I've been a passive Saxon fan for merely a decade with knowledge of classic tunes like "Denim And Leather", "Princess Of The Night" and "747 (Strangers In The Night)". Unfortunately, for myself, it wasn't until recently that I've finally given Saxon a proper chance to show off their chops in the album writing department. "Wheels Of Steel" was my first studio album introduction and it's definitely an album to be reckoned with!
Right off the bat we're treated to great tracks like "Motorcycle Man", "Stand Up And Be Counted" and the aforementioned "747 (Strangers In The Night)". The album does wind down at its halfway point but the great overall quality is pretty much maintained all the way to the end, with a minor exception of "Street Fighting Gang" which unfortunately sounds a bit to straightforward for my taste.
If your unfamiliar with Saxon then "Wheels Of Steel" is definitely a great first album to break the ice. There is a great quality to these compositions that makes this record one of the essential NWoBHM classics that have only grown in admiration over the years. Highly recommended to all metal fans!
***** star songs: Motorcycle Man (4:01) Stand Up And Be Counted (3:10) 747 (Strangers In The Night) (4:58) Machine Gun (5:23)
**** star songs: Wheels Of Steel (5:59) Freeway Mad (2:41) See The Light Shining (4:56) Suzie Hold On (4:34)
*** star songs: Street Fighting Gang (3:13)