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Saxon Import, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered


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Audio CD, Import, Extra tracks, March 10, 2009
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Saxon + Wheels of Steel + Strong Arm of the Law
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Editorial Reviews

2009 digitally remastered and expanded edition of the British Metal band's self-titled 1979 debut, widely regarded as the first LP to be released by a New Wave Of British Heavy Metal band. 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. 22 tracks. EMI.

1. Rainbow Theme
2. Frozen Rainbow
3. Big Teaser
4. Judgement Day
5. Stallions of the Highway
6. Back to the Wall
7. Still Fit to Boogie
8. Militia Guard
9. Big Teaser [*]
10. Stallions of the Highway [*]
11. Backs to the Wall [*]
12. Rainbow Theme [*]
13. Frozen Rainbow [*]
14. Backs to the Wall [Tommy Vance's Friday Rock Show BBC Session]
15. Stallions of the Highway [Tommy Vance's Friday Rock Show BBC Session]
16. Mototcycle Man [Tommy Vance's Friday Rock Show BBC Session]
17. Still Fit to Boogie [Tommy Vance's Friday Rock Show BBC Session]
18. 747 (Strangers in the Night) [Tommy Vance's Friday Rock Show BBC Sessio
19. Judgement Day [Tommy Vance's Friday Rock Show BBC Session]
20. Still Fit to Boogie [Live]
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 10, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B001Q2RXIS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,921 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Justin G. TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 9, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Saxon may be one of the best known bands that emerged during the celebrated New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) era, but before their genre defining albums Wheels of Steel, Strong Arm of the Law and Denim & Leather, the band issued this often-overlooked 1979 debut album.

Prior to this album's release, Saxon was operating under the unlikely moniker Son of a B!tch. The band was more or less a merger of SOB, which featured Graham Oliver, Steve Dawson and Pete Gill, and Coast, which included Biff Byford and Paul Quinn. Coast was a heavy prog rock band and SOB was a heavy blues rock act. It made for an interesting combination, to say the least. The Saxon debut sounds a bit like a pairing of Kansas and AC/DC. It's a heavy album and rocks pretty hard, but there's a bluesy, boogieing vibe as well. Wheels of Steel this ain't, though you can hear the future Saxon sound peeking out in the melody and speed of songs like "Stallions of the Highway" and the NWOBHM prototype "Militia Guard".

The Saxon on this debut recording may bear little resemblance to the Saxon that would totally redefine the British metal scene just one year later, but this is still an album that's absolutely worth owning. It's a great look at the formative stages of one of Britain's most important metal bands, and is a pretty rockin' album at that.

Edition Notes - EMI reissued the Saxon debut (along with the rest of the early Saxon albums) in 2009.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Darth Pariah on February 1, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Where were you in '79 when the dam began to burst?"

In America, you were probably clutching your Aerosmith, Van Halen, Ted Nugent, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple albums and playing them at full blast to ward of the aural nausea of the Village People, Bee Gees, et al.

In the UK, you were experiencing the first ripples of what would become, in my opinion, the most energetic revitalisation of rock music, never equalled before or since:

THE NEW WAVE OF BRITISH HEAVY METAL (NWOBHM)!

There were exciting new bands taking their place alongside classic metal warriors like Judas Priest, the revitalised Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Whitesnake (pre-hair metal days) and UFO.

Among them were Iron Maiden, Def Leppard (yes, they were once a metal band!) and...SAXON.

This is an example of a new, young band at the forefront of a new, exciting musical genre. They haven't quite found their feet here and in a lot of ways still sound like the band gigging around pubs in their native northern England. Some of the tracks, like "Big Teaser" and "Still Fit To Boogie" are forgettable. However, others, like "Backs To The Wall", "Stallions Of The Highway" and "Militia Guard" give hints of the band that would soon release seminal slabs of British metal like "Wheels Of Steel" and "Strong Arm Of The Law".

The album isn't perfect, but I find it worlds better than their lame attempts to "crack America" in the '80s and '90s with dreck like "Crusader" and "Destiny" (I still cringe at their cover of Christopher Cross' "Ride Like The Wind"), though they returned to form after that.

Of course, they never went beyond a cult following in America, but if you listen to this disc you'll see the beginnings of a band who went on to stardom nearly everywhere else in the world and were on the bill at the first Castle Donington festival.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "fuuhq" on July 8, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Saxon kept it going for 4 albums - and a killer live album (The Eagle has landed). They had a unique sound all their own, and spent much of the early years supporting "bigger" bands like Maiden and Motorhead.
But they sounded nothing like either band. Many so-called metal bands would appropriate portions of Saxon's style, and listeners could be forgiven for thinking that Saxon stole from them - when the reverse is true.
Anyway, although the music still kicks a**, the "vibe" that Saxon put out could not be matched by any other band at that time. Slade may have sang "We'll Bring The House Down", but Saxon did it.
A truly great debut album - but a better starting place to get into what Saxon were about would be any of the next 3 - Wheels of Steel, Strong Arm of the Law and Denim and Leather. Don't pass the stunning live album by either.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mike Reed VINE VOICE on January 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Originally released in 1979 as this was Saxon's very first album. Should keep in mind that any new Saxon fans should get their later CD reissues FIRST, then later get a copy of this debut of theirs. Not sure if the problem is in the production or the final mix of this album. Either way their self-titled first lp clearly shows you what the band was like, before they got good. No, make that great. Their follow-up to this CD, 1980's 'The Strong Arm Of The Law' indicates what the group that was active during the 'New Wave Of British Heavy Metal' (aka NWOBHM) era is totally capable of. That was only the beginning of many great Saxon recorded works to come. In my opinion, to this very day, they're STILL able to pen out good songs. As for the CD here, the only two cuts I thought were that good were "Frozen Rainbow" and "Backs To The Wall". The line up: Biff Byford - vocals, Graham Oliver & Paul Quinn - guitars, Steve Dawson - bass and Pete Gill - drums. Not really a bad lp, it just could have been better.
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