Saxon are one of the original NWOBHM bands.

Saxon Saxon-Saxon (EMI) 1979

1."Rainbow Theme"-instrumental (1:00)
2."Frozen Rainbow" (4:37)
3."Big Teaser" (3:55)
4."Judgement Day" (5:30)
5."Stallions of the Highway" (2:52)
6."Backs to the Wall" (3:09)
7."Still Fit to Boogie" (2:53)
8."Militia Guard" (4:52)

The debut Saxon album sounds NOTHING like the Saxon we all know and love. Saxon were one of the first NWOBHM bands but their debut release would soon be overshadowed by the phenomenal:

Saxon-Wheels of Steel/Strong Arm of the Law Saxon-Wheels of Steel/Strong Arm of the Law (EMI) 1980/1980

Wheels of Steel Strong Arn of the Law
DISC ONE "Wheels of Steel"
1. "Motorcycle Man" (4:00)
2. "Stand Up and Be Counted" (3:09)
3. "747 (Strangers in the Night)" (4:57)
4. "Wheels of Steel" (5:57)
5. "Freeway Mad" (2:40)
6. "See the Light Shining" (4:53)
7. "Street Fighting Gang" (3:10)
8. "Suzie Hold On" (4:32)
9. "Machine Gun" (5:21)
10. "Judgement Day" -live (5:36)
11. "Wheels Of Steel" -7" version (4:25)
12. "See The Light Shining" -live (5:30)
13. "Wheels Of Steel" -Live (9:26)
14. "747 (Strangers In The Night)" -live (4:56)
15. "Stallions Of The Highway" -live (3:16)
DISC TWO "Strong Atm of the Law"
1. "Heavy Metal Thunder" (4:21)
2. "To Hell and Back Again" (4:48)
3. "Strong Arm of the Law" (4:43)
4. "Taking Your Chances" (4:21)
5. "20,000 Feet" (3:25)
6. "Hungry Years" (5:08)
7. "Sixth Form Girls" (4:19)
8. "Dallas 1 PM" (6:27)
9. "20,000 Feet" -live (3:28)
10. "Dallas 1 PM" -live (6:18)
11. "Hungry Years" -live (5:56)
12. "Strong Arm of the Law" -live (4:30)
13. "Heavy Metal Thunder" -live (4:00)

An expensive import that I was blessed to get as a gift from a friend. Two albums on one disc, plus a bunch of live material that I use to own on a crappy bootleg tape. These two albums were so far superior to their debut that it was all but forgotten. "Strong Arm" is slightly stronger (no pun intended) than "Wheels of Steel" but both are great albums with tons of classic Saxon songs. Saxon's obsession with America was apparent on these two with songs like "Dallas 1 PM," a song about the assasination of J.F.K.

Live at Donnington Saxon-Live at Donnington (CAS) 1997

1. "Motorcycle Man" (4:08)
2. "Still Fit to Boogie" (2:48)
3. "Freeway Mad" (3:07)
4. "Backs to the Wall" (4:02)
5. "Wheels of Steel" (5:33)
6. "Bap Shoo Ap" (6:49)
7. "747 (Strangers in the Night)" (4:59)
8. "Stallions of the Highway" (4:46)
9. "Machine Gun" (6:11)

Thought I had better pick this one up before it disappears. At the time I listed this, it was readily available on CDNow for about $10. Being that it is on such an obscure label, I had a feeling this disc would disappear as fast as it surfaced. Anyhow, this short disc was recorded at Castle Donnington in August of 1980 at the very beginning of Saxon's career. Cool to hear some of those early rockers like "Still Fit to Boogie" and "Stallions of the Highway" that have never made it to any official live Saxon disc. "Bap Shoo Ap" is a silly sing along song where Biff attempts to get the audience to sing along. It works better with "Wheels of Steel" but at this point they had not started doing that yet. Also of note, this was the very first Monsters of Rock festival and if Biff is correct, there were 60,000 people in attendance rocking to the likes of Saxon, Judas Priest, Riot and the Scorpions. The NWOBHM is born!

