Saturday, August 13, 2022

Saxon Re-Release Classic Albums!

Heavy metal legends Saxon seal their reputation by reissuing their first three albums – Saxon, Wheels of Steel and Strong Arm Of The Law on May 30th. They will be available both on vinyl (coloured splatter/swirl vinyl) and CD versions that will feature 24 page media books containing original lyrics, rare photos and memorabilia.

Changing their name from Son Of A Bitch to Saxon, the band became one of the pioneers of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal back in the late 70s-80s, with hit albums and singles alike, continuing to find favour on mainland Europe as the music scene shift and returning as heroes in the last decade delivering successful hit albums like their most recent, Thunderbolt.

On 21st May 1979, Saxon released their self-titled debut album through French record label Carrere. Produced by former Argent guitarist John Verity, it featured early progressive and glam rock influences amid the rawer new sound of NWOBHM emerging. It shows a band in transition and while the label failed to promote the record, adequately their strong live act and key songs from the album began drawing rockers’ attention. The versions to be re-released will includes early demo from when they were Son Of A Bitch, early BBC session tracks and live songs from the inaugural Monsters of Rock festival, as headlined by Rainbow, Saxon having just toured the UK with them.

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Tracks featured on Saxon are: Rainbow Theme’, ‘Frozen Rainbow’, ‘Big Teaser’, ‘Judgement Day’, ‘Stallions Of The Highway’, ‘Backs To The Wall’, ‘Still Fit To Boogie’ and ‘Militia Guard’. The CD version features the bonus tracks: ‘Big Teaser (demo 1978)’, ‘Stallions Of The Highway (demo 1978)’, ‘Backs To The Wall (demo 1978)’, ‘Rainbow Theme (demo 1978)’, ‘Frozen Rainbow (demo 1978)’, ‘Backs To The Wall (BBC session 1980)’, ‘Stallions Of The Highway (BBC session 1980)’, ‘Motorcycle Man (BBC session 1980)’, ‘Still Fit To Boogie (BBC session 1980)’, ‘747 (Strangers In The Night) (BBC session 1980)’, ‘Judgement Day (BBC session 1980)’, ‘Still Fit To Boogie (Live at Donington 1980)’, ‘Backs To The Wall (BBC session 1980)’ and ‘Stallions Of The Highway (BBC session 1980)’.

With added experience, enthusiasm and a willing audience on board, Saxon released Wheels Of Steel in 1980. The album went gold in the UK and both 747 (Strangers In The Night)’ and ‘Wheels Of Steel hit the UK’s hit singles top 40, back when 7”hits actually meant something. Now hailed as a heavy metal classic album the new version will includes rare demos and live tracks from the inaugural Monsters Of Rock Festival, held at Castle Donington in 1980.

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Tracks featured are: Motorcycle Man’, ‘Stand Up And Be Counted’, ‘747 (Strangers In The Night)’, ‘Wheels Of Steel’, ‘Freeway Mad’, ‘See The Light Coming’, ‘Street Fighting Gang’, ‘Suzie Hold On’ and ‘Machine Gun’ with CD bonus tracks: Suzie Hold On (1980 demo rehearsals)’, ‘Wheels Of Steel (1980 demo rehearsals)’, ‘Stallions Of The Highway (Live B-side)’, ‘Motorcycle Man (Live at Donington 1980)’, ‘Freeway Mad (Live at Donington 1980)’, ‘Wheels Of Steel (Live at Donington 1980)’, ‘747 (Strangers In The Night) (Live at Donington 1980)’ and ‘Machine Gun (Live at Donington 1980)’.

Six months later, Saxon brought out Strong Arm Of The Law and the band looked unstoppable, and as with all these records tracks would be part of the band’s live set for decades later. The version to be released additionally features a BBC session, remixes and early demos.

Saxon_StrongArmExploded6copy3Tracks featured are: ‘Heavy Metal Thunder’, ‘To Hell And Back Again’, ‘Strong Arm Of The Law’, ‘Taking Your Chances’, ‘20,000 Ft’, ‘Hungry Years’, ‘Sixth Form Girls’, ‘Dallas 1pm’ plus CD Bonus Tracks: ’20,000 Ft (BBC session 1982)’, ‘Dallas 1pm (BBC session 1982)’, ‘The Eagle Had Landed (BBC session 1982)’, ‘747 (Strangers In The Night) (BBC session 1982)’, ‘To Hell And Back Again (Abbey Road mix)’, ‘20,000Ft (Abbey Road mix)’, ‘Mandy (Early version of Sixth Form Girls)’ and ‘Heavy Metal Thunder (Abbey Road mix)’.

These Saxon albums are available for pre-sale by clicking here.


Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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