SAXON – “SAXON”Feb 20th, 2009
Medium / Titel: CD / “Saxon” – remasterd
Saxon have been one of the leading forces in British Heavy Metal for over three decades and are as active now as when they formed in 1977. Having recently completed a series of UK dates with Motorhead they are set to release their latest studio album (and 19th to date) in January 2009 – the continual touring and release schedule has ensured that they have maintained a strong fanbase, illustrated by their 2007 Best Of selling 12k units OTC.
Their first three albums have now been given the complete remastering treatment and come bursting with previously unreleased demos, BBC sessions, rare, unseen photos and all feature liner notes written by Classic Rock and Metal Hammer journalist Jerry Ewing in co-operation with lead singer Biff Byford.
Saxon’s self-titled debut, widely regarded as the first LP to be released by a New Wave Of British Heavy Metal band, was first released in 1979 on the French Carrere label. Originally forming in Barnsley, South Yorkshire as Son Of A Bitch, the quintet of Biff Byford on vocals, Graham Oliver and Paul Quinn on lead guitars, Steve Dawson on bass and Pete Gill on drums, upon being signed, the band swiftly changed their name to Saxon (which their label thought would be more palatable to US audiences). Produced by John Verity at Livingstone Studios, the album starts with the progressively flavoured suite of ‘Rainbow Theme’/'Frozen Rainbow’. The rest of the album is suffused with a punky energy, and features the classics ‘Stallions Of The Highway’, ‘Still Fit To Boogie’ and ‘Militia Guard’.
The original album is now supplemented by pre-album demos, recorded when they were still called Son Of A Bitch, their first BBC session, recorded in 1980 for Tommy Vance’s Radio 1 Friday Rock Show, plus live tracks from the inaugural Donington Monsters Of Rock show, 1980. It also features rare and previously unseen photos courtesy of the band’s personal archives as well as extensive liner notes by Classic Rock and Metal Hammer journalist Jerry Ewing, written in co-operation with lead singer Biff Byford.