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Lari
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James B.
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PostSubject: Saxon   Saxon Icon_minitimeThu Jul 07, 2022 7:11 pm

Album #1 in their catalouge...
Saxon Saxondebut

Recorded- January–March 1979
Released- May 21, 1979
Studio- Livingston Recording Studios, Barnet, London, UK
Producer- John Verity

Side 1
"Rainbow Theme"
"Frozen Rainbow"
"Big Teaser"
"Judgement Day"
Side 2
"Stallions of the Highway"
"Backs to the Wall"
"Still Fit to Boogie"
"Militia Guard"

2009 Remaster Bonus Tracks
"Big Teaser" (Son of a Bitch demo, 1978)
"Stallions of the Highway" (Son of a Bitch demo, 1978)
"Backs to the Wall" (Son of a Bitch demo, 1978)
"Rainbow Theme" (Son of a Bitch demo, 1978)
"Frozen Rainbow" (Son of a Bitch demo, 1978)
"Backs to the Wall" (BBC session)
"Stallions of the Highway" (BBC session)
"Motorcycle Man" (BBC session)
"Still Fit to Boogie" (BBC session)
"747 (Strangers in the Night)" (BBC session)
"Judgement Day" (live, b-side "Suzie Hold On")
"Still Fit to Boogie" (live)
"Backs to the Wall" (live)
"Stallions of the Highway" (live)

Biff Byford – vocals
Graham Oliver – guitar
Paul Quinn – guitar
Steve Dawson – bass guitar
Pete Gill – drums

(IMHDO) This is a decent debut. Not as solid as other Britiish Metal Bands of the time.   If memory serves me correctly, I never got this untill after seeing Saxon w/ Maiden & Fastway in summer 0f 83.  The 2009 reissue "looks" interesting for the SoB demos. Thinks I got the BBC & Donnington stuff on a burnt CD from Uncle John?   Haven't listened to this much as of late, always have dug on "Stallions Of The Highway", and overall thought they hadn't found their niche yet. The guitar players were still figuring out thier individual strengths.  

Here is the poll done back in the Fall of 2014 for this album.  Should have left it open, but I didn't.
https://heartofmetal.niceboard.com/t21880-favorite-song-on-saxon-s-debut-album?highlight=saxon

On a scale of 1 to 5 Stars, I give this a 3.

_________________
Saxon Th?id=OIP.Mf8_L3e01kyREFChW4XK_gEsDG&w=299&h=198&c=7&qlt=90&o=4&dpr=1.25&pid=1
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Lari
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PostSubject: Re: Saxon   Saxon Icon_minitimeFri Jul 08, 2022 8:01 pm

I'm in! Just give me a moment. I'm a Saxon nut and have all their albums on CD. I have opinions and personal experiences with all their albums
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Fat Freddy
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PostSubject: Re: Saxon   Saxon Icon_minitimeSat Jul 09, 2022 5:14 pm

I haven't listened to this one in a loooong time, will have to dust it off and then come back with some impressions.

Gotta love a song called "Still Fit To Boogie," tho. Laughing very hard

_________________
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Lari
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PostSubject: Re: Saxon   Saxon Icon_minitimeSat Jul 09, 2022 7:20 pm

That album cover is brilliant. A broadsword, dripping with blood, and it's 1979, heavy metal is just about to come back in a big way. I put this thing on and I expect something violent and aggressive and, well, bloody. It is not that. It's more heavy biker rock than raw flesh-ripping metal.

This was one of the last Saxon albums I got on CD. I got the reissue from not too long ago, and I had to ask my friend to pick it up from the shop in Helsinki centrum. I wasn't sure how many copies they'd have. It has a bunch of sweet bonus tracks and all that. I already had everything else by the band by then. I just wasn't into this album.

But once I got it on CD, I finally sat down and really gave it a proper listen. It's a good album. Frozen Rainbow is amazing. A lot of tracks are real good. As a whole it's a decent listen. And there's 14 (fourteen!) bonus tracks on the re-release.

I now have a lot of early Saxon tracks, because before I got the debut on CD, I already had a (bootleg) CD with a ton of early non-album recordings that I got like 20 years ago when I was in Germany.

This one:

Saxon Mi0zMTc1LmpwZWc

Beast of Rock. Still Fit to Boogie is on that one! Or at least a version of it.

