SAXON

Heavy Metal / NWoBHM • United Kingdom
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Saxon is a british heavy metal band, formed in Barnsley, England in 1976. As pioneers of, and at the forefront of the then new wave of british heavy metal the band enjoyed a period of prominence in the UK (including popular chart success) and Europe in the early 1980s, and laterally the USA and Japan.

Saxon started in South Yorkshire, UK as SOB during 1976 with founder members Graham Oliver and Steve Dawson. This band joined forces with another local band, Coast, featuring Biff Byford on vocals and Paul Quinn on guitar. The two bands then finalised with a line-up comprising of the then 26 year old Graham 'Oly' Oliver, Steve 'Dobby' Dawson (27), Paul 'Blute' Quinn (26), Pete 'Frank' Gill (27) and Peter 'Biff' Byford (27). The name of the band was Son Of A Bitch. That name was dropped a few years later and the band
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SAXON Discography

SAXON albums / top albums

SAXON Saxon album cover 3.28 | 24 ratings
Saxon
NWoBHM 1979
SAXON Wheels of Steel album cover 4.32 | 47 ratings
Wheels of Steel
NWoBHM 1980
SAXON Strong Arm of the Law album cover 4.29 | 42 ratings
Strong Arm of the Law
NWoBHM 1980
SAXON Denim and Leather album cover 3.97 | 32 ratings
Denim and Leather
NWoBHM 1981
SAXON Power & the Glory album cover 3.80 | 29 ratings
Power & the Glory
NWoBHM 1983
SAXON Crusader album cover 3.57 | 24 ratings
Crusader
NWoBHM 1984
SAXON Innocence Is No Excuse album cover 3.87 | 19 ratings
Innocence Is No Excuse
NWoBHM 1985
SAXON Rock the Nations album cover 3.52 | 14 ratings
Rock the Nations
Heavy Metal 1986
SAXON Destiny album cover 3.34 | 12 ratings
Destiny
Heavy Metal 1988
SAXON Solid Ball of Rock album cover 3.73 | 14 ratings
Solid Ball of Rock
Heavy Metal 1990
SAXON Forever Free album cover 3.50 | 12 ratings
Forever Free
Heavy Metal 1992
SAXON Dogs of War album cover 3.56 | 13 ratings
Dogs of War
Heavy Metal 1995
SAXON Unleash the Beast album cover 3.70 | 15 ratings
Unleash the Beast
Heavy Metal 1997
SAXON Metalhead album cover 3.48 | 13 ratings
Metalhead
Heavy Metal 1999
SAXON Killing Ground album cover 3.92 | 15 ratings
Killing Ground
Heavy Metal 2001
SAXON Heavy Metal Thunder album cover 3.88 | 4 ratings
Heavy Metal Thunder
Heavy Metal 2002
SAXON Lionheart album cover 3.37 | 15 ratings
Lionheart
Heavy Metal 2004
SAXON The Inner Sanctum album cover 3.22 | 14 ratings
The Inner Sanctum
Heavy Metal 2007
SAXON Into the Labyrinth album cover 3.58 | 13 ratings
Into the Labyrinth
Heavy Metal 2009
SAXON Call to Arms album cover 3.79 | 12 ratings
Call to Arms
Heavy Metal 2011
SAXON Sacrifice album cover 3.83 | 12 ratings
Sacrifice
Heavy Metal 2013
SAXON Battering Ram album cover 3.47 | 14 ratings
Battering Ram
Heavy Metal 2015
SAXON Thunderbolt album cover 4.12 | 8 ratings
Thunderbolt
Heavy Metal 2018

