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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Battering RamBattering Ram
UDR 2015
$14.73
$12.10 (used)
DestinyDestiny
Union Square 2018
$10.72
$13.40 (used)
Rock the NationsRock the Nations
Remastered
Emi Europe Generic 2010
$8.01
$12.98 (used)
Let Me Feel Your PowerLet Me Feel Your Power
Militia Guard Music 2016
$24.29
$18.99 (used)
Wheels Of SteelWheels Of Steel
Union Square 2018
$18.94
$19.99 (used)
ThunderboltThunderbolt
Militia Guard Music 2018
$15.36
$13.00 (used)
Denim And LeatherDenim And Leather
Union Square 2018
$7.78
$6.06 (used)
Saxon: 10 Years Of Denim & Leather - Live At Nottingham Rock City 1989Saxon: 10 Years Of Denim & Leather - Live At Nottingham Rock City 1989
Edsel 2017
$9.52
$7.48 (used)
Very Best of SaxonVery Best of Saxon
Parlophone 2007
$13.01
$12.93 (used)
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SAXON-BAPTISM OF FIRE: COLLECTION 1991-2009 (UK) (UK IMPORT) CD NEW SAXON-BAPTISM OF FIRE: COLLECTION 1991-2009 (UK) (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $7.38 Buy It Now 2h 46m
Oliver Dawson Saxon - Re-Landed Plus (CD Used Very Good) Oliver Dawson Saxon - Re-Landed Plus (CD Used Very Good) USD $11.74 Buy It Now 2h 52m
Saxon - Solid Ball Of Rock LP Vinyl - EX Record - German Pressing Saxon - Solid Ball Of Rock LP Vinyl - EX Record - German Pressing USD $34.99 Buy It Now 3h
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saxon denim and leather tour 1981 crew tour jacket     M saxon denim and leather tour 1981 crew tour jacket M USD $90.48 (0 bids)
3h
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Saxon: Into The Labyrinth Exclusive RSD 2017 PD New In Sleeve Iron Maiden Priest Saxon: Into The Labyrinth Exclusive RSD 2017 PD New In Sleeve Iron Maiden Priest USD $17.00 (0 bids)
USD $25.00 Buy It Now
3h
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SAXON+Power & The Glory+POSTER+AD+RARE ORIGINAL 1983+FRAMED+EXPRESS GLOBAL SHIP SAXON+Power & The Glory+POSTER+AD+RARE ORIGINAL 1983+FRAMED+EXPRESS GLOBAL SHIP USD $90.43 Buy It Now 3h
SAXON+747 Strangers Night+POSTER+AD+RARE ORIGINAL 1980+FRAMED+FAST GLOBAL SHIP SAXON+747 Strangers Night+POSTER+AD+RARE ORIGINAL 1980+FRAMED+FAST GLOBAL SHIP USD $90.43 Buy It Now 3h
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NEVILLE MORRISON - GOTTA MAKE A CHANGE - SAXON -  REGGAE 12INCH NEVILLE MORRISON - GOTTA MAKE A CHANGE - SAXON - REGGAE 12INCH USD $6.46 Buy It Now 3h
SAXON 'And The Bands Played On' 1981 UK 7 SAXON 'And The Bands Played On' 1981 UK 7" / 45 vinyl single USD $11.62 Buy It Now 3h
SAXON 'Wheels Of Steel' 1980 French 7 SAXON 'Wheels Of Steel' 1980 French 7" / 45 vinyl single, MIS-PRINT USD $25.84 Buy It Now 3h
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SAXON Solid Ball of Rock '90 LP ORIGINAL RARE GERMAN IMPORT press   SAXON Solid Ball of Rock '90 LP ORIGINAL RARE GERMAN IMPORT press USD $43.99 Buy It Now 4h
Saxon Telex Eagle Has Landed sales figures 16/12/82 Saxon Telex Eagle Has Landed sales figures 16/12/82 USD $15.22 Buy It Now 4h
