SAXON — Denim and Leather (review)

SAXON — Denim and Leather album cover Album · 1981 · NWoBHM Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
It was quite a surprise for me to realize that I actually don't like this album as much as it's two predecessors. This is especially surprising considering that "Princess Of The Night" and "Denim And Leather" are two of my top 3 Saxon compositions. So how can this be?

First thing is first, the album couldn't have chosen a better album opener with "Princess Of The Night" being not only an amazing live track but a studio one as well! "Never Surrender" and "Out Of Control" are fun but ultimately pretty harmless tracks that have just enough staying power to hold their own ground. The first noticeable problem comes with the first tones of "Rough And Ready" and especially "Play It Loud". These tracks are just not metal enough for my taste and sound more like over-amplified hard rock tunes. Fortunately the gorgeous intro of "And The Bands Played On" kicks in just in time to keep this album afloat for a little while longer. Easily one of the best Saxon tracks that I wouldn't mind being expanded by 1-2 more minutes!

"Midnight Rider" and "Fire In The Sky" are pretty solid tracks which unfortunately get buried within this albums wide variety of compositions. Both tracks come close to recreating the magic of the two previous releases but somehow feel a bit dated (...or more like "been there, done that") by this point in time.

Since there is no real point for me to introduce this album's wonderful title track, so let me end this review by stating that "Denim And Leather" is another great Saxon classic. The album might not be as strong as its two predecessors but there is enough staying power in these compositions, especially once we start comparing them to the band's later releases. Definitely give it a go once you've experienced "Wheels Of Steel" and "Strong Arm Of The Law"!

***** star songs: Princess Of The Night (4:02) And The Bands Played On (2:48) Denim And Leather (5:27)

**** star songs: Never Surrender (3:13) Out Of Control (4:08) Midnight Rider (5:45) Fire In The Sky (3:37)

*** star songs: Rough And Ready (4:51) Play It Loud (4:11)
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