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Saxon

Discussion in 'Music Discussion' started by Yax, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. Yax

    Yax Ancient Mariner

    After going to Saxon's gig at Sweden Rock, I've decided to buy a few albums. So, what albums should I buy? I want both "new" and "old" albums. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Perun

    Perun At the Heart of Winter Staff Member

    Denim And Leather is their best, in my opinion.
     
  3. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    Or "Best Of" Saxon
    [​IMG]
    It's a nice overview from their 70s and 80s material:

    1. Eagle Has Landed (from Power & The Glory, 1983)
    2. Ride Like The Wind (from Destiny, 1988)
    3. Crusader (from Crusader, 1984)
    4. Rainbow Theme/Frozen Rainbow (from Saxon, 1979)
    5. Midas Touch (from Power & The Glory, 1983)
    6. Denim And Leather (from Denim and Leather, 1981)
    7. Broken Heroes (from Innocence Is No Excuse, 1986)
    8. Dallas 1pm (from Strong Arm of the Law. 1980)
    9. 747 (Strangers In The Night) (from Wheels of Steel, 1980)
    10. Princess Of The Night (from Denim and Leather, 1981)
    11. And The Band Played On (from Denim and Leather, 1981)
    12. Never Surrender (from Denim and Leather, 1981)
    13. This Town Rocks (from Power & The Glory, 1983)
    14. Strong Arm Of The Law (from Strong Arm of the Law, 1980)
    15. Heavy Metal Thunder (from Strong Arm of the Law, 1980)
     
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I started with Strong Arm Of The Law and Wheels Of Steel, which contain gems like "Dallas 1pm" and "747 (Strangers In The Night)", respectively. But the rest of their work is pretty good too, so just take one album at random.
     
  5. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    Further I own their 2001 Killing Ground record which has some really good tracks on it, such as the title track, the King Crimson cover Court Of The Crimson King and Dragon's Lair.

    Check out this link to see/hear Killing Ground (title track).

    It also has some minor tracks though. I don't know much other later material so I find it hard to judge if this is a good choice. My edition of this album came with a bonus disc, which had re-recordings of classics. I really enjoyed that disc!

    I saw them as the Killing Ground tour, though during their set I spent most time with talking to the Blaze band who opened for them.  :)

    edit: @Yax, check my previous post, I added links of (live)clips of those songs plus album-info to get an idea of the material.
     
  6. Yax

    Yax Ancient Mariner

    So, I've bought some albums. Well, ordered, I expect them to arrive tomorrow. This is what I bought, (since I had the price in mind too): "Stallions of the highway (live)", "Wheels of steel", "Strong arm of the law" and Axe killer warrior's set cd box, containing C"rusader" and "Power and the glory"

    So, you guys reckon I made a good deal, considering I got al this for 177 kr (plus 29 for delivery) which is 206 in total, equals 21 euros?
     
  7. Invader

    Invader Ancient Mariner

    That's an awesome deal!  Where did you order from? 
     
  8. Natalie

    Natalie Insect of Terror Staff Member

    I have one song from Saxon that I love: Lionheart.
     
  9. Wästed The Great

    Wästed The Great Minister Of Chicks, Metal&Beer; Cool & Froody Dude Staff Member

    Dallas 1 pm is a good tune.  I like a lot of older Saxxon stuff.  ...Denim and Leather...
     
    terrell39 likes this.
  10. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    So, what are your feelings for Saxon?

    In preparation for an upcoming Saxon survivor I am playing the albums in chronological order.

    Contributions from other forummers, taken from the Survivor Tracker Thread:

    More reactions after I said I hardly knew later Saxon albums (apart from Killing Ground)


    Yesterday I heard the first three albums. It was a while ago since I did that.
    The third album (Strong Arm of the Law) is probably my favourite. But I like the debut more than the second. Wheels of Steel is quite a monotone album. Most songs have one main riff repeated very often. The vocal lines are often centered around the same tone. This is less the case with the debut and the third. Still: Wheels of Steel features one of the best songs from the first three albums, if not the best: 747 (Strangers in the Night). A very melodic song which is a contrast with the rest of the album.

