As a memento of the 1989 year, I’d say that Big Big Sun is a worthy addition to your 80’s collection.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: Big Big Sun
ALBUM: Stop The World
SERIAL: 7 81964-2
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
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
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 have heard 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.
Other notable guests include former Steve Miller Band and Channel drummer Gary Ferguson, Marillion alumni Ian Moseley, renowned British keyboardist Richard Cottle who has appeared with Keats, Peter Frampton, the Alan Parsons Project, Alan Parsons solo, Seal, Eric Clapton plus vocalist and solo artist Frank Ryan.
Call me crazy, but the title track ‘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 AOR 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.
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 on the cards, but as a memento of the 1989 year, I’d say that Big Big Sun is a worthy addition to your 80’s collection.
Stop The World