It's a great compilation of Saxon stuff, and I felt like I didn't need the debut album that much anyway. But once I did get it, I now like it. The band is clearly very experienced already at this point. They have a good sound and they play well and these are all live stables of the time. And it is heavy metal, but it is still not very edgy. I think the band got their first taste of recording in the studio with a producer here, and then they went out and put down a lot meatier songs for the next album. That's where the real success story of Saxon truly begins.

I'm being a tight-ass here, but I rate this maybe a 2.5/5.0 and I fully understand people who love it more, but there is definitely room to improve.

EDIT: I played it again after sauna and I'm going to edit my rating from 2.0 -> 2.5. Not that it matters. But it's enjoyable and the band has released worse albums, so let's leave a little room there too.


Last edited by Lari on Sun Jul 10, 2022 4:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Glower
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PostSubject: Re: Saxon   Saxon Icon_minitimeSun Jul 10, 2022 4:04 pm

I like Saxon like I like Motorhead. Put it on - I’m all ears.
Never bought this one as a younger man.
I thought the artwork was too corny.
Then as time went on….I just figured it was their first release, why bother.
And ‘ Rainbow’ in songs - not good.
I’m going YouTube it today.
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Fat Freddy
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PostSubject: Re: Saxon   Saxon Icon_minitimeMon Jul 11, 2022 10:34 pm

So i gave Saxon a listen while walking my dog yesterday morning, for the first time in Lord knows how long. Usually when I'm in a Saxon mood, I spin Denim & Leather or Strong Arm Of The Law.

Amyway... Saxon is a band that I like, but not in that "I must own every note this band has ever recorded," kind of way, I just pick up their stuff when I come across it in my travels. Therefore my Saxon collection has more holes in it than Swiss cheese. I have the first four albums, and then nothing until the early 2000s.

Be that as it may... the Saxon debut is a fun listen, even if it's cheesy by modern standards. I wouldn't have picked "Frozen Rainbow" as the opening track, it's too laid back. "Stallions of the Highway" (my favorite song on here) would've made a better opener.

As I mentioned a few posts ago, "Still Fit To Boogie" is a funny title. Decent song too.

All in all, Biff and the boys were off to a decent start here, but they hadn't quite found "their" sound yet. That would come on the next album.

_________________
"I am reluctant to get too deep into politics, and I don’t expect politicians to get too deep into music."
- Paul Stanley

HEY KIDS! Check out my way-cool CD and movie reviews and other geeky nonsense on the HubPages Network: http://hubpages.com/@fatfreddyscat
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James B.
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PostSubject: Re: Saxon   Saxon Icon_minitimeTue Jul 12, 2022 5:53 pm

Saxon Wheelssaxon

Recorded- February 1980
Released- April 3rd, 1980 on Carrere Records
Studio- Ramport Studios, London, UK
Producer-  Pete Hinton
Engineer- Will Reid Dick

Side 1
"Motorcycle Man"
"Stand Up and Be Counted"
"747 (Strangers in the Night)"
"Wheels of Steel"
Side 2
"Freeway Mad"
"See the Light Shining"
"Street Fighting Gang"
"Suzie Hold On"
"Machine Gun"

1997 Remaster Bonus Tracks

"Judgement Day" (live)
"Wheels of Steel" (7" version)
"See the Light Shining" (live)
"Wheels of Steel" (live)
"747 (Strangers in the Night)" (live)
"Stallions of the Highway" (live)

2009 Remaster Bonus Tracks

"Suzie Hold On" (1980 demo rehearsal)
"Wheels of Steel" (1980 demo rehearsal)
"Stallions of the Highway" (live, b-side "747 (Strangers in the Night)")
"Motorcycle Man" (live)
"Freeway Mad" (live)
"Wheels of Steel" (live)
"747 (Strangers in the Night)" (live)
"Machine Gun" (live)

All tracks are written by Biff Byford, Paul Quinn, Graham Oliver, Steve Dawson and Pete Gill.