Saxon Telex Jeff Glixman Producer 3/9/82 Saxon Telex Jeff Glixman Producer 3/9/82 USD $15.22 Buy It Now 4h
Saxon European Tour Schedule Oct 29th - Dec 10th 1981 #1 Saxon European Tour Schedule Oct 29th - Dec 10th 1981 #1 USD $15.22 Buy It Now 4h
Saxon Rainbow Theatre, London concert review 14/6/80 Saxon Rainbow Theatre, London concert review 14/6/80 USD $15.22 Buy It Now 4h
SAXON - INTO THE LABYRINTH PICTURE DISC VINYL  RECORD SYORE DAY RSD SAXON - INTO THE LABYRINTH PICTURE DISC VINYL RECORD SYORE DAY RSD USD $38.77 Buy It Now 4h
Saxon  - Innocence Is No Excuse -  SEALED Gatefold Double LP Saxon - Innocence Is No Excuse - SEALED Gatefold Double LP USD $16.00 Buy It Now 4h
Saxon Lighting Rig Hiring Letter dtd 10/3/81 Saxon Lighting Rig Hiring Letter dtd 10/3/81 USD $15.22 Buy It Now 4h
Saxon Lionheart Taurus Lighting Equipment Letter dtd 10/3/81 Saxon Lionheart Taurus Lighting Equipment Letter dtd 10/3/81 USD $15.22 Buy It Now 4h
Saxon Handwritten Tour calculation costs 1981 #1 Saxon Handwritten Tour calculation costs 1981 #1 USD $15.22 Buy It Now 4h
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4h
saxon power & the glory euro tour 1983 patch saxon power & the glory euro tour 1983 patch USD $9.70 Buy It Now 4h
Saxon Telex LP sales figures 16/12/82 Saxon Telex LP sales figures 16/12/82 USD $15.22 Buy It Now 4h
Saxon Telex Dieter Dierks Producer Next album 27/7/82 Saxon Telex Dieter Dierks Producer Next album 27/7/82 USD $15.22 Buy It Now 4h
Saxon Management Compiled Press Cuttings 1979-81 #1 Saxon Management Compiled Press Cuttings 1979-81 #1 USD $15.22 Buy It Now 4h
SAXON -POWER & THE GLORY- AWESOME MEGA RARE LTD PICTURE LP FIRST PRESS 1983 SAXON -POWER & THE GLORY- AWESOME MEGA RARE LTD PICTURE LP FIRST PRESS 1983 USD $18.09 (0 bids)
4h
Saxon Telex Dieter Dierks Scorpions Claud Carrere 17/6/82 Saxon Telex Dieter Dierks Scorpions Claud Carrere 17/6/82 USD $15.22 Buy It Now 4h
SAXON Call to Arms / LIVE at Donnington   -  Double  CD SAXON Call to Arms / LIVE at Donnington - Double CD USD $19.90 Buy It Now 4h
SAXON -THE EAGLE HAS LANDED- AWESOME MEGA RARE LTD PICTURE LP FIRST PRESS 1982 SAXON -THE EAGLE HAS LANDED- AWESOME MEGA RARE LTD PICTURE LP FIRST PRESS 1982 USD $18.09 (0 bids)
4h
Saxon Telex Carrera Records 90 Day Tour 1982 Saxon Telex Carrera Records 90 Day Tour 1982 USD $15.22 Buy It Now 4h
Saxon Management Compiled Press Cuttings 1979-81 #2 Saxon Management Compiled Press Cuttings 1979-81 #2 USD $15.22 Buy It Now 4h
Saxon Telex 'My Relationship with Biff may now be irreparable' 10/2/83 Saxon Telex 'My Relationship with Biff may now be irreparable' 10/2/83 USD $15.22 Buy It Now 4h
Saxon European Tour Schedule Oct 29th - Dec 10th 1981 #2 Saxon European Tour Schedule Oct 29th - Dec 10th 1981 #2 USD $15.22 Buy It Now 4h
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Saxon Telex Radically change The Tour 10/2/83 Saxon Telex Radically change The Tour 10/2/83 USD $15.22 Buy It Now 4h
SAXON 'Princess Of The Night' 1981 Italian jukebox PROMO 7 SAXON 'Princess Of The Night' 1981 Italian jukebox PROMO 7" / 45 vinyl - DRUPI USD $7.74 Buy It Now 4h
