This article is about the 1984 album by Big Country. For the city nicknamed "Steeltown", see Hamilton, Ontario. For other uses, see Steel Town.
Not to be confused with Steel City, Steelville, or Steelton.
Studio album by Big Country
Released October 19, 1984
Recorded Polar Studios, Stockholm, Sweden and RAK Studios, London, England
Genre Alternative rock, new wave, Celtic rock
Length 47:54
Label Mercury
Producer Steve Lillywhite
Big Country chronology
The Crossing
The Seer
Professional ratings
Review scores
Martin C. Strong(7/10)[2]
Rolling Stone[3]

Steeltown is the second studio album by Scottish band Big Country. The album was recorded at ABBA's Polar Studios in Stockholm with Steve Lillywhite producing. It was released on 19 October 1984, in the UK and 29 October 1984, in the United States.[4] It was released on CD only in Germany, as well as remastered and reissued there.

Steeltown is the band's only UK number 1 album, topping the chart for 1 week in October 1984. The title track Steeltown was written about the town of Corby, telling how many Scots went to work at the Stewarts & Lloyds steelworks when it opened in 1935, at the height of the Great Depression, but later found themselves unemployed when the steelworks declined in the early 1980s. (Source: Melody Maker, 1984)

The 1996 reissue contains all of the B-sides from the album's single releases as well as the extended version of "Wonderland"

"East of Eden" was the only Top 20 single from the album, reaching #17 in the UK chart.


Critic Fred Schruers of Rolling Stone gave the album a glowing review, writing:

Clanging and crackling with energy, this second album from Big Country rings natural evolutionary changes on the band's stirring twin-guitar sound even as it frames still better news: bandleader Stuart Adamson has rapidly matured into a songwriter capable of bringing meticulous craft to his obvious passion.[3]

Track listing

All songs written by Stuart Adamson, Mark Brzezicki, Tony Butler, and Bruce Watson except where indicated.

  1. "Flame of the West" – 5:01
  2. "East of Eden" – 4:29
  3. "Steeltown" – 4:39
  4. "Where the Rose Is Sown" – 4:58
  5. "Come Back to Me" – 4:35
  6. "Tall Ships Go" – 4:38
  7. "Girl with Grey Eyes" – 4:47
  8. "Rain Dance" – 4:19
  9. "The Great Divide" – 4:50
  10. "Just a Shadow" – 5:38
  11. "Bass Dance" - 1:39 (Tony Butler) (Re-Issue Bonus)
  12. "Belief In The Small Man" - 5:17 (Re-Issue Bonus)
  13. "Prairie Rose" - 4:46 (Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera) (Re-Issue Bonus)
  14. "Wonderland (Extended)" - 7:07 (Re-Issue Bonus)
  15. "Winter Sky" - 3:16 (Re-Issue Bonus)


Chart performance


Chart (1984) Peak
Canadian Albums Chart[5] 53
Dutch Albums Chart[6] 33
German Albums Chart[7] 53
New Zealand Albums Chart[8] 15
Norwegian Albums Chart[9] 12
Swedish Albums Chart[10] 28
UK Albums Chart[11] 1
U.S. Billboard 200[12] 70


Organization Level Date
BPI – UK Gold October 17, 1984


  1. Ruhlmann, William. "Big Country: Steeltown" at AllMusic. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
  2. The Essential Rock Discography - Volume 1: 87. 2006. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. 1 2 Schruers, Fred (17 January 1985). "Big Country: Steeltown". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media (RS 439). ISSN 0035-791X. Archived from the original on 13 June 2008.
  4. "October Hot Album Releases". Billboard (Vol. 96 No. 40). 6 October 1984. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  5. "RPM 100 Albums". RPM. archived at Library and Archives Canada (Volume 41, No. 15). 15 December 1984. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  6. "Big Country - Steeltown" (in Dutch). Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  7. "Big Country, Steeltown" (in German). Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  8. "Big Country - Steeltown". Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  9. "Big Country - Steeltown". Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  10. "Big Country - Steeltown". Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  12. Big Country. "Big Country - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
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