessions that have apparently resulted in at least a few new tracks, including "A Time So Wild" and "Make for the Wire". I haven't had a chance to finish up the 2.1.1 update to the Book of Lyrics, but when I do, it looks like I'll be able to add a few new titles (even if we don't have any new lyrics or even songs to listen to just yet). Oh, if only I could manage a plane ticket to Scotland for late July...

March 7, 2007: Good news and a bit o' bad news. First the bad news. The Discography appendix to the Book of Lyrics has become nearly totally corrupted (anybody know any secrets to fixing PageMaker files?) and I will probably have to start that part of the project over from scratch before I can make any more major updates. Now the good news. It's done! The Big Country Book of Lyrics v2.1 is finished! The new version (plus new versions of Appendix I: Discography and Appendix II: The Skids) can be downloaded from the Home page of this site. Appendix III: Interviews is very nearly done and, if all goes well, will be uploaded next week (just a few formatting issues to resolve). I'm sure that there are plenty of minor mistakes in v2.1 of the Book of Lyrics (for example, after finalizing this version, I received writing credit information on the song "Dark Western Night"). Now that the heavy lifting has been done, it will be easy to correct errors and upload a new version with those corrections. So download a copy and let me know what you think! My plan is to let people have a few weeks to review and comment on this version and then I'll make corrections and upload v2.1.1 in late March or early April. In that next version, I'd like to include a page of "fan's comments", so send some thoughts about Big Country, their music, or their lyrics, and maybe your comment will be added!

Please send me an e-mail to tell me that you've downloaded the Book of Lyrics! Also, one other brief note. I recall receiving some e-mails in late 2004 and early 2005 with suggested corrections for the Book of Lyrics. Unfortunately, all of those old e-mails have vanished and, due to the passage of time, I'm not sure if those suggestions were ever incorporated. So, if I've forgotten to give you credit, I apologize. Let me know and I'll be sure to add you to the credits section in the next update. And, if I've missed your correct, let me know! The Book of Lyrics has always been and will remain a collaborative effort, so your input is certainly appreciated. Let me know what you think; let me know if you have changes that you'd like to see.

By the way, I was looking through the old entries on this What's New page and saw my entry for November 19, 2004 in which I plead for the release of certain "missing" tracks ("Second Time Around", "Broken String Blues", "Pan American Irish Girl", and "We Could Laugh"). Well, so far we're 2 for 4. Now if we could just get "Second Time Around" and "We Could Laugh" (we don't care how bad the quality is, just let us hear 'em), we'd be set. And, on that note, I know that "Broken String Blues" is not in the current version of the Book of Lyrics. Long story. We're workin' on it. If you want to take a crack at deciphering it, let me (or John Gouveia) know.

I'm also still looking for help transcribing lyrics for the Skids' book of lyrics. I know that may be an impossible task...

Oh, one more plea. I would really love to add some photos of the band to the Book of Lyrics, but I've resisted using any that I found online out of fear of copyright problems (I couldn't resist the great picture of Big Country with The Prime Movers). So, if you have any photos that you've taken and you'd like them to find their way into a future version of the Book of Lyrics, please let me know.

I've made some minor edits to the information on the Home page to bring it up to date.

Old news

August 9, 2006: Still nothing new. Sorry. I've had so many other projects going on, that the Book of Lyrics has suffered. In the meantime, please visit John R. Gouveia's excellent online version of the Book of Lyrics.

May 4, 2006: Actually, nothing new. I still haven't had the time to devote to working on the Book of Lyrics. Having my office building (a 35-story building) hit by a tornado and closed for over a month hasn't helped. I have updated the site to change my e-mail contact information in an effort to try to reduce the amount of spam that I'm receiving.

January 27, 2006: Well, "Rarities VIII" has arrived and in the liner notes, my quote concerning the Rarities series. Unfortunately, my comments are replete with typographical errors. Oh, well. There is also good news and bad news on the Book of Lyrics front. The bad news is that real life has continued to interfere. The good news is that in mid-December I was able to free up a block of time to do some additional work on the Book of Lyrics (including updates for "Rarities VIII", Tony's album, the expanded version of "Without the Aid of a Safety Net" and more! I'm close to finishing, when I can put together a nice block of several free hours. Also, I've asked before and I'll ask again: If anybody would like to contribute to the Book of Lyrics with: (a) pictures of the band, (b) assistance transcribing the interviews found on "King Biscuit Flower Hour" and in one of the Singles box sets, or (c) assistance transcribing lyrics for the Skids Book of Lyrics (yeah, I know that might be an impossible task), then please e-mail me to discuss the project.

July 11, 2005: Real life continues to interfere with my efforts to finalize updates to the Book of Lyrics and this site. Sorry. I really hope to have something done by the end of July. By the way, if you haven't already ordered Tony's new album, do so. You will not be disappointed. Tony's songwriting skills have continued to grow and mature and his new album has several terrific tracks. The update to the Book of Lyrics will include lyrics for this new album as well as transcriptions of Tony's audio commentaries (thanks to John R. Gouveia).

