Runrig - The Big Wheel

Tuesday 1st October 1991
Runrig - The Big Wheel
Runrig - The Big Wheel

STYLE: Rock
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 25436-CAS483
LABEL: Chrysalis 1858
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 1

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

As Callum Macdonald, the lyricist of Scotland's finest, observed the secret of album success is to change sufficiently to stop deja vu creeping into the listener's mind, but not change so radically that you risk losing the fan base you've sweated so hard to build up. And when the fan base is in the tens of thousands of loyally devoted Runriggers that increases the problem. The fact that the band so artfully ring the changes here while staying firm to their particular 'sound' - that dazzling fusion of Celtic roots and anthemic 'stadium' rock - says much for the intuitive creativity of the greatest band in Scotland. 'The Big Wheel' thoroughly deserves its gold disc. For those looking for the classic sound of The Cutter And The Clan' there's the opener "Headlights" with all that thunderous drum sound with Donny's poignantly echoing across shimmering walls of sound of synth and guitars while "Abhainn An t-Slaigh (The Crowded River)" is sufficiently folk roots to echo the plaintive glories of 'Heartland'. But there are changes afoot too. "Hearthammer" is a crisper, pop rock song destined for strong radio play (it's the title track of their new EP) while "Flower Of The West" is an unexpected piano led ballad. Donnie's voice is as achingly expressive as ever whether singing in Gallic or English. Searchers for spiritual imagery will find plenty. Try 'Heart In Your Heart": "For the universe and the stars are around you now/But the healer in your heart is only a breath away/For there's silence and there's blindness in a raging world/But the healer in your heart is only a moment away." Quite beautiful.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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