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SAXON 'The Eagle Has Landed' 1982 UK tour programme + CHEETAH SAXON 'The Eagle Has Landed' 1982 UK tour programme + CHEETAH USD $29.72 Buy It Now 4h
SAXON WHEELS OF STEEL ORIG FRENCH PRESS FULLY LAMINATED 1981 CARRERE NWOBHM EX+ SAXON WHEELS OF STEEL ORIG FRENCH PRESS FULLY LAMINATED 1981 CARRERE NWOBHM EX+ USD $6.45 (0 bids)
4h
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SUR ROYAL DA COUNT Scream Baby Mother 7 SUR ROYAL DA COUNT Scream Baby Mother 7" Kim Fowley Sky Saxon Sam Cooke Joe Yore USD $7.99 Buy It Now 5h
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SAXON - THE EAGLE HAS LANDED LIVE, FRENCH 10-TRACK 12 SAXON - THE EAGLE HAS LANDED LIVE, FRENCH 10-TRACK 12" VINYL LP, CARRERE, 67870 USD $10.28 Buy It Now 5h
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SAXON original CD BBC Sessions Live at Reading 86 1998 on EMI SAXON original CD BBC Sessions Live at Reading 86 1998 on EMI USD $26.43 Buy It Now 6h
SAXON 3 x CD (5Discs) Live at Monsters of Rock + Heavy Metal thunder + Unplugged SAXON 3 x CD (5Discs) Live at Monsters of Rock + Heavy Metal thunder + Unplugged USD $26.43 Buy It Now 6h
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6h
SAXON WE WILL REMEMBER 7 SAXON WE WILL REMEMBER 7" SHAPED PICTURE DISC VINYL SINGLE 1992 USD $9.05 (0 bids)
6h
IRON MAIDEN -  Number Of The Beast Shirt Size Large. Judas Priest Saxon NWOBHM IRON MAIDEN - Number Of The Beast Shirt Size Large. Judas Priest Saxon NWOBHM USD $7.14 (0 bids)
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6h
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6h
Saxon-Unplugged & Strung Up  CD NEW Saxon-Unplugged & Strung Up CD NEW USD $24.91 Buy It Now 6h
MOTORHEAD - England Shirt Size Large Iron Maiden Judas Priest Saxon MOTORHEAD - England Shirt Size Large Iron Maiden Judas Priest Saxon USD $7.14 (0 bids)
6h
IRON FIST MAGAZINE #16 WASP IRON MAIDEN SAXON OVERKILL MY DYING BRIDE AUTOPSY IRON FIST MAGAZINE #16 WASP IRON MAIDEN SAXON OVERKILL MY DYING BRIDE AUTOPSY USD $7.14 (0 bids)
6h
SAXON - DOGS OF WAR, 2016 UK 180G ORANGE vinyl LP, SEALED! FREE SHIPPING! SAXON - DOGS OF WAR, 2016 UK 180G ORANGE vinyl LP, SEALED! FREE SHIPPING! USD $34.99 Buy It Now 6h
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Saxon - Power & The Glory Blue And Purple Swirl Colored Vinyl LTD ED Saxon - Power & The Glory Blue And Purple Swirl Colored Vinyl LTD ED USD $39.99 (0 bids)
7h
Saxon The Power And The Glory A1U B1U 12 Saxon The Power And The Glory A1U B1U 12" Single USD $7.74 Buy It Now 7h
Japanese Release Saxon Japanese Release Saxon "Lionheart" CD # CRCL-4830 USD $14.50 (9 bids)
7h
Saxon - Wheels Of Steel [New CD] Explicit, With Booklet, Bonus Tracks Saxon - Wheels Of Steel [New CD] Explicit, With Booklet, Bonus Tracks USD $16.37 Buy It Now 7h
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Saxon Power & The Glory 12” Picture Disc Album Saxon Power & The Glory 12” Picture Disc Album USD $2.84 (5 bids)