May 17, 2005: Despite prior promises, I still haven't quite finished the update to the Book of Lyrics. And with the remastered versions of "Buffalo Skinners" and "Without the Aid of a Safety Net" (both with extra tracks, although no new songs) and Tony Butler's new album both expected in my mail in the next two weeks, I will probably delay a bit longer to add those new CDs as well. Sorry to disappoint. I have added a link to Tony's new website. Check it out and buy his new CD!

March 14, 2005: Work on the updated version of the Book of Lyrics is 90% done. Unfortunately, life has intruded to keep me from spending the time finishing the BoL and updating the site. I am planning to add a statistics module of some kind to keep track of the number of downloads for the next version of the BoL. I'm also going to add an automated e-mail system to notify people when this site is updated. Finally, I've corrected the link to Bruce Watson's site on the main page (it now links to his new page). Oh, while it's great to see that "Restless Natives" is finally being released on DVD, it really sucks that it is only being released in PAL format!

January 4, 2004: Work on the updated version of the Book of Lyrics is progressing. As you may have noticed, the Guestbook has been full of spam lately. I'm considering using Junkeater to handle this problem. If anyone has any experience with Junkeater, please let me know what you thought.

December 14, 2004: "Rarities VII" arrived this morning. Too bad it didn't arrive a few days ago, because I had a completely free weekend with the house to myself... Anyway, John Gouveia has already done quite a bit of the transcribing for "Rarities VII" (thanks John!) so I should be able to get the Book of Lyrics updated by the end of the year. Also, if anybody knows of any ways to keep spammers from flooding a guestbook, please let me know.

December 2, 2004: Happy Birthday to Me! If anybody wants to send me anything BC-related as a birthday present...

November 24, 2004: Just a few minor corrections and updates to the text on these pages.

November 19, 2004: Bad news. A revised track listing for "Rarities VII" has been posted on the official Big Country website, and the song "Second Time Around" (along with several other demos or alternate versions) has been removed. The song was removed because of poor sound quality. Unfortunately, this was the only "new" song on "Rarities VII". So here's my public plea:

We the fans of Big Country, who have been digging deep into our respective wallets (or piggy banks, or whatever) to scrape together the cash necessary to buy the ongoing Rarities series of b-sides, demos, lost tracks, etc., really, really, really, really, really  want some of the "missing" tracks ("Second Time Around", "Broken String Blues", "Pan American Irish Girl", and "We Could Laugh") to be released in some form, even if only in a web MP3 download and even if the quality isn't very good. We don't care! We just want to hear these songs!

Whew! And now back to our regular programming.

November 9, 2004: So I still haven't finished adding "Rarities VI" to the Book of Lyrics yet. Sorry. Life intrudes. On a more positive note, "Rarities VII" is on the way (with at least one new track and the possibility that several of the demos will be somewhat different). So I now plan (and I mean to stick to it!) to update the Book of Lyrics as soon after the release of "Rarities VII" as possible.

September 11, 2004: Breaking News! Bruce Watson's website (www.bruce-watson.co.uk) has been updated and on his Links page (www.bruce-watson.net/links.php), this is the very first site listed under "Fan websites" (scroll down a bit to fine this section). Thanks Bruce!

September 7, 2004: OK. So I haven't updated the Book of Lyrics with "Rarities VI" yet. Sorry. As I mentioned back in May, the lack of real "new" material, got me a bit down. Anyway, now that "Rarities VII" and "Rarities VIII" are on the way (both to be released before the end of the year?), supposedly containing some of the "missing" tracks ("Broken String Blues" and "Pan American Irish Girl" and "We Could Laugh" have been mentioned), I've decided to wait a bit longer before working on the next revision. Look at it this way: I'm saving you a lot of toner because you won't have to print a version of the Book of Lyrics for just one new instrumental!

May 10, 2004: "Rarities VI" arrived a few days ago. Unfortunately, there is only one new song (and it's an instrumental). Moreover, almost all of the other tracks are demos that don't differ too much from the final released versions. I'll try to get a new version of the Book of Lyrics updated in the next week or so.

April 9, 2004: "Rarities VI" is now available for order on the official Big Country website. No "new" tracks are listed on the track listing; however, if history is any indicator, some of the alternate versions may be substantially different from current versions. I hope to have the next update to the Book of Lyrics available shortly after the release of "Rarities VI". In addition, I hope to get back to work on trying to expand the lyrics in The Skids Book of Lyrics; however, I could really use help on this part of the project. So if anybody out there actually understands Richard Jobson, please let me know! Finally, I realized that the Interviews appendix will take more work that I'd initially realized because the interviews available on CD are somewhat different from the transcriptions previously available on the old Steeltown website. Once again, if anybody wants to help with this part of the project let me know.

January 26, 2004: Finally an update! Today, I've posted the new version of the Big Country Book of Lyrics (v2.01, complete through Rarities V), Appendix I: Discography (v1.00), and Appendix II: The Skids (v1.00).

June 4, 2003: Added Guestbook. Also, I just received my copy of Tony Butler's "Acoustica" and it has been in my car's CD player ever since. A couple of the songs (all but one previously released) are much more raw and emotional in their new acoustic forms.

May 21, 2003: Added "What's New" Page; minor updates.

May 19, 2003: Typos corrected (let me know if I missed any...).

May 17, 2003: Site launched.

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This site was last updated 03/12/08