Wheels of Steel Saxon-Denim and Leather (Disky) 1981

1. "Princess of the Night" (4:00)
2. "Never Surrender" (3:13)
3. "Out of Control" (4:04)
4. "Rough and Ready" (4:49)
5. "Play it Loud" (4:09)
6. "And the Bands Played On" (2:47)
7. "Midnight Rider" (5:41)
8. "Fire in the Sky" (3:35)
9. "Denim and Leather" (5:24)

A Holland import version that I obtained in a trade. Another strong biker metal album with tons of classics. Saxon were at the top of their game here. "Princess of the Night" is one of their best songs ever. "Denim & Leather" is an anthem to metalheads everywhere. I believe this one was a huge hit for them in Europe staying on the charts for several months.

The Eagle Has Landed Saxon-The Eagle Has Landed (EMI) 1982

1. "Motorcycle Man" (4:21)
2. "747 (Strangers in the Night)" (4:37)
3. "Princess of the Night" (4:22)
4. "Strong Arm of the Law" (4:38)
5. "Heavy Metal Thunder" (4:19)
6. "20,000 Ft." (3:18)
7. "Wheels of Steel" (8:51)
8. "Never Surrender" (3:56)
9. "Fire in the Sky" (2:39)
10. "Machine Gun" (3:48)

Saxon live isn't much different than Saxon studio, save for the crowd interaction on "Wheels of Steel." That is probably why this album failed to break Saxon into the US market like they were hoping it would. Well, I am of the opinion that this is a classic, although not to the same level as say Judas Priest's "Unleased in the East" or Thin Lizzy's "Live & Dangerous." My copy is a German import version.

Power & the Glory Saxon-Power & the Glory (EMI) 1983

1. "Power and the Glory" (5:56)
2. "Redline" (3:38)
3. "Warrior" (3:47)
4. "Nightmare" (4:23)
5. "This Town Rocks" (3:58)
6. "Watching the Sky" (3:42)
7. "Midas Touch" (4:12)
8. "The Eagle Has Landed" (6:57)

One powerful NWOBHM disc that is just as strong today as it was in the early 80's. Saxon out did themselves on this disc. Why they never became as big as they deserved to be is beyond me. Not a bad song on this disc, which is unusual for a Saxon disc as most do have at least on stinker. "This Town Rocks" pushing the bounds of Spinal Tap silliness, but still manages to fit in overall. Others like "Redline" and the title track more than make up for it however. Another German import version.

Crusader Saxon-Crusader (EMI) 1984

1. "The Crusader Prelude" (1:05)
2. "Crusader" (6:33)
3. "A Little Bit of What You Fancy" (3:50)
4. "Sailing to America" (5:03)
5. "Set Me Free" (3:13)
6. "Just Let Me Rock" (4:11)
7. "Bad Boys (Like to Rock 'N' Roll)" (3:24)
8. "Do it All for You" (4:42)
9. "Rock City" (3:16)
10. "Run for Your Lives" (3:53)

Another German import. I guess this English band must be popular in Germany because all these discs are still available there, while they are out of print and selling for stupid amounts of money in the US. Anyhow, many considered this a disappointment, as it was less aggressive and more melodic than past albums. I liked it when it was a new release and still enjoy it today. OK, there are a few Spinal Tap silly clunkers like "Bad Boys (Like to Rock 'N' Roll)" and "Rock City," but songs like "Crusader" and "Sailing to America" are fine examples of Saxon's brand of biker metal!

Innocence is No Excuse Saxon-Innocence Is No Excuse (Axe Killer) 1985

1. "Rockin' Again" (5:11)
2. "Call of the Wild" (4:03)
3. "Back on the Streets" (4:00)
4. "Devil Rides Out" (4:25)
5. "Rock 'N' Roll Gypsy" (4:14)
6. "Broken Heroes" (5:25)
7. "Gonna Shout" (3:59)
8. "Everybody Up" (3:30)
9. "Raise Some Hell" (3:40)
10."Give It Everything You've Got" (3:27)
11. "Just Let Me Rock" (4:11)
12. "Do it All for You" (4:42)

This album was stinking HARD TO FIND! Up until 1999, I couldn't even seem to special order a copy. Luckily a French company (Axe Killer) reissued it. I remember when this came out everyone thought this album was another big disappointment. I liked it as it's heavy, melodic and hook laden. Once again, some of the lyrics and song titles border Spinal Tap silliness, but the music is full of emotion. "Back on the Streets", "Devil Rides Out", "Rock 'N' Roll Gypsy" and "Broken Heroes" are all superior Saxon songs, in my opinion. This French version came in a nice slip case, with a 16-page full color booklet and contains two extra tracks. There are a bunch of cool live pics on the inside with Biff & Co. looking very dapper in their glammy outfits. The bonus tracks are both from "Crusader."