SAXON EPs & splits

SAXON live albums

SAXON The Eagle Has Landed album cover 4.50 | 7 ratings
The Eagle Has Landed
NWoBHM 1982
SAXON Rock 'n' Roll Gypsies album cover 4.07 | 3 ratings
Rock 'n' Roll Gypsies
Heavy Metal 1989
SAXON Greatest Hits Live! album cover 4.25 | 4 ratings
Greatest Hits Live!
Heavy Metal 1990
SAXON The Eagle Has Landed II album cover 4.17 | 3 ratings
The Eagle Has Landed II
Heavy Metal 1996
SAXON BBC Sessions / Live at Reading Festival '86 album cover 4.75 | 2 ratings
BBC Sessions / Live at Reading Festival '86
NWoBHM 1998
SAXON Live at Donnington 1980 album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Donnington 1980
NWoBHM 2000
SAXON Live... in the Raw album cover 3.33 | 2 ratings
Live... in the Raw
Heavy Metal 2000
SAXON Live at Monsters of Rock album cover 3.62 | 4 ratings
Live at Monsters of Rock
Heavy Metal 2004
SAXON Motorcycle Man album cover 2.33 | 2 ratings
Motorcycle Man
Heavy Metal 2005
SAXON The Eagle Has Landed III album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
The Eagle Has Landed III
NWoBHM 2006
SAXON Live in Germany 1991 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Germany 1991
Heavy Metal 2013

SAXON demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

SAXON Double Dealer / To Hell And Back Again album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Double Dealer / To Hell And Back Again
NWoBHM 1981

SAXON re-issues & compilations

SAXON Back on the Street: The Best Of... album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Back on the Street: The Best Of...
Heavy Metal 1990
SAXON Best of Saxon album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Best of Saxon
Heavy Metal 1991
SAXON Champions of Rock album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Champions of Rock
Heavy Metal 1996
SAXON A Collection of Metal album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
A Collection of Metal
Heavy Metal 1999
SAXON Diamonds and Nuggets album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Diamonds and Nuggets
Heavy Metal 2000
SAXON Rock Champions album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Rock Champions
Heavy Metal 2001
SAXON The Very Best Saxon Album Ever album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Very Best Saxon Album Ever
Heavy Metal 2002
SAXON Coming to the Rescue album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Coming to the Rescue
Heavy Metal 2002
SAXON The Very Best of Saxon album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Very Best of Saxon
Heavy Metal 2007
SAXON The Carrere Years 1979-1984 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Carrere Years 1979-1984
NWoBHM 2012
SAXON Unplugged and Strung Up album cover 3.00 | 3 ratings
Unplugged and Strung Up
Heavy Metal 2013

SAXON singles (0)

SAXON movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Rock Has Landed: It's Alive
Heavy Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live Legends
Heavy Metal 2004

SAXON Reviews

SAXON Power & the Glory

Album · 1983 · NWoBHM
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As fantastic as Saxon's great trilogy of albums before are, Power & the Glory is what I consider to be the band's best album. They take their classic metal sound that has proven to be such a winner, and expand their songwriting skills further with more subtle changes to create a rich sound while never deviating from what they do best.

Everything sounds so powerful, extra energetic, and if Power & the Glory isn't a fitting title I don't know what is. The title track is one of the finest openers I've heard, six minutes of pure metal that makes me feel ready for anything. One example of a subtle expansion of songwriting is Redline. It's a swaggering rocker that the band's always been great at, but with added guitar harmonization that really enhances the impact it has. Midas Touch has an instant hook of a riff, and great contrast between catchy riffs and moody sections. Nightmare is a great metal ballad, and is the first time I ever heard double bass drumming in a song of its kind. It closes out the song and makes an already memorable song that much more.

The album closes out with one of Saxon's most unique songs, the gargantuan The Eagle Has Landed. It's almost psychedelic, starting out like something from Pink Floyd's Animals album. It has a wandering and grandiose atmosphere, even once it gets heavy with riffs as slamming as they could get in '83. It's a wonder they never did anything else like this song, but that just makes it that much more special.

Saxon has no shortage of excellent albums, but Power & the Glory has just an extra edge above other favorites like Strong Arm of the Law and Rock the Nations. One of classic 80's metal's finest.

SAXON Denim and Leather

Album · 1981 · NWoBHM
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As soon as that riff that opens Princess of the Night and the album starts, it just screams classic. Again, Saxon continues the same route of melodic and infectious classic metal of the previous two albums, and it works just as well.