7h
Saxon Thunderbolt -Hq Coloured- vinyl LP NEW sealed Saxon Thunderbolt -Hq Coloured- vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $39.24 Buy It Now 8h
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Sky Saxon/Seeds A Full Spoon Of Seedy Blues LP VG+/VG++ Original Psych Sky Saxon/Seeds A Full Spoon Of Seedy Blues LP VG+/VG++ Original Psych USD $20.00 Buy It Now 8h
Collection [EMI Gold] by Saxon (CD, Jan-2007, 3 Discs, EMI) Collection [EMI Gold] by Saxon (CD, Jan-2007, 3 Discs, EMI) USD $15.00 Buy It Now 8h
Saxon - Saxon - New Mediabook CD Album Saxon - Saxon - New Mediabook CD Album USD $17.44 Buy It Now 8h
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os LP SAXON RED LINE os LP SAXON RED LINE USD $37.76 Buy It Now 8h
Saxon - Strong Arm of the Law - New Splatter Vinyl LP Saxon - Strong Arm of the Law - New Splatter Vinyl LP USD $31.01 Buy It Now 8h
SAXON ROCK THE NATIONS EMS-91192 with OBI  Japan VINYL  LP SAXON ROCK THE NATIONS EMS-91192 with OBI Japan VINYL LP USD $69.99 Buy It Now 8h
Saxon - Wheels of Steel - New Splatter Vinyl LP Saxon - Wheels of Steel - New Splatter Vinyl LP USD $31.01 Buy It Now 8h
The Seeds- The Other Place /Try To Understand vinyl 7 The Seeds- The Other Place /Try To Understand vinyl 7" reissue Sky Saxon PSYCH M USD $10.69 Buy It Now 9h
SAXON - 10 YEARS OF DENIM AND LEATHER: LIVE AT NOTTINGHAM ROCK CITY, 1989 USED - SAXON - 10 YEARS OF DENIM AND LEATHER: LIVE AT NOTTINGHAM ROCK CITY, 1989 USED - USD $9.98 Buy It Now 9h
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THE SEEDS - SKY SAXON Raw & Alive:  in Concert at Merlin's Music Box - 2 CD SET THE SEEDS - SKY SAXON Raw & Alive: in Concert at Merlin's Music Box - 2 CD SET USD $19.99 Buy It Now 9h
THE SEEDS - SKY SAXON - JAPAN CD - STILL SEALED - RAW AND ALIVE THE SEEDS - SKY SAXON - JAPAN CD - STILL SEALED - RAW AND ALIVE USD $34.99 Buy It Now 9h
Stephen Saxon - Gospel Shabbat [New CD] Stephen Saxon - Gospel Shabbat [New CD] USD $27.00 Buy It Now 9h
SAXON - 10 YEARS OF DENIM AND LEATHER: LIVE AT NOTTINGHAM ROCK CITY, 1989 NEW CD SAXON - 10 YEARS OF DENIM AND LEATHER: LIVE AT NOTTINGHAM ROCK CITY, 1989 NEW CD USD $13.58 Buy It Now 10h
Saxon Princess of the night NEW SEALED 7 Saxon Princess of the night NEW SEALED 7" clear vinyl RSD 2018 USD $13.99 Buy It Now 11h
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Saxon - Denim And Leather LP 1981 Carrere Pressing Saxon - Denim And Leather LP 1981 Carrere Pressing USD $4.25 (3 bids)
12h
Saxon  Live at Donnington (CD, May-2001, Angel Air Records)  NEW Saxon Live at Donnington (CD, May-2001, Angel Air Records) NEW USD $13.17 Buy It Now 12h
Chart Hit History Vol. 3. Compact Disc. 1996. Poison ELO Golden Earring Saxon Chart Hit History Vol. 3. Compact Disc. 1996. Poison ELO Golden Earring Saxon USD $8.56 Buy It Now 13h
to THE SAXON sings a tribute to Sinatra SPANISH PROMO 45 MARFER 1977 to THE SAXON sings a tribute to Sinatra SPANISH PROMO 45 MARFER 1977 USD $11.92 Buy It Now 13h
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SAXON Discography