Rock the Nations Saxon-Rock the Nations (Griffin) 1986

1. "Rock the Nations" (4:41)
2. "Battle Cry" (5:26)
3. "Waiting for the Night" (4:52)
4. "We Came Here to Rock" (4:19)
5. "You Ain't No Angel" (5:29)
6. "Running Hot" (3:36)
7. "Party Til You Puke" (3:26)
8. "Empty Promises" (4:11)
9. "Northern Lady" (4:43)

I'm not sure what happened here. After the excellent "No Excuse for Innocence" and the even stronger "Power & the Glory" Saxon made a stylistic u-turn and headed into a generic, less melodic anthemic sound. I suppose it was an attempt to get back to their "Denim & Leather" roots, but for some reason it didn't work well here. Geez, with titles like "Party Til You Puke" is there really any reason to explain? On a side note, Elton John makes a guest piano appearance on the album on "Party til You Puke" and "Northern Lady."

Saxon-Destiny (Axe Killer) 1988

1. "Ride Like the Wind" (4:29)
2. "Where the Lightning Strikes" (4:18)
3. "I Can't Wait Anymore" (4:24)
4. "Calm Before the Storm" (3:47)
5. "S.O.S." (6:03)
6. "Song for Emma" (4:46)
7. "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (3:54)
8. "We Are Strong" (3:57)
9. "Jericho Siren" (3:37)
10. "Red Alert" (4:34)
11. "Live Fast Die Young"
12. "Rock The Nations" -live
13. "Back On The Streets" -live

YAAAA!!! Finally! The missing Saxon studio album in my collection. This one is very different than one would expect from Saxon. This album is yet another attempt at the American melodic/commercial metal sound. I really don't understand why this disc didn't go over better as it really is quality music, especially "Red Alert" and the Christopher Cross song. Yup, opening cut "Ride Like the Wind" is the Christopher Cross cover. This disc was out of print for years and was selling in the $30-$50 range on eBay. As usual, however, patience pays off and the disc was re-released by French company Axe Killer. Includes some cool bonus tracks and excellent packaging as well. As with their "Innocence is No Excuse" reissue, the disc comes wrapped in a slipcase. The bonus tracks are all B-sides from various 12" singles that were previously unavailable on cd.

BBC Sessions Saxon-BBC Sessions/Live at Reading Festival '86 (BBC Music) 1998

Friday Rock Show 2/15/80
1. "Backs To The Wall" (3:18)
2. "Stallions Of The Highway" (2:47)
3. "Motorcycle Man" (3:47)
4. "Still Fit To Boogie" (2:45)
5. "747 (Strangers In The Night) (5:01)

Studio B15 Live 5/25/82
6. "20,000 FT" (3:18)
7. "Dallas 1PM" (6:00)
8. "The Eagle Has Landed" (7:24)

Reading Festival/Friday Rock Show 6/26/86
9. "Power And The Glory" (7:06)
10. "Never Surrender" (4:01)
11. "Rock The Nations" (5:10)
12. "Wheels Of Steel" (6:07)
13. "Waiting For The Night" (4:39)
14. "Strong Arm Of The Law" (6:25)

Nice set of live and live in the studio Saxon tunes. Of particular note is that at the end of "Strong Arm" there is a short medley of Black Sabbath tunes. Not sure if this disc is available in the US or not. I've not seen it.

Missing in Action: Saxon- Destiny. See my want list.

Solid Ball of Rock Saxon-Solid Ball of Rock (Virgin) 1991

1. "Solid Ball of Rock" (4:35)
2. "Altar of the Gods" (3:30)
3. "Requiem (We Will Remember)" (5:16)
4. "Lights in the Sky" (4:03)
5. "I Just Can't Get Enough" (4:34)
6. "Baptism of Fire" (3:08)
7. "Ain't Gonna Take It" (4:47)
8. "I'm on Fire" (4:24)
9. "Overture in B-Minor/Refugee" (5:42)
10. "Bavarian Rhapsody" (1:17)
11. "Crash Dive" (4:21)

Uh, hmm, don't know what happened here. I guess Saxon's desperation to make it in America got to them as this is really bad hairball metal, save for the Accept-like title track.

