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Big Sky - Horizon

Released in late 1995 by Polygram, catalogue number BPCD 1. Mixed by Rob Jacobs and Shelly Yakus. Produced by Steve Louw and Shelly Yakus.
Big Sky - Horizon
Big Sky - Horizon


  1. One Cut With a Knife [4.23]
  2. Step On [3.12]
  3. Bye Bye Johnny [4.27]
  4. The River Flowing [2.41]
  5. Strange Room [3.32]
  6. Run To Me [4.49]
  7. Kathleen [2.56]
  8. Hells Gates [4.12]
  9. San Diego Serenade [3.57]
  10. City Of Love [3.24]
  11. Blue Eyes [2.53]

All songs written by Steve Louw except 'San Diego Serenade' by Tom Waits.


  • Steve Louw: vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Scott Crago: drums, percussion
  • Mark Harris: bass
  • Benmont Tench: Hammond organ, piano
  • Tommy Girvin: electric & acoustic guitars, backing vocals
  • Mona Lisa & Terry Young: backing vocals on 'One Cut With A Knife'
  • Kip Lennon & Mark Lennon: backing vocals on 'Bye Bye Johnny' & 'Kathleen'


BIG SKY - with his second album "Horizon", Steve Louw managed to clinch the "Best Rock Act" of 1996 award at the FNB Music Awards. The album is still cruising the airwaves with songs like "Kathleen" and "Strange Room".


Hit the open road to this sound
BIG SKY: Horizon.

A follow-up to 1990's Waiting For The Dawn, Horizon is the lovechild of Clifton singer-songwriter Steve Louw, formerly of 80's rockers All Night Radio. To achieve the quality necessary for his idea, Louw took his songs to Los Angeles, where producer Shelly Yakus helped polish the product. Yakus has worked with U2, Dire Straits and Tom Petty, which suits the Big Sky three-chord rock 'n roll sound just fine. One Cut With A Knife deals with the loss of self-respect which abused women experience in relationships they struggle to escape from. Penned with sensitivity and sung with feeling, the song delves deeper into human relationships than your average pop hit, showing the terrible truth of someone in a position to say: "I hate myself for loving you." This isn't to say Horizon is heavy and maudlin: the album swings, grooves and gets you to shake that funky thang the way solid rock should. Big Sky's songs capture the unique imagery of South African life and retell it in a rock 'n roll, jeans, leather and cowboy boots, six-string on my back, motorbikes and strong whisky kind of way. Buy this before your next long trip - or maybe buy it just because you're stuck in an office and can't take one.

IN THE GROOVE by Evan Milton

Calling Steve Louw, who is Big Sky, "the local Bryan Adams" might annoy him, but it's a tag I tend to agree with. The album is slick, epic, made-for-big-screen stuff, and sure doesn't sound like it's from here at all. In fact, it was recorded in the USA with the best backing musos he could afford, but it's not all indulgent. Steve's as passionate about what he does as the next guy. He tackles Tom Waits' San Diego Serenade, which is a little ambitious, but by far the best is Strange Room - a "S'Effrican in New York" thing with a reference to Sting, singing about Russians and trees, and all he's got is a one-way ticket and a case of anti-freeze. Truly terrific. Steve Louw was with Cape Town rockers All Night Radio before commuting overseas to make albums with serious session men. It beats the hell out of disappearing without a trace.

BIG SKY Horizon by Michael Cross

Once upon a time there was All Night Radio, led by the sometimes abrasive and generally in your rock 'n roll face Steve Louw. They played raunchy and punchy rock songs at a time when everybody else was going ethnic, and they gave the impression that no stage or territory was big enough for them. It was a rather premature attitude, and after a couple of years of hard gigging and a reasonable amount of chart success, they went the way of so many other bands in this country. All was quiet on the All Night Radio front, and many thought that was it. Then, with little fanfare and fuss, Big Sky appeared; a mature version of the same thing, a great album which was all over your radio in 1990, an album that went on to sell thousands. Louw was back, less abrasive, more thought provoking, and producing a music that stood on it's own, both here and abroad. Horizon is the second release by this band, and what a good one it is; the intervening period has been put to good use, and this selection of finely crafted and produced songs is evidence of that.

Produced in L.A. by Steve Louw and Shelly Yakus - he of U2 fame - Horizon stretches this band's horizon's considerably. It's an unashamed rock album, paying lip service to a variety of influences; you'll find yourself thinking oh, that's familiar, but without being able to put your finger on it. The reason for this is clear; it's a work that fits firmly into its genre whilst maintaining it's own originality and individuality. With the exception of San Diego Serenade, a Tom Waits track, the songs are all written by Louw, and what an exceptional songwriter he has become. Look to find 'One Cut With A Knife' on the radio almost every time you switch it on; it's just the right combination of hook and rock, a humming and bopping thing. There's something for everybody here; Mr Louw has clearly mellowed somewhat, and there's a bit of country, a bit of blues and some fine ballads. The cover and the name are apt; it is an album that is full of space and wide horizons, and the cover picture is emblematic of all that, a guitarist leaps into the sky, and hopefully takes you along with him. Buy it.

TOP 40 (July 1995) BIG SKY - HORIZON - TEAL