One of the first NWOBHM bands, that never reached the plateau of bands like Iron Maiden, Def Leppard or even Saxon. They are most known as the band that Bruce Dickinson was in before Iron Maiden.

Survivors Samson-Survivors (Sanctuary) 1979

1. "It's Not as Easy as It Seems" (3:07)
2. "I Wish I Was the Saddle of a Schoolgirl's Bike" (3:09)
3. "Big Brother" (6:18)
4. "Tomorrow or Yesterday" (6:34)
5. "Koz" (4:26)
6. "Six Foot Under" (5:13)
7. "Inside Out" (4:10)
8. "Wrong Side of Time" (4:49)

All the songs on Samson's debut were co-written by guitarist Paul Samson and Gillan bassist/songwriter John McCoy. Also making a guest appearance is Gillan's Collin Towns on keys. It is also interesting to note that while Bruce Bruce (Bruce Dickinson) is listed as vocalist and is pictured on the cover, he didn't actually do the vocals on this disc. Apparently the album was recorded before Bruce joined. The band started off as a trio, with guitarist Paul Samson taking on the vocal duties as well. Also on board was bassist Chris Aylmer and the masked drummer "Thunderstick'" (Barry Graham). The music is certainly comparable to other New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands that were beginning to rule the world around this time (Judas Priest, Saxon, Iron Maiden, etc.) with a slightly bluesier Deep Purple type sound. This could be the influence of the Gillan members. I also wonder if this where Bruce Dickinson first met future Maiden guitarist Janick Gers, who was with Gillan around the time of this recording in '78-'79. The cover art on this disc is quite pompous. The cover features a painting of the band standing on top of deceased personalities such as Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, Adolf Hitler, Al Capone, Samson, Cleopatra and a host of other well known individuals. The re-release features a nice 8-page booklet with a bio and some live photos. The photos of Bruce sporting a mustache are rather amusing.

Shock Tactics Samson-Shock Tactics (Sanctuary) 1982

1. "Riding With the Angels" (3:42)
2. "Earth Mother" (4:40)
3. "Nice Girl" (3:19)
4. "Blood Lust" (6:00)
5. "Go to Hell" ( 3:18)
6. "Bright Lights" (3:07)
7. "Once Bitten" (4:36)
8. "Grime Crime" (4:32)
9. "Communion" (6:32)

From every review I have ever read, this is Samson's best album. Having only heard two other of their discs, I can only sort of agree. 'Shock Tactics' was the last Samson album to feature Bruce Bruce on vocals. The music was still in the NWOBHM tradition mixed with Deep Purple, but Bruce's vocals just bring this album to life. The man can sing! Certainly this is what makes this album stick out over contemporaries like Diamond Head and Tygers of Pan Tang. AC/DC produced Tony Platt also helped make this album scream. The album starts off with one of the band's finest songs, which happens to be written by Russ Ballard, but continues to stay strong throughout. It's no wonder Maiden snapped this guy up. He had the singing lungs of Ian Gillan and the scream of Rob Halford.

Burning Emotion Samson-Burning Emotion/The Best of 1985-1990 (Magnum) 1995

1. "Burning Emotion" (4:27)
2. "Tramp" (4:49)
3. "Tell Me" (6:35)
4. "No Turning Back" (4:40)
5. "Stranger" (3:55)
6. "Don't Turn Away" (3:47)
7. "Tomorrow" (3:38)
8. "The Silver Screen" (5:31)
9. "Too Late" (3:56)
10. "Don't Close Your Eyes" (3:42)
11. "Fight for Your Life" (4:22)
12. "Good to See You" (4:14)
13. "Room 109" (3:19)
14. "Don't Tell Me It's Over" (7:02)
15. "Can't Live Without Your Love" (4:15)

Ahhh, a surprise disc from a trader friend in Norway. (Thanks kmorg) I have actually only familiarized myself with the band's first three albums, so listening to this disc was quite a surprise in itself, as Paul Samson and his band strayed far from the original NWOBHM sounds that they helped to build in the early 80's. The sound is much more commercial hard rock than any of those releases. What else is surprising is that the material is quite good. Paul is a proficient player, but I imagine he must have had a large attitude due to the fact that he went through band members with each and every album. This best of package takes tracks from four different albums and features a different vocalist on each new album. I would imagine this may be why the band never developed a larger following, as Sampson became more of a Paul solo project than it did an actual band. Still, like I said, the music is quite good. May have to investigate some more of Sampson's material.

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