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Big Big Sun - 1989 Stop The World



ARTIST: Big Big Sun
ALBUM: Stop The World
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 7 81964-2
YEAR: 1989

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: John Joliffe - vocals, keyboards * Robin Boult - guitars, vocals

Additional Musicians: David Levy - bass * Gary Ferguson - drums * Richard Cottle - keyboards, sax * Ian Mosley - percussion * Melanie Reypert, Frank Ryan - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sportsday * 02 Stop The World * 03 Lilacs * 04 Hymn * 05 Human Zoo * 06 Revenge * 07 Julian's Coping * 08 Piece Of Silver * 09 She Come * 10 Rain * 11 The Game Goes On


Background
According to what you read on the internet, British band Big Big Sun sold 50,000 copies of 'Stop The World' but were treated poorly by Atlantic Records. I would love to hear that story but in hindsight the market was glutted with hi-tech pop/AOR releases and as such the band probably did better than most. A background check reveals vocalist John Joliffe released a couple obscure singles for Don Arden's Jet Records in 1978 while guitarist Robin Boult was childhood friends with Marillion's Pete Trewavas, subbing for the bassist on a rare one-off and broadening the relationship with drummer Ian Mosley guesting on 'Stop The World' and later recording and touring with Fish.


The Songs
Call me crazy, 'Stop The World' is startlingly derivative of The Police and Yes circa 'Big Generator' and yet I find the record for the most part, very enjoyable. Yeah, I have to pinch myself as a reminder to whom I'm listening to but Joliffe's Sting impersonation is tolerable mainly due to the quality of material which runs the gamut of energetic, above average hi-tech with angular percussion, big choruses and pumping synths. A shaky start on opener 'Sportsday' and the Simple Minds influenced 'yah-oh' chorus of the title track, but from here on consistency reigns supreme with the soaring arena-rock of 'Hymn', a brilliant take on the Toto sound with 'She Come' and the beautifully sculpted ballad 'Rain' all harkening back to a time when melody mattered and the art of songwriting wasn't lost in an i-Pod or 'American Idol' karaoke.


In Summary
Pressed on both vinyl and CD, the latter is probably more difficult to find. Robin Boult went on to work extensively with Howard Jones and in recent years Joliffe has dabbled in of all things - children's music. Odds are a Big Big Sun reunion is not in the cards.


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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on July 17 2011 13:04:39
Good lineup of session musicians here. Gary Ferguson (ex Channel), Richard Cottle (John Parr, Alan Parsons), and Frank Ryan, solo artist.
#2 | super80boy on May 17 2014 15:26:37
Right out of the gate you hear a dead ringer voice to Sting. I read that this album was only released in the USA due to contractual issues. Bolstered by a seasoned set of session musicians, there is much to like here if you enjoy polished, smoothly executed AOR with high tech elements. Touchstones would be Hall and Oates, Mike and the Mechanics, Level 42 and The Stabilizers.
 
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