Strong Arm of the Law is the best of what's often considered their best trilogy of albums, and I'd place Denim and Leather in between Strong Arm and Wheels of Steel. The songs aren't quite as strong as the likes of Taking Your Chances, few are, but a bit stronger than most of Wheels of Steel. The aforementioned Princess of the Night is rightfully so the band's biggest hit, it is the definitive example of a Saxon song. The title track and Rough and Ready are a couple other favorites of mine.

Denim and Leather is maybe Saxon's most consistent album, most of the songs are equally great and catchy, so it's harder to describe the album than its predecessor's. An excellent album, but the next album would show how just a few little additions in sound would refresh the band before they could go on auto-pilot.

SAXON Strong Arm of the Law

Album · 1980 · NWoBHM
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Unitron
Like Blue Cheer in '68 and Black Sabbath in '70 before them, Saxon joins the chosen few bands who've not only released two great albums in the same year, but have the second one even better than the first. Strong Arm of the Law indeed takes the Saxon sound that was formed on Wheels of Steel, and kicks everything up to eleven more than it already was.

Heavy Metal Thunder couldn't be a more fitting opener, because that's just what this album is. Instead of striking with lightning, Saxon strikes with hooks and there's so much damn energy in their performance that you want to scream along to every song even before you know the lyrics.

It follows the same formula set with the previous album, just with even stronger songs. Both the swaggering title track and Hungry Years swagger even better than the last album's title track, and 20,000 Ft. is even more frantic than anything before. Taking Your Chances may be my all time favorite Saxon song, it's got such an infectious hook coupled with being one of the most classic sounding of classic heavy metal songs. It just gets me so pumped, feeling ready to take on the world, which is what I love classic metal for.

If someone were to ask me to define 80's heavy metal, this would be a close second choice after a Judas Priest album. All the attitude, energy, and personality of classic metal is here in a thirty-six minute ride.

SAXON Wheels of Steel

Album · 1980 · NWoBHM
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Unitron
"Fighting through the night!"

Wheels of Steel is commonly known as the first of a masterpiece trilogy of albums that include this, Strong Arm of the Law, and Denim and Leather, and not without good reason. While their debut was a decent foot in the door of music recording, Wheels of Steel expands upon the sound of the best songs of the debut. Right from opener Motorcycle Man, it's obvious that the band chose to truly become Stallions of the Highway.

Stand Up and Be Counted (Funnily enough there would be a Krokus song a few years later called Stand and Be Counted, Krokus being a band that reminds me of Saxon a bit), 747-Strangers in the Night (Damn, there's another Krokus connection), the swaggering title track, the roaring closer Machine Gun, and my personal favorite Street Fighting Gang all display the perfect Saxon sound. It's raucous and raw with tons of kickass attitude yet melodic and majestic as well. Biff Byford in particular is one of metal's finest frontmen, there's great riffs aplenty, but Byford's commanding vocal performance takes everything to even greater heights.

I think the following three albums are my favorites, but Wheels of Steel kicked this legendary band's career into full gear and is a bonafide metal classic.

SAXON Saxon

Album · 1979 · NWoBHM
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Unitron
Saxon's self-titled debut is the epitome of a band's first album that doesn't quite know what it wants to be. Saxon aren't the heavy metal motorists they would become just a year later, in fact there's only a couple metal songs on this album.

Instead this album leans more towards that weird kind of rock that sits in between prog rock, boogie/blues rock, and has just a slight hard edge. Think bands like Queen, Wishbone Ash, and maybe early Scorpions; that's the sort of sound to expect here for the most part. However, Biff Byford's signature rough yet melodic vocals makes it clear that this is indeed Saxon, similar to early Scorpions still sounding like Scorpions with Klaus Meine's distinct voice.

There are a couple great songs here that are a display of what was to come, particularly Stallions of the Highway. If Highway Star is heavy metal's song for road rage, Stallions of the Highway is heavy metal's song for cruising down the road with the wind blowing in your face. That's followed by Backs to the Wall, which follows in a similar adrenaline rush of metal.

Despite being such a short album, Saxon's debut ends up being pretty boring with the exception of the aforementioned tracks (Still Fit to Boogie is good too). If someone's a fan of the aforementioned bands, this might be their favorite Saxon album, but for someone looking to get into Saxon, listen to Stallions of the Highway and then skip to the next album.

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