SAXON albums / top albums

SAXON Saxon album cover 3.35 | 22 ratings
Saxon
NWoBHM 1979
SAXON Wheels of Steel album cover 4.35 | 42 ratings
Wheels of Steel
NWoBHM 1980
SAXON Strong Arm of the Law album cover 4.29 | 38 ratings
Strong Arm of the Law
NWoBHM 1980
SAXON Denim and Leather album cover 3.92 | 29 ratings
Denim and Leather
NWoBHM 1981
SAXON Power & the Glory album cover 3.67 | 26 ratings
Power & the Glory
NWoBHM 1983
SAXON Crusader album cover 3.69 | 22 ratings
Crusader
NWoBHM 1984
SAXON Innocence Is No Excuse album cover 3.95 | 17 ratings
Innocence Is No Excuse
NWoBHM 1985
SAXON Rock the Nations album cover 3.32 | 12 ratings
Rock the Nations
Heavy Metal 1986
SAXON Destiny album cover 3.30 | 11 ratings
Destiny
Heavy Metal 1988
SAXON Solid Ball of Rock album cover 3.79 | 13 ratings
Solid Ball of Rock
Heavy Metal 1990
SAXON Forever Free album cover 3.53 | 11 ratings
Forever Free
Heavy Metal 1992
SAXON Dogs of War album cover 3.59 | 13 ratings
Dogs of War
Heavy Metal 1995
SAXON Unleash the Beast album cover 3.76 | 15 ratings
Unleash the Beast
Heavy Metal 1997
SAXON Metalhead album cover 3.50 | 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 3.39 | 15 ratings
Lionheart
Heavy Metal 2004
SAXON The Inner Sanctum album cover 3.28 | 14 ratings
The Inner Sanctum
Heavy Metal 2007
SAXON Into the Labyrinth album cover 3.60 | 13 ratings
Into the Labyrinth
Heavy Metal 2009
SAXON Call to Arms album cover 3.88 | 12 ratings
Call to Arms
Heavy Metal 2011
SAXON Sacrifice album cover 3.91 | 11 ratings
Sacrifice
Heavy Metal 2013
SAXON Battering Ram album cover 3.56 | 14 ratings
Battering Ram
Heavy Metal 2015
SAXON Thunderbolt album cover 4.19 | 8 ratings
Thunderbolt
Heavy Metal 2018

SAXON EPs & splits

SAXON live albums

SAXON The Eagle Has Landed album cover 4.42 | 6 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 4.33 | 3 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 3.64 | 3 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 Thunderbolt

Album · 2018 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
Now, I don’t claim to be the world’s biggest or most devout Saxon fan. I only got into them about five or six years ago after hearing ‘Denim & Leather’ in an episode of both Metal Evolution and also Heavy Metal Louder Than Life and feeling like I needed to hear more. Since this was in my most financially broke student period its been a slow process gathering their discography. At present I own only about ¾ of their albums, but to be fair, have seen them live about 3 times (would’ve been four, but one was cancelled). Slowly, slowly they’ve won me over more and more and more until I’d now consider them one of my absolute favourite bands (if not for a mental block about having to have the full discography I have), and its a rare day you catch me without a Saxon t-shirt on, even at work.

Saxon have had several distinct periods over the years. The unsigned and first album era. The classic and most publicly beloved era of the next 3-5 albums where the bulk of their live setlist and greatest-hits tracklists will be drawn from. The more commercial 3 albums after that in the mid-late ’80s. The early ’90s comeback. The early ’00s comeback. The late ’00s comeback. Their current three comeback albums. Yeah, when I saw them live, singer Biff Byford joked “we’re on about our tenth comeback now!”