Biff Byford – vocals
Graham Oliver – guitar
Paul Quinn – guitar
Steve Dawson – bass guitar
Pete Gill – drums

If memory serves me correctly? I got this about the time they booted me off the baseball team for kicking some dude's ass that was messing with my XLCH Sportster. The cops were called, I had no MC license and it got impounded.  I stopped at Groove Time Records on Baseline on my walk home. The clerk mentioned this at the counter when I took the Maiden debut up to buy (That illustration of Eddie made it a no-brainer blind purchase) The perils of a long haired 16 year old Stoner trying to be a jock. Laughing very hard
Anywhoose... Like Side 1 better than Side 2...  Never heard either remaster... Favorite tune has ALWAYS been "Motorcycle Man".

(IMHDO) This is where they got things dialed in headbanger

Here is a the Poll done back in October of 2014
https://heartofmetal.niceboard.com/t21903-favorite-track-from-saxon-s-wheels-of-steel?highlight=saxon

On a scale of 1 to 5 Stars, I give this a 4.

_________________
Saxon Th?id=OIP.Mf8_L3e01kyREFChW4XK_gEsDG&w=299&h=198&c=7&qlt=90&o=4&dpr=1.25&pid=1
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Lari
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Lari


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PostSubject: Re: Saxon   Saxon Icon_minitimeWed Jul 13, 2022 8:15 am

I've got the '97 print and I was already a fan of the band when I got this. I had Denim and Leather and I had several of their 90's albums. This was a new print back then, with live bonus tracks, so I picked it up... and was amazed! This is a bonafide NWOBHM classic. Maybe the best album of the whole movement? I don't know, but it's close. Everybody needs this in their heavy metal collection.

Not just the "hits" like 747 and the title track that still get played live to this day, but I really like all the tracks. See the Light Shining is one of my favourite Saxon tunes. Stand Up and Be Counted is amazing and catchy and powerful, and there's still Suzy Hold On (which was a single), the slightly on the nose, but rocking Motorcycle Man and a great wild finisher in Machine Gun.

This tracklist really reads like a "Best Of" compilation. The difference between this and the debut is night and day. The songs are punchy, the performance is unquestionably more "metal" and they were not rehashing some old style heavy sound here, they were leading an all new type of attack, creating the wave. Leading the way. Great great album.

5.0/5.0 A+ CLASSIC

I got the rest of their 80's catalogue shortly after this, and sadly none of them were quite this good, and some of them were total disappointments, but we'll get to those when their turns comes. Except the next one. The next one is awesome also.
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PostSubject: Re: Saxon   Saxon Icon_minitimeWed Jul 13, 2022 10:59 am

This is where Saxon found their groove, so to speak. "Motorcycle Man" is an excellent track, as are "747 (Strangers In The Night)" and the title track.

_________________
"I am reluctant to get too deep into politics, and I don’t expect politicians to get too deep into music."
- Paul Stanley

HEY KIDS! Check out my way-cool CD and movie reviews and other geeky nonsense on the HubPages Network: http://hubpages.com/@fatfreddyscat
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Glower
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PostSubject: Re: Saxon   Saxon Icon_minitimeFri Jul 22, 2022 6:44 am

I got this about the time they booted me off the baseball team
for kicking some dude's ass that was messing with my XLCH Sportster.
The cops were called, I had no MC license and it got impounded.  
I stopped at Groove Time Records on Baseline on my walk home.
The clerk mentioned this at the counter when I took the Maiden debut up to buy
(That illustration of Eddie made it a no-brainer blind purchase)
The perils of a long haired 16 year old Stoner trying to be a jock. Laughing very hard

You were 16 and riding a Sportster ? That's amazing.
What the hell was someone doing to your bike ?
Impounded ? What did that mean for you ?

I have to pick up this cd. Never bought this one - saw it plenty of times -
This is the one with the back cover - there on motorcycles ?
But I always bought another album. Lol. Maybe KISS " Unmasked ".

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James B.
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PostSubject: Re: Saxon   Saxon Icon_minitimeSat Jul 23, 2022 12:40 pm

Glower wrote:
You were 16 and riding a Sportster ? That's amazing.

The XLCH's were street/offroad. I had a 64' same seat & color scheme as this one...
Saxon Pm0714-191571_1@2x
Got it from a cousin and it was pretty banged up

Glower wrote:
What the hell was someone doing to your bike ?

He was sitting on it and I told him to get off of it. As he was getting off, he knocked it over.  Which meant automatic chin check and then some.

