Saturday, April 6, 2013

Loud Guitars and Cups of tea...ITS SAXON

G'day, Saxon huh, right then...

first time I saw a Saxon album was at Utopia records, my favourite heavy metal shop in the world, and to be fair, at the time, I hadn't heard any of their stuff but one of the blokes must of read my mind and played me Wheel of Steel and Strong arm of the law and that was me hooked, took both albums home with me and wore them OUT..

Had the pleasure of meeting the boys at Schiphol airport in 87, I was arriving as were they, I walked up and said g'day, they were stunned and Aussie had heard of them, I told 'em they were the grouse and they gave me some autographs and stuff,  (which the ex wife chucked out)..ANYWAY.....

Saxon began with a lineup formed by Peter "Biff" Byford on vocals, Paul Quinn and Graham Oliver on guitars, Steve "Dobby" Dawson on bass and drummer David Ward. Early in their career, the band changed their name from Son of a Bitch to Saxon, and gained support slots on tour with more established bands such as Motörhead. In 1979, the band signed to the French record label Carrere and released their eponymous debut album.

n 1980, the follow-up album Wheels of Steel (UK no 5) spawned two hit singles: the title track, and the crowd favorite "747 (Strangers in the Night)". The album catapulted the band into stardom overnight and they began a series of relentless tours across the UK. On 16 August 1980 Saxon appeared at the very first Monsters of Rock Festival where they received a great reception from the crowd. The band's set was recorded but not officially released until 2000. In 1980 Saxon made their first of many appearances on Top Of The Pops where they preformed the hit single Wheels of steel. Strong Arm of the Law (UK no 11), considered by many fans to be their best recording, was released later that same year and kept the bands popularity increasing. Two singles were released from this album: Strong Arm of the Law and Dallas 1PM, the latter about the assassination of President 

By 1981, the band had toured most of the world and were getting less time to record new material. With the band touring the world they had gained notable success in Japan where the single Motorcycle Man had stayed in the charts for almost 6 months. Nearing the end of 1981 the band released their fourth album Denim And Leather which was dedicated to their fan base. 

The album is still very popular today and the title track "Denim And Leather" is considered to be a metal anthem of that era. The album also featured many other fan favorites "Princess of the Night", "Never Surrender" and "The Bands Played On" were all UK Top 20 hits. Denim And Leather followed its predecessors success and charted all over Europe and went silver in the UK.

Just as the band was about to embark on a huge tour to follow the success of Denim And Leather the bands drummer at the time Pete Gill dropped out due to damaged hand. The band had to quickly replace him with Nigel Glockler formerly of Toyah, who had to learn the whole set within a day and a half just before the tour was about to begin. Glockler is still with the band today.... but cracks began to appear within the band with Nobby doing a ton of blow and trying to take over the stage from Biff,  and in early 1986 bassist Steve Dawson was fired, and Saxon was back in the studio recording their 8th studio album Rock the Nations without a bass player. 

With Elton John guest playing on piano on 2 tracks, and Byford laying down the bass parts, the album charted higher than its predecessor and was considered a successful album. They hired bassist Paul Johnson to fill the spot and a European arena tour followed. In the summer of 1986 they headlined the Reading Festival and toured the U.S.

During 1994 Saxon recorded the album Dogs of War. Just after the recording of the album Graham Oliver was fired from the band after trying to sell recordings of Saxon's performance at Donningtion in 1980 behind the band's back....the man was clearly insane, and yet on the Saxon documentary he cant see anything wrong with what he did ( nor can Steve Dawson...weird)

The band replaced Oliver with Doug Scarratt, a long time friend of drummer Nigel Glockler. 

in 1999, those two nimrods Graham Oliver and Steven Dawson tried it on again and registered 'Saxon' as a trade mark. They then maintained that they had exclusive rights in the name and tried to prevent Biff Byford and Saxon's promoters and merchandisers from using the name. Byford applied to the Trade Mark Registry to have the trade mark declared invalid. 

In 2003 the High Court told Nobby and Oliver they were barking mad and decided that it was Byford and the current members of the band who owned the name, and the goodwill which they had generated themselves and were therefore in a position to prevent Oliver and Dawson passing themselves off as Saxon...SUCKED IN

The line-up of Byford's Saxon has been fairly stable, other than in the spirit of Spinal Tap, they have gone through a few drummers  Following Glockler's departure, German Fritz Randow took up the position until 2004. His replacement was former Stratovarius man Jörg Michael.
2004 saw the release of Lionheart their 16th studio album. The album title was inspired from Richard Lionheart, King of England. "Beyond the Grave" was released as a single and a video. The album received positive reviews and the title track remains a fan favorite. Glockler rejoined the band in 2005 after his neck and shoulder injury had healed. In 2006 the band released the live album, The Eagle Has Landed – part 3

Saxon released a new studio album, Into the Labyrinth, on 12 January 2009. The album received positive reviews and continued the success that The Inner Sanctum had created The band also headlined the Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany. 

Saxon released their nineteenth studio album, Call to Arms, on 3 June 2011. It debuted at number 6 on the UK Rock Albums chart.The band embarked on a massive world tour which saw them visit the US; Saxon also revisited the UK for a second leg of the tour. 

In October 2012, the band announced that their next studio album would be titled Sacrifice and be released on the 25th of February 2013
On the 11th of December Heavy Metal Thunder - The Movie saw an international release and first Blu-ray release for the band.

Current members
Biff Byford – vocals (1976–present)
Paul Quinn – guitars, (1976–present)
Nigel Glockler – drums (1981–1987, 1988–1999, 2005–present)
Nibbs Carter – bass (1988–present)
Doug Scarratt – guitars (1996–present)


Former members
Graham Oliver – guitar (1976–1996)
Steve Dawson – bass (1976–1986)
David Ward – drums (1976–1978)
Pete Gill – drums (1978–1981)
Paul Johnson – bass (1986–1988)
Trevor Thorton – drums (1998-1999)
Fritz Randow – drums (1999–2004)
Jorg Michael – drums (2004–2005)

Saxon (1979)
Wheels of Steel (1980)
Strong Arm of the Law (1980)
Denim and Leather (1981)
Power & the Glory (1983)
Crusader (1984)
Innocence Is No Excuse (1985)
Rock the Nations (1986)
Destiny (1988)
Solid Ball of Rock (1991)
Forever Free (1992)
Dogs of War (1995)
Unleash the Beast (1997)
Metalhead (1999)
Killing Ground (2001)
Lionheart (2004)
The Inner Sanctum (2007)
Into the Labyrinth (200
Call to Arms (2011)
Sacrifice (2013)

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