    Wheels of Steel, that goes on so long that it's getting funny at the end. :)
    Denim and Leather, what can I say. Just heard it and I only like

    Princess of the Night
    Never Surrender
    And The Band Plays On
    Denim and Leather (though this one is also a bit repetitive imo)

    Best two are certainly Princess and Band. :)
    The rest consists out of either not very memorable either monotone Wheels of Steel kind of songs.
     
  11. Crimson Idol

    Crimson Idol Caveman

    Princess/Band/Denim were the 3 non-wheels tracks I saw them play live, and were enjoyable. I do agree with you though that in general their early albums (not listened to their later so much to make the opinion) are very repetitive... even the good songs are mostly 1 or 2 riffs repeated :p

    I've heard Call to Arms and although its a lot less repetitive, I didn't find too much catching material there. Mists of Avalon is probably the song that stuck most.
     
  12. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    Power & The Glory is a decent album with more songs that catch my attention. Best ones:

    Power & The Glory
    Midas Touch and (of course!)
    The Eagle has landed

    The ones not mentioned I find most of them better than the lesser ones from Denim and Leather.
    And now the shocker: Crusader has a great title track (it was unforgettable when I saw it live), it has a pretty cool drum sound, but it is still a shitty album. The problem: the rest of the album is filled with dull, forgettable rockers.

    Innocence Is No Excuse sounds like a Def Leppard album. Best song by far is Broken Heroes, which has atmosphere and strong melancholy kind of melodies, staying longer in my head. The rest is not great.

    Rock the Nations starts promising with two decent tracks (the title track and Battle Cry) reminding me of later "metal" Saxon I know from Killing Ground. But the rest is forgettable.

    Destiny is in my ears the best Saxon album since Power & The Glory.
    Yes, it is also an album that can make the metalhead drop their pants. It sounds soft and commercial (though here more in a Dio way), and the band members wear crappy haircuts and make up on the cover. But it sounds like the band worked longer on the songs. And some songs are really decent, more catchy and less dull.

    Song For Emma, S.O.S., Ride Like the Wind (cover), Calm Before the Storm, I Can't Wait Anymore, Red Alert: the list of songs that I can enjoy or at least don't cast aside as dull thirteen-in-a-dozen rockers, is clearly longer than on the previous three albums.
     
  13. mckindog

    mckindog Living for Sanctuary from the law Staff Member

    Wow my friend, you have been busy.
    Can't say I have strong differences with your opinions.

    Early albums were long on thump and adrenaline — especially for their time — but short on creativity and melodies.
    The melodies got better as the '80s progressed, but the heaviness got swallowed by schlock.

    Power and the Glory is the best '80s album because it has the most going on; it's the only one I like a lot.
    The rest have good moments, but are mostly hot and cold.
    And we are in the minority, but I agree with your take on Destiny.

    You didn't mention Dallas 1 p.m., which is simplistic but has great atmosphere and is regarded as a band classic. I have always been a fan of Sailing to America (the song), which the hardcore from-the-beginning fan points to as marking the start of the band's decline. But otherwise no remarkable individual tracks that you missed. Broken Heroes and Crusader are truly great songs. Those two and the title track to Power & the Glory (which sounds like an earlier version of 2 Minutes to Midnight) are probably my favourites.
    Saxon is regarded as a second-tier '80s metal band because they were.
    But while their peers faded or imploded, these guys kept going and in a lot of ways got better.
    And when you look at their body of work today, the top half stands up pretty well.
     