Glower wrote:
Impounded ? What did that mean for you ?

The cops took it cause I had no license.  Had to pay some cash to get it back.

_________________
Saxon Th?id=OIP.Mf8_L3e01kyREFChW4XK_gEsDG&w=299&h=198&c=7&qlt=90&o=4&dpr=1.25&pid=1
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James B.
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PostSubject: Re: Saxon   Saxon Icon_minitimeSat Jul 23, 2022 1:09 pm

Saxon Strong_Arm_of_the_Law

Recorded- May – August 1980
Released- November 14, 1980
Studio- Ramport Studios, London, UK
Label- Carrere
Producer- Pete Hinton & Saxon
Engineer- Will Reid Dick

I have both UK & USA versions on vinyl

UK Version
Side 1
"Heavy Metal Thunder"
"To Hell and Back Again"
"Strong Arm of the Law"
"Taking Your Chances"
Side 2
"20,000 Ft."
"Hungry Years"
"Sixth Form Girls"
"Dallas 1 PM"

US Version
Side 1
"Dallas 1 PM"
"Strong Arm of the Law"
"Sixth Form Girls"
"Hungry Years"
Side 2
"Heavy Metal Thunder"
"Taking Your Chances"
"To Hell and Back Again"
"20,000 Ft"

2006 reissue bonus tracks

"20,000 Ft." (Live)
"Dallas 1 PM" (Live)
"Hungry Years" (Live)
"Strong Arm of the Law" (Live)
"Heavy Metal Thunder" (Live)

2009 remaster bonus tracks

"20,000 Ft." (BBC session)
"Dallas 1 PM" (BBC session)
"The Eagle Has Landed" (BBC session)
"747 (Strangers in the Night)" (BBC session)
"To Hell and Back Again" (alternate version)
"20,000 Ft." (Abbey Road mix 2009)
"Mandy" (early version of Sixth Form Girls)
"Heavy Metal Thunder" (Abbey Road mix 2009)

All tracks are written by Biff Byford, Paul Quinn, Graham Oliver, Steve Dawson and Pete Gill.

Biff Byford – vocals
Graham Oliver – guitar
Paul Quinn – guitar
Steve Dawson – bass guitar
Pete Gill – drums

Saxon was definitely grabing another gear here and rolling with it.  My favorite tune is "Heavy Metal Thunder".  Dig on "Dallas 1 PM" for it's groove and the historical significance.  Something they dipped into quite a bit throughout their career. Major reason why I am a big fan of the band.

Here is a Poll done back in Novemebr of 2014
https://heartofmetal.niceboard.com/t21932-best-tune-on-saxon-s-strong-arm-of-the-law?highlight=saxon

Like the previous album...
On a scale of 1 to 5 Stars, I give this a 4

_________________
Saxon Th?id=OIP.Mf8_L3e01kyREFChW4XK_gEsDG&w=299&h=198&c=7&qlt=90&o=4&dpr=1.25&pid=1
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PostSubject: Re: Saxon   Saxon Icon_minitimeSat Jul 23, 2022 1:31 pm

I don't own the self titled Saxon album at the moment, but I remember liking "Stallions of the Highway" best from that album.

On Wheels of Steel, my favorite track is "747 (Strangers in the Night)" and on Strong Arm of the Law, my favorite is "Dallas 1 PM".
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PostSubject: Re: Saxon   Saxon Icon_minitimeSat Jul 23, 2022 2:51 pm

Off the debut, I like Stallions of the Highway.

Wheels Of Steel, I'll go with 747 (Strangers In The Night)

Strong Arm Of The Law, Heavy Metal Thunder immediately comes to mind.
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Lari
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PostSubject: Re: Saxon   Saxon Icon_minitimeTue Jul 26, 2022 7:27 am

Strong Arm of the Law is another 1980 classic and similar sounding to Wheels of Steel.

My copy is the '97 reprint again with 5 live tracks tacked on at the end. I got it together with Wheels of Steel, only after I already owned Denim & Leather.

Several all time favourite Saxon tracks on this one. Heavy Metal Thunder, the title track, and I really like Dallas 1PM. A dramatic, hooky song. There's a couple that I don't love that much (their ode to underaged girls being one...), so only because of that it's not another full 5 stars.

