The Great Divide Podcast Episode 25
Big Country Info Big Country Info



THE ART OF BIG COUNTRY
PART 2


17 October 2013
1:20:00




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Starting out by mentioning our "silver anniversary", and repledging our wows to never marry each other.

Announcing the Great Divide silver anniversary competition, with details at the end of the episode.

Speakpipe from Lance Eagan with thoughts on the last episode & artwork in general.

The Seer - artwork discussion by Svein & Tom

  • The J.B.-credit, plus David DeSilva’s eagle painting
  • Trying to see the sleeve with new eyes, or at least the eyes of the teenager who initially saw it for the first time. The composition of the sleeve may at first seem strange: the eagle, the gray backdrop, the atom, the globe as part of the atom… how does it all fit together? Where does it point?
  • The eagle is obviously mentioned in Eiledon, but also the Scottish national bird
  • The choice of grey as the backdrop. Tom gets some "confederate army" vibes from it.
  • The themes of the cover seem to derive from the song Eiledon, which is not strange, it probably being the cornerstone song on the album – all of the themes on the album, and cover, are found (and merge together) in that song
  • Theory: was the album at one point going to be called Eiledon, and the cover made based on that? It would make total sense, and in any case more sense than the cover representing the title “The Seer”. Just a thought...
  • The small drawings in the artwork

Peace In Our Time – artwork discussion by Tom & Svein

  • The end of the Julian Balme-era – sadly!
  • The picture of the band inside
  • The PIOT sleeve is high on detail, which means it works less well the further away from it you are. It does not work well on a t-shirt. It's a "blob of images".
  • Ian Grant's role in coming up with the "spokesperson of culture"-angle for Stuart, AND having a "design concept" credit for the sleeve. Hmm.
  • Garden of Eden, or the nude people from Svein's interpretation of "The Teacher"?
  • Given the theme of the album, it’s interesting how the city contains elements from both east and west – it is almost a utopian city, underlining the peace, culture and brotherhood messages.
  • Using elements from famous paintings – try searching online for “Maxfield Parrish – Stars”
  • The use of swallows on the sleeve & singles - why no doves, given the album title?

No Place Like Home – artwork discussion by Svein & Tom

  • BC's answer to "Where's Waldo" - can you spot the heads of Stuart, Tony and Bruce in the tornado?
  • Speaking of the tornado, how about those wild colours and strange patterns?
  • Svein: This is a night album, tornado sweeping away all the noise, leaving behind a cottage - almost like the old Boys Own-illustrations on The Crossing. The lone house out in the moors. The sky - dark blue - gives the feeling of night. Dark colour, ominous, something is coming, especially as it’s “quiet before the storm” with a tornado approaching (or is it?)
  • Tom: almost a cartoon style, making it more happy than ominous. The font of the logo also give it an 'old west' happy feel. Never throght of it as night either - just daytime and a tornado is coming.
  • The changed logo (which was changed again later). Even though we all agree there is only one correct BC logo, this is revisionist history. Is it good or bad?

The Buffalo Skinners – artwork discussion by Tom & Svein

  • The buffalo has a deep and profound meaning to Tom. Old west.
  • Back to the classic BC logo - which has never been bigger!

Why the Long Face – artwork discussion by Svein & Tom

  • The picture with the dog combined with that title is cute.
  • The picture was licensed and not reused for subsequent pressings, which has led to a problem with substandard cover images for repressings.

Driving To Damascus – artwork discussion by Tom & Svein

  • A photo sleeve, the only one with the band on it, in varying stages of moving towards/into an old church.
  • Tom: Sense of melancholy. Svein: Makes me think of your typical C&W-cover.
  • Stuart in Fragile Thing video staying at Drake Motel, which ranks low on Tripadvisor and has reports of bedbugs
  • Tiny logo! Why hide it?
  • Sense of melancholy
  • The alternate sleeves: The digipack version & John Wayne's Dream, both of which are photos that feature the band, none of which are THAT stellar.

The Journey – artwork discussion by Svein & Tom

  • Designed by Bruce Watson Jr.
  • It's an Eclipse! NOT the Eye of Sauron, despite what one might first think! Especially the version which had more fire on it.
  • The change of the role of the album cover since the beginning.
  • Realizing that it was an eclipse heightened our appreciation of it - but interestingly, none of us realized this at first.
  • It passes the "t-shirt-test." 

The others:

  • Through a Big Country: Flames, a square photo, logo and title - Tom likes it, Svein thinks it feels thrown together - but no matter how one feels about the design, “Through A Big Country” is a great title for a compilation!
  • Without The Aid of a Safety Net: Clearly worked on, well executed. Just Stuart on the sleeves mentioned here – did the others think anything in particular about that?

The single sleeves - our favourites? Tom picks WTRIS, Svein picks Wonderland.

Wrap-up and competition details.