Click here for home page

Click here

Contact Us | Customer Information | Privacy Policy | Audio Help

Main Menu
Submit a review
Album Reviews
Book Reviews
DVD Reviews
Sign up for newsletter
Gig reviews
Get Your EMail Address
Submit your website
SAXON Reissues EMI (2009)


EMI's catalogue campaign for Saxon continues with aplomb, and good timing too following the media attention the band have had of late with the excellent new album and successful tours.

The set here kicks off with Saxon's fourth studio album, 1981's Denim & Leather, and it was probably their strongest album to date. While Wheels Of Steel had a couple of hit singles, this set had that and more. Kicking off with 'Princess Of The Night', you get tight riffs and driving bass lines from the outset. Biff Byford's vocals have power, range and clarity, a rare combination among NWoBHM singers. Most here will remember 'Never Surrender' too, as memorable as metal gets. And as usual the lyrics explore well researched reality ('Fire In The Sky') to personal experience ('And The Bands Played On' about their first Donnington appearance, 'Midnight Rider' about life on the road), and then there's the NWoBHM anthem in the title track, a track still played live now. This is the album that introduced me to Saxon and it's still a favourite. The aforementioned 'Midnight Rider' mixes a minor key riff and a solid guitar solo that doesn't become an intangible shred mess. Nine bonus tracks mix b-sides and live tracks. *****

1983's Power And The Glory a little more of a mixed bag. It's perhaps unfair to call it a weak album, but it is one of the least memorable in the band's catalogue. By 1983 any band with the NWoBHM moniker, almost without exception, was either dying out or reinventing themselves. While Leppard and Maiden came out rejuvenated, Saxon sounded in a quandary. The title track and 'Nightmare' were both singles, there are a few highlights, including 'The Eagle Has Landed' which explores the first manned moon landing. Nine bonus tracks include a b-side and previously unreleased demos (three of which never made the final album). ***

1984's Crusader was not only a return to form but a step or three along, hence receiving mixed reviews at the time. The power, sound and performance were all polished, and it soon became one of the band's biggest sellers. The intro and title track are just sublime, all fitting the image you now associate with the band. It also highlights the glory of battle and murder in the name of Christianity of nearly 1000 years ago. 'A Little Bit Of What You Fancy' sees the band return to rock'n'roll, and there's a touch of Maiden in the intelligent metal of 'Sailing To America'. Even the cover of The Sweet's 'Set Me Free' sounds good. 1984 was a good time for British Metal, and this was no exception. Bolstered with 9 bonus demos, again some not making the final album. ****

Review by Joe Geesin

Album review (Into The Labyrinth)

Album review (Reissues 1)

Print this page in printer friendly format

Print this page in printer-friendly format

Tell a friend about this page

Tell a friend about this page

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

get ready to rock is a division of hotdigitsnewmedia group

Featured Artists
Artist Archive
Featured Labels
Label Archive
Do you want to appear here?