Forever Free German Forever Free UK Saxon-Forever Free (Virgin) 1993

1. "Forever Free" (4:57)
2. "Hole in the Sky" (4:42)
3. "Just Wanna Make Love To You" (3:54)
4. "Get Down & Dirty" (5:05)
5. "Iron Wheels" (4:12)
6. "One Step Away" (4:57)
7. "Can't Stop Rockin'" (4:03)
8. "Nighthunter" (3:22)
9. "Grind" (4:23)
10. "Cloud Nine" (4:36)

This disc was released with two different covers. I have the cover with the red logo and border, but the other cover is so cool, I had to put it up for ya'll to see. For a more detailed review, see "Dogs of War" below.

Dogs of War Saxon-Dogs of War (Virgin) 1995

1. "Dogs of War" (4:36)
2. "Burning Wheels" (4:10)
3. "Don't Worry" (5:17)
4. "Big Twin Rollin (Coming Home)" (5:23)
5. "Hold On" (4:31)
6. "The Great White Buffalo" (5:52)
7. "Demolition Alley" (6:09)
8. "Walking Through Tokyo" (5:50)
9. "Give It All Away" (4:03)
10. "Yesterday's Gone" (3:43)

After screwing around for several albums trying to "make it" in the American market, this classic NOWBHM band finally realizes that they need to be who they are and stop pretending. Legendary bands that try to change to appease a trend are a sad lot. Fortunately Saxon figured that out and put out these two high charged heavy metal discs. Yes, Saxon is BACK! These are their strongest discs in years! Songs like the title cut, "Forever Free," "Burning Wheel," and "The Great White Buffalo" are great biker songs that fit well with the classics from "Wheels of Steel" and "Denim and Leather." One thing though, I wonder just how many songs Saxon have with the words "rock, rocks, & rockin'" in the title?

Unfortunately "Dogs of War" and "Forever Free" are only available as an expensive imports. Lucky for me I have friends in high places that save me from paying $30 for these discs. My dear friend Olaf in Germany GAVE me these two. You rule Olaf!

The Eagle Has Landed Part 2 Saxon-The Eagle Has Landed Part 2 (CMC International) 1996

1.   "Intro/Warlord" (2:19)
2.   "Dogs of War" (4:52)
3.   "Forever Free" (4:48)
4.   "Requiem" (5:54)
5.   "Crusader" (5:57)
6.   "Light in the Sky" (4:29)
7.   "Iron Wheels" (4:17)
8.   "Ain't Gonna Take It" (4:44)
9.   "Crash Dive" (4:21)
10. "Refugee" (6:01)

11.   "Solid Ball of Rock" (5:03)
12.   "Great White Buffalo" (6:31)
13.   "Eagle Has Landed" (7:37)
14.   "Princess of the Night" (5:15)
15.   "Can't Stop Rockin'" (4:39)
16.   "Denim & Leather" (6:18)
17.   "Wheels of Steel/Demolition Alley" (12:52)

Another excellent live disc from Biff and Co. I love Saxon live! Can't get enough of it. Biff's voice sounding a bit worn here and there on this disc, however.

Saxon-Unleash the Beast (CMC International) 1997

1."Gothic Dreams"-instrumental (1:33)
2."Unleash the Beast" (5:16)
3."Terminal Velocity" (4:43)
4."Circle of Light" (5:26)
5."The Thin Red Line" (6:20)
6."Ministry of Fools" (4:29)
7."The Preacher" (4:55)
8."Bloodletter" (5:31)
9."Cut Out the Disease" (5:23)
10."Absent Friends (Song for J.J.)" (4:54)
11."All Hell Breaking Loose" (4:31)

Hmm, not a terrible disc, but somehow not quite as good as "Dogs of War" or "Forever Free." Biff's voice sounds stronger than ever, though. Saxon recorded a song for the Judas Priest tribute around this time.