    Forostar likes this.
  14. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    Indeed. Just finished Solid Ball of Rock which turned out better than expected. Hard to pick out favourites yet but I find also this album better than:
    I hardly mentioned anything about the Strong Arm of the Law album, apart from calling it the best from the first three (and until now I still find it the best ;-) but that song is certainly strong. What a build-up. Following that pounding bass three different rhythm guitar tracks enter, one by one.
    Gave it another listen and it has some uplifting mood. Better than most other songs of the album indeed.
    A most fitting analysis. It could be that I enjoy the debut album more than you (we'll see that in the survivor ;-), but I really love some of the melodies (and more moody moments) on it.
     
  15. Perun

    Perun At the Heart of Winter Staff Member

    My feelings are that they are too old-fashioned for my taste. I went through all the Saxon albums a couple of years back, and there are just a handful of songs that stuck with me. I saw them live and they are a bunch of really nice old lads who bored the hell out of me. Crusader, Princess of the Night and Motorcycle Man are great songs, the rest is just all the same all over again. I put on the Denim and Leather album every once in a while when I'm in the mood for 80's cheese, but one spinning is enough for about half a year.
     
  16. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    I have almost an opposite feeling. Denim for Leather I find it a boring album apart from 3 or 4 songs. So I won't play it that "often". For the rest they don't have that many good albums, but about every album has one or two very good songs. So I'd rather fall back on a best of album (as posted by me in this topic in 2008; that's an album with a good selection) than on a studio album (with the exception of Strong Arm of the Law and perhaps a few others), though I haven't heard all albums yet.
     
  17. Natalie

    Natalie Insect of Terror Staff Member

    For me Saxon has a lot of really mediocre uninteresting stuff and then a few gems buried here and there that I absolutely love. I also find that the newer albums have a style more to my taste, its somehow darker, heavier, more mature...their early stuff is really kind of cheesy 80's metal with a few good rockers but nothing much else. I feel like Saxon in their old age have become a bit more progressive and have edged closer to Iron Maiden, but thats just my opinion.

    So here's my full list of most noteworthy albums (and songs from those albums) since I notice that most of you are talking about albums that got about one listen from me and were subsequently discarded:

    1) Lionheart (2004): The title track, The Return, and Searching for Atlantis.
    2) Killing Ground (2001): Court of the Crimson King, Dragons Lair, Shadows on the Wall. Court of the Crimson King has a real proggy feel to it, almost like another band wrote it. Shadows on the Wall has some of the best Saxon lyrics in my opinion and some real interesting compositional elements to it (e.g. when the music becomes loud and aggressive concurrently with the violence described in the lyrics, I love that kind of stuff, Haendel and contemporaries used that technique extensively).
    3) The Inner Sanctum (2007): State of Grace, Red Star Falling, Atila the Hun. Red Star Falling is another song dealing with another fantastic topic, the fall of the Soviet Union. Atila the Hun is a straightforward epic, ala The Nomad or Alexander the Great.
    4) Dogs of War (1995): title track, and The Great White Buffalo. The Great White Buffalo is another song with lyrics dealing with a sensitive topic...the Native Americans. The whole feel of the song evokes horses galloping on the plains, its incredibly catchy and yet very mature. I don't recall much of the rest of the album but those two tracks really sprung out at me.

    Looking back on this list it strikes me that all of them are relatively recent, and several of my other favorite tracks (Battalions of Steel, Mists of Avalon) are off of even more recent albums. Its almost like Saxon reinvented themselves in the 2000's and discovered a heavier, more epic style that suits my taste better. I can see how starting from 1979 and going through the albums in chronological order would put you off this band pretty quickly though. I'm glad I started from 2009 and worked my way backwards instead :smartarse:.
     
  18. mckindog

    mckindog Living for Sanctuary from the law Staff Member

    My list of top songs would be heavily slanted to the more recent stuff too Nat, even though I think I bought my first album of theirs way back in 1982. I'm waiting for Foro to catch up with the newer stuff before I add my thoughts.
    (PS: Court of the Crimson King is a cover.)
     
  19. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    Originally by none other than King Crimson.
     
  20. Natalie

    Natalie Insect of Terror Staff Member

    Lol. That would explain it.
     

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