Archive for Wheels of Steel

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Saxon- The Eagle Has Landed

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Eaglelandedsaxon

One of the things I should have realised, but didn’t, is that there were some killer live albums in 1982. Three of them, Black Sabbath- “Live Evil,” Michael Schenker Group- “One Night at Budokan” and Blue Oyster Cult- “Extra Terrestrial Live,” I bought not long after they had come out. The fourth, Ted Nugent- “Intensity in 10 Cities” would escape my knowledge for a long while. That’s the problem when you are in the military and spend most of the year deployed overseas. It creates a Swiss cheese effect on things like musical releases from bands you might follow. This caused me to completely miss a fifth great live album and one that definitely stands shoulder to shoulder with the ones I’ve already listed. That is Saxon- “The Eagle Has Landed.”

Having seen Saxon live before I got to listen to “The Eagle Has Landed,” I had a very strong inclination that this was going to be an excellent live album. I was right. It has all of the classic Saxon songs at the time with the bonus touch of being played so well live. I thought it was only natural that they used the great song “Wheels of Steel” for the audience participation part of the show. After all, that song is one of their best known songs.

The added bonus for me was that the album was recorded while Saxon were on tour for my favourite album of theirs, “Denim and Leather.” “Princess of the Night” has its much deserved place on the album and is played brilliantly on it. Here is my personal slight disappointment about that. Other than “Princess,” the other two songs, “Never Surrender” and “Fire In the Sky” wouldn’t have been my first choices from “Denim and Leather” to use on the live album. Don’t get me wrong, they are both cool songs but why the hell wasn’t the title track on it? After all, “Denim and Leather” is a metal anthem that rings true throughout the metal generations! I thought it was only right that it be on the live album. Another song I would have used would have been “Play it Loud,” almost for the same reason. Saying that, “And the Band Played On” and “Midnight Rider” appear on the 2005 remaster. But enough of me nit picking, there are so many great songs on “The Eagle Has Landed” that it makes it a guaranteed good listen.

Track Listing:

  1. Motorcycle Man
  2. 747 Strangers in the Night
  3. Princess of the Night
  4. Strong Arm of the Law
  5. Heavy Metal Thunder
  6. 20,000 Feet
  7. Wheels of Steel
  8. Never Surrender
  9. Fire in the Sky
  10. Machine Gun
Saxon

Saxon

Biff Byford- vocals

Graham Oliver- guitar

Paul Quinn- guitar

Steve Dawson- bass

Nigel Glockler- drums

Like I said, there were many great live albums in 1982. Saxon’s contribution “The Eagle Has Landed” definitely belongs along side of the other great ones from that year.

Next post: Twisted Sister- Under the Blade

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

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Great Metal Albums of 1980: Saxon- Strong Arm Of The Law

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-Lawsaxon'

We have already established that many a great heavy metal band put out a great album in 1980. However, Saxon had to go one better and put out two. “Strong Arm of the Law” was the follow on to their brilliant “Wheels of Steel” album and it is in no way any less brilliant than its predecessor.

The first thing they repeated with this album was to begin the first track with sound effects. “Wheels of Steel’s” “Motorcycle Man” opened with the sound of a motorcycle, the opening track to “Strong Arm of the Law,” “Heavy Metal Thunder” opens with the sound effects of a storm and like the other opening song, the sound effects lead nicely into a throat grabbing metal tune, which again is followed by a brilliant second song. The title cut slows things down very slightly but it reminds me of what I liked about Saxon’s later material. But don’t worry, the tempo picks right back up again with the next two tracks. “Hungry Years” might seem to start slow but the power kicks in very quickly after the intro and that sets the stage perfectly for the final two songs. With the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, the final track “Dallas 1PM” may be the appropriate song to play at the moment. I have adopted it as my personal remembrance of the tragic event. I was living in 1963 but I don’t remember where I was so I must have done it. No, actually I was only two and a half and my mother and I were visiting my grandparents in Philadelphia.

Track Listing:

1. Heavy Metal Thunder

2. To Hell and Back Again

3. Strong Arm of the Law

4. Taking Your Chances

5. 2ooo Ft.

6. Hungry Years

7. Sixth Form Girls

8. Dallas 1PM

Saxon

Saxon

Biff Byford- vocals

Graham Oliver- guitar

Paul Quinn- guitar

Steve Dawson- bass

Pete Gill- drums

Most bands have a difficult time putting out one good album in a year so well done to Saxon for putting out two. Both of their albums in 1980 rank right up there with some of the ones I have already covered and “Strong Arm of the Law” may not be a cruising album, but one to sit down and headbang away to.

Next post: KISS- Unmasked

To buy Rock and Roll Children go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RcokAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

Great Metal Albums of 1980: Saxon- Wheels of Steel

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-Wheelssaxon

Like so many albums, this was yet another one I first experienced after listening to some of the band’s later ones. I didn’t experience “Wheels of Steel” by Saxon until 1986, when I heard the title track played at Oscar’s Night Club in London. Actually it was in Newbury Park, which is officially part of Essex but that’s not important. It’s also a shame that about two years after I stopped going, it became a McDonald’s. Still, on the night I heard the that song, I knew it was a good one. So, it was only natural that I would have to hear the album.

A good friend of mine stated that “Wheels of Steel” used to be his cruising song and I fully see why. However, the same could be said for the entire album. It’s just one of those albums that you pop in your CD when you just want to drive. Of course you have to have the windows rolled down and the stereo going full blast. I wanted to do that the other day and the temperature was just above freezing.

“Motorcycle Man” is probably the closest that Saxon will ever get to thrash. It’s a good, fast number that you should play with the car windows down, whatever the weather. While the same vibe holds for the rest of the album, I do really like the second song “Stand Up and Be Counted.” “See the Light Shining” is also a standout track for me and although the lyrics to “Street Fighting Gang” remind me of what I call the Rumble Fish effect; (Middle class suburban kids who love the idea of urban style gang fights, but would never participate in one), it is still a good song. All in all, I remain very impressed with “Wheels of Steel.”

Track Listing:

1. Motorcycle Man

2. Stand Up and Be Counted

3. 747 Strangers in the Night

4. Wheels of Steel

5. Freeway Mad

6. See the Light Shining

7. Street Fighting Gang

8. Suzie Hold On

9. Machine Gun

Saxon

Saxon

Biff Byford- vocals

Graham Oliver- guitar

Paul Quinn- guitar

Steve Dawson- bass

Pete Gill- drums

If you are ever going on a long drive or just fancy a cruise, then this album in the stereo is a must. “Wheels of Steel” is one of the best driving albums ever no matter what Jeremy Clarkson says. It’s a brilliant metal album as well. On a side note, there’s much about my exploits at Oscar’s in Rock And Roll Children.

Next post: Saxon- Strong Arm of the Law

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London