Metalhead Saxon-Metalhead (SPV) 1999

1. "Metalhead" (4:52)
2. "Are We Travellers In Time" (5:17)
3. "Conquistador" (4:42)
4. "What Goes Around" (4:24)
5. "Song Of Evil" (4:12)
6. "All Guns Blazing" (3:53)
7. "Prisoner" (4:12)
8. "Piss Off" (4:04)
9. "Watching You" (5:18)
10. "Sea Of Life" (8:11)

Wow! This is REAL METAL! I was impressed with this disc as it sounds like Saxon yet somehow manages to not sound dated. Lots of cool songs on this one, my favorite being the title track, a song supposedly about aliens. "Are We Travellers" is also about aliens. Other cool songs are "Conquistador" and "Song of Evil." Metalhead is definitely a stronger album than "Unleash the Beast."

After a few months of owning this disc and living with it, I must say I still like it as much as I did when I first bought it. Had the chance to see Saxon live (with U.D.O.) opening. It was a great show with Saxon playing for well over two hours. They performed four songs off the new album, the four that I picked as favorites a few months earlier when the above review was written. Also have to say that despite the rumors of Biff Byford being "anti-social," he is actually very cool. I had the pleasure of talking with Biff for a few minutes after the show when he came out to hang with some of the fans who were still hanging around. He was very cordial, signing autographs and just enjoying the fan's attention. Got my disc signed by Biff. (see photo above.)

Best of Rock Saxon- Beast of Rock (CAS Records) 2001

1. "Turn Out The Lights" (4:05)
2. "Coming To The Rescue" (3:38)
3. "See The Light Shining" (4:54)
4. "Stand Up And Be Counted" (5:33)
5. "Freeway Mad" (2:07)
6. "Ann Marie" (5:39)
7. "Lift Up Your Eyes" (1:48)
9. "Still Fit To Rock n Roll" (3:06)
10. "Big Teaser" (Original) (3:35)
11. "Frozen Rainbow" (7:07)
12. "Walking" (4:43)
13. "Make 'Em Rock" (3:18)
14. "Stone Room Jam" (5:27)
15. "Ain't You Glad To Be Alive" (2:51)

Not sure if this is a bootleg or an official release, but 'Beast of Rock' features some of the earliest of Saxon studio and live material. It's a pretty sweet collection. The sound is excellent and the material is all unreleased as far as I know. I'm not sure of the origin of most of this material, but as I get more information I will post it. There is a collection similar to this one called 'Diamonds And Nuggets' as well.

Killing Ground Saxon-Killing Ground (SPV) 2001

1. "Intro" (1:36)
2. "Killing Ground" (5:44)
3. "Court of the Crimson King" (6:00)
4. "Coming Home" (3:38)
5. "Hell Freezes Over" (4:42)
6. "Dragon's Lair" (3:38)
7. "You Don;t Know What You've Got" (5:00)
8. "Deeds of Glory" (4:34)
9. "Running for the Border" (4:24)
10. "Shadows on the Wall" (6:15)
11. "Rock is Our Life" (3:55)
1. "Princess of the Night" (4:10)
2. "Crusader" (6:38)
3. "Wheels of Steel" (5:52)
4. "Motorcycle Man" (3:45)
5. "Strong Arm of the Law" (4:24)
6. "Denim & Leather" (5:19)
7. "Dallas 1 PM" (6:15)
8. "And the Bands Played On" (2:52)

Very cool digi pack collector's edition of the new Saxon disc. The disc comes wrapped in a deluxe digi-pack that folds out several times and includes the full booklet from the single disc version as well as a plethora of pics of the band. The bonus disc contains new studio recordings of old Saxon classics. The production on these bonus tracks are, of course, superior to the originals but overall the songs don't change that much. The one exception is that some of the guitar solos have been re-written and are a bit more flashy. Biff's voice sounds as strong as ever on these, as well as the new tracks. As for the new material, well, this disc continues where 'Metalhead' left off. "Killing Ground" is as good, or better than that disc, and certainly blows "Unleash the Beast" out of the water. Their cover of King Crimson's "In the Court of the Crimson King" is superb and may be one of my favorites off this disc. The title track rocks supreme, putting Saxon into realms of heaviness of Accept or Judas Priest.

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