The music itself is just wonderful. You just blast that opener Heavy Metal Thunder, it hits you and you immediately know what Saxon is about. A great album.

4.5/5.0
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Lari
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PostSubject: Re: Saxon   Saxon Icon_minitimeSun Jul 31, 2022 2:09 pm

Did this die? Did I kill it?
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James B.
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PostSubject: Re: Saxon   Saxon Icon_minitimeTue Aug 02, 2022 2:57 pm

Lari wrote:
Did this die? Did I kill it?

It caught WuFlu & was not vaccinated Laughing very hard

_________________
Saxon Th?id=OIP.Mf8_L3e01kyREFChW4XK_gEsDG&w=299&h=198&c=7&qlt=90&o=4&dpr=1.25&pid=1
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PostSubject: Re: Saxon   Saxon Icon_minitimeTue Aug 02, 2022 3:30 pm

As Terry Lee once said, "Onward We Rock"

Saxon Denimsaxon2

Released-September, 25 1981
Recorded-1981
Studio- Aquarius Studios, Geneva, Switzerland & Polar Studios, Stockholm, Sweden
Label- Carrere
Producer- Nigel Thomas, & Saxon
Engineer- Andy Lyden

Side 1
"Princess of the Night"
"Never Surrender"
"Out of Control"
"Rough and Ready"
"Play It Loud"
Side 2
"And the Bands Played On"
"Midnight Rider"
"Fire in the Sky"
"Denim and Leather"

2009 remaster bonus tracks

"20,000 Ft." (remix; B-side  "Never surrender")
"Bap Shoo Ap' (A-side) + "Street Fighting Gang")
"Intro/And the Bands Played On" (live)
"Princess of the Night" (live)
"Midnight Rider" (live)
"Never Surrender" (live)
"Fire in the Sky" (live)
"Machine Gun" (live)
"Play It Loud" (live)

All tracks written by Saxon

Biff Byford – vocals
Paul Quinn – guitars
Graham Oliver – guitars
Steve Dawson – bass
Pete Gill – drums

Don't have  the remaster.  Like this better than the debut, but not as much as the two before it. Favorite tune is probably, "And The Bands Played On" or maybe Used to be "Denim and Leather" way back when or maybe "Princess Of The Night"don\'t know

Here is a link to the poll done back in Nov of 2014. https://heartofmetal.niceboard.com/t21970-favorite-tune-on-saxon-s-denim-and-leather?highlight=saxon

On a scale of 1 to 5 Stars, I give this a 3 and 3/4

_________________
Saxon Th?id=OIP.Mf8_L3e01kyREFChW4XK_gEsDG&w=299&h=198&c=7&qlt=90&o=4&dpr=1.25&pid=1
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Lari
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PostSubject: Re: Saxon   Saxon Icon_minitimeWed Aug 03, 2022 9:46 am

My copy is the 1996 print (Disky). I bought it from Virgin Megastore in London in 2004. No bonus tracks, but it has an essay in the booklet. It was one of the first Saxon CD's I had heard, but not the first. I believe I owned at least Metalhead on CD, and I may have bought Lionheart right before the trip as well (it came out in 2004). And I had heard other recent releases like Unleash the Beast and Dogs of War. Already in the 90's. But it was definitely the first classic Saxon album I purchased and heard in full. I don't know what took me so long. Prejudice? The guys were damn ugly. They still are, but they also were. Now I cherish their look. There's a rad photo of the band riding motorcycles on the insert of this CD.

At first I figured the sound was a bit weak compared to the Saxon I knew (1999's Metalhead is friggin' heavy). This was recorded in Abba's studio, and it's a bit peculiar Carrere chose to do that with a heavy metal band. But actually the sound I learnt to like. The song material has essential Saxon show-stealers like the title track, which is just a great anthem to NWOBHM. Maybe the lyrics are a little on the nose ("You can always be a singer like me and front the band!"), but it's just good fun. "Play It Loud" is another one. "Play it loud... IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD!"

"Princess of the Night" is in fact my favourite Saxon song, and also their best opener. A couple of the songs may be a little stock, but for instance side B of the album is solid gold. It's another excellent Saxon studio album, 4.5/5.0 same as "Strong Arm".

Are we doing Eagle Has Landed or Power & the Glory next? I will pick a CD to listen to next weekend.
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