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December 31, 1985|ROBERT HILBURN. | Compiled by Terry Atkinson

"The Lexicon of Love." ABC. Mercury. "The Crossing." Big Country. Mercury. There's such an emphasis in rock on today's product that outstanding debut LPs frequently get forgotten if the artists' follow-ups are severe disappointments--as with these two British bands. But both groups deal in bright, majestic sounds that are ideal for CDs and these early '80s debut efforts hold up splendidly. ABC's marvelously dance-oriented songs are mostly reminders that love carries no guarantees, while Big Country's guitar-boosted tunes exhibit an inspiring social idealism and faith. Both 1/2

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