Even though they were already on an amazing comeback with Sacrifice, the public considered their last album Battering Ram a comeback as well, and judging by the chart performance and critical and fan reaction to this current album, 2018’s Thunderbolt (their 22nd studio album), the same thing is happening again.

Much like German Metal Legends, Accept or Kreator; Saxon are playing and writing better now than so many younger bands, than so many of their peers, and arguably than themselves in much of their classic discography.

Even as a new fan, this record is not something you want to be missing out on, this isn’t just a reason to tour or one or two new songs to add to a setlist for one tour, to be forgotten forever after, this is a damn strong, exciting, vital sounding album!

Highlights include the bombastic strung-up moody album-centerpiece ‘Nosferatu’ with its astonishing guitar work, dynamic mix of tempos and evocative lyrics, as well as the furious Motorhead tribute ‘And They Played Rock N Roll’ and the heavy ‘Predator’ which features guest vocals from Amon Amarth’s Johan Hegg.

To be honest though, apart from an instrumental intro, there is not one skippable song on the whole album. Even towards the end of the album, tracks like ‘Speed Merchant’ are just as good as anything at the start of the album. It makes sense that the band are playing six or seven songs from this record live at the moment, as it is some seriously strong material. With Paul Quinn’s searing guitar solos, Nigel Glocker’s mighty drumming and Andy Sneap’s absolutely perfect production job… this is exactly what Heavy Metal is supposed to sound like; punchy, heavy, vital, catchy, impressive and fun!

If you like Saxon then this is no album to miss, if you are lapsed its a good re-entry point, and of course, if you are new or newish to Saxon then this is mandatory listening. I know some people would call it sacrilegious to compare it to career triumphs like Strong Arm Of The Law, Wheels Of Steel, Denim & Leather or Solid Ball Of Rock, but this tight, consistent and damn entertaining album is honestly good enough to be both up there with the best Saxon material but up there with the best Heavy Metal material coming out at the moment. I would have it over Iron Maiden’s latest at the moment, and they are on a high period as well. Don’t miss out, get struck by the Thunderbolt now!

SAXON Thunderbolt

Album · 2018 · Heavy Metal
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Nightfly
For many it will always be those early albums like Wheels Of steel, Strong Arm Of The Law and Denim And Leather that define Saxon’s status as one of the UK’s greatest heavy metal bands. In truth though, apart from a few glitches along the way, mainly late 80’s, Saxon have been churning out high quality metal albums all the way with some even matching those early classics like 2015’s Battering Ram.

Thunderbolt is another winner with the band on fine form aided by an in your face production, a bit more organic sounding than the last one, Battering Ram. It’s the usual mixture of fast and mid paced traditional metal with the occasional slow one (Sons Of Odin) full of compelling guitar riffs that hit hard and immediately with minimum fuss. The title track is a killer as is the Motorhead tribute They Played Rock and Roll – both Saxon at their up tempo best. I’ve always liked Nigel Glockler’s inventive drumming who as usual drives the band with mechanical precision. Biff Byford is still on incredibly fine vocal form, especially for a man of his age and has only lost a bit of his range over the years. He brings in Amon Amarth vocalist Johan Hegg on Predator for a bit of growl assistance but he can’t hold a candle to Biff. It’s all good stuff with only Roadies’ Song being a bit under par but even that in a lesser bands hands would be considered a success.

Overall then Thunderbolt is another great album to add to Saxon’s already impressive discography that any fan of the band is sure to be delighted with.

SAXON Denim and Leather

Album · 1981 · NWoBHM
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Warthur
Denim and Leather finds the creative well that yielded Wheels of Steel and Strong Arm of the Law beginning to run dry. Whilst it's still an entertaining enough NWOBHM exercise, it feels like something's missing this time around; the band seem to lack a certain punch and aggression, and without that these NWOBHM-by-numbers pieces can tend to feel a bit generic. There's a few too many moments where the band clearly expect us to start chanting along with our lighters in the air but the watered-down sound makes me feel more like at best nodding along or clapping politely. It's OK, but they'd done better.

SAXON Battering Ram

Album · 2015 · Heavy Metal
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RuneWalsh2112
Another ok but somewhat unnecessary release from Saxon. The band hasn't exactly been innovating their sound over the decades and most of their live sets still consists mostly of the early '80s material. I'm a huge fan of the classic trilogy of "Wheels Of Steel", "Strong Arm Of The Law" and "Denim And Leather" but none of the albums after that have managed to re-capture the great songwriting of those releases. Saxon never bothered of treading new ground but instead continued in that same direction that was paved by the classic releases. This might be all right for some fans but I honestly feel nothing for each new album that is being released by the band. Still, they keep on releasing one new album after the other and there doesn't seem to be an end to this cycle.

"Call To Arms" from 2011 had a few memorable moments but the album as a whole never really took off and "Sacrifice" from 2013 was a pretty lackluster release that I've listened to two times before dismissing it entirely. "Battering Ram" fits somewhere in between the two previous releases, some of the material works but the album as a whole feels flat. The first three tracks are pretty decent, even though none of them sticks out that much. The opening album titled track is a fun live track but that's pretty much it. "The Devil's Footprint" is very moody and flirts with "Painkiller"-era Judas Priest but lacks a real punch. "Queen Of Hearts" is the most creative track of the three but the chorus is really weak in comparison to the rest of the track.

After a few filler tracks like "Destroyer", "Hard And Fast" and "Eye Of The Storm", we finally get to another two highlights. "Stand Your Ground" sounds like a classic Saxon track that might as well have been a part of one of the '80s albums. The only downside is that the chorus is really weak in comparison to the rest. "Top Of The World" starts of with a riff that reminds us of "Princess Of The Night" followed by twin guitars that remind me of Iron Maiden. This and the final track are probably my favorite moments off this release. What makes these songs so great is that they show Saxon embracing new sounds and directions that they otherwise lack in their sound.

After the terrible "To The End", that drags on for almost 6 minutes, we finally get to the "Kingdom Of The Cross". The track starts in the same slow tempo as "To The End" but the arrangements all scream that this is a classy composition and not just another metal by numbers track. "Kingdom Of The Cross" shows a completely different side of the band that almost sounds a bit progressive at times. This track is probably the reason why I bothered reviewing this album to begin with!

If you're a fan of the classic Saxon sound and want a weaker version of just that then "Battering Ram" might be for you. Personally, I prefer quality metal and this album has a few moments here and there but lacks the momentum that made Saxon one of the classic metal bands that we know and love.

**** star songs: Battering Ram (4:56) The Devil's Footprint (4:09) Queen Of Hearts (5:08) Stand Your Ground (4:16) Top Of The World (4:01) Kingdom Of The Cross (6:08)

*** star songs: Destroyer (3:21) Hard And Fast (4:46) Eye Of The Storm (3:55)

** star songs: To The End (5:51)

SAXON Solid Ball of Rock

Album · 1990 · Heavy Metal
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Losimba
As I already mentioned in the Rock The Nations review, Solid Ball Of Rock is one of the three Saxon albums I listened to most often, and all of the three have the same rating of three and a half stars.

In case of Solid Ball Of Rock the reason for this only slightly above average rating is the surprising gap in quality between some songs, though most of them are exactly those solid Heavy Metal songs we can expect from Saxon. But others, like especially Altar Of The Gods, completely fail to impress. I also will never find the connection of Bavarian Rhapsody (I recall it being named Bavarian Beaver on the sleeve of the CD I recorded it from) with the country in which I grew up. On the positive side I can only name three songs: The title track is a wee bit more than solid, and Overture In B Minor / Refugee has been a constant member of my favourites playlist in the last 25 years. But the best song on the album and my number one Saxon song is Requiem (We Will Remember), a fine tribute to all musicians and fans of Rock and Metal who